Last week, the Bills did not look good in Washington. They lost 42-17 and struggled with penalties, turnovers, and third down conversions. They look to put that performance behind them as they travel to the Rogers Centre in Toronto to take on the Indianapolis Colts tonight.
What to watch for:
1. Passing Offense
With both Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson injured, look for the Bills to rely more heavily on the passing attack. Although it is difficult to imagine the passing attack being any worse than it was last week, the Bills expect a better performance from the passing offense. This is because offensive lineman Eric Wood will likely be returning tonight and offensive lineman Cornell Green is a game-time decision.
Unfortunately, injuries have also hit the wide receivers. Yet another wide receiver has joined the ever-increasing list of injured Buffalo Bills. Wide receiver David Nelson was carted off the field during practice on Tuesday. Last week, Nelson was the team’s leading receiver. Nelson will likely be out for the remainder of the preseason.
As far as Trent Edwards goes, everyone would love to see him throw downfield more often. Gailey explained that if Edwards does not throw downfield, it’s not Edwards’ fault, it’s the team’s fault. Hopefully, we will see Edwards test the offensive line, his young receivers, and himself tonight.
2. Rushing Offense
Lynch and Jackson both left last week’s game very early on, leaving C.J. Spiller, Joique Bell, and Chad Simpson with the ball-carrying duties. Both Bell and Simpson broke big runs against the Redskins’ backups last week. Expect both of these players to get more rushing attempts tonight.
3. Passing Defense
Last season, the Bills’ passing defense was its strength. With virtually everybody returning, we expect the passing defense to carry the defense once again this year. However, last week, the passing defense from last year failed to show up. The Redskins picked on Reggie Corner all night last week. Both Terrence McGee and Leodis McKelvin gave up big plays. The defense could not get any pressure on the quarterback and McNabb and Grossman appeared very comfortable in the pocket.
If the pass defense is going to have any success this year, the defense must put pressure on the quarterback. This is where Schobel’s departure will hurt the Bills the most.
4. Rushing Defense
Kyle Williams, Dwan Edwards, and Reggie Torbor led the way last week. The Bills did not give up many big plays on the ground. But we would like to see better performances from all of our linebackers, particularly on third down situations.
Tonight, it will be interesting to see how the defense adjusts to Manning’s audibles at the line of scrimmage. With better performances from Aaron Maybin and Andra Davis, the Bills defense could see some success against Manning tonight.
5. Special Teams
With the artificial turf inside the Rogers Centre, C.J. Spiller could finally get his opportunity to display his explosive speed if he is given room to run.
Thank you for reading and look for my “Monday Morning Quarterback” article reviewing tonight’s game.