If last week’s down-to-the-wire, last-second finish was a little too much excitement for a preseason game, then this week’s blowout was just for you! The Buffalo Bills beat down and dominated the Denver Broncos 42-15, scoring touchdowns on their first six drives, punting once, and kneeling out their final drive to earn another win. The Bills played a majority of their starters for at least a series and they played quite well. Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Devin Singletary, and Gabe Davis all picked up where they left off in 2021, and others such as Zack Moss and James Cook made excellent contributions throughout the game.
The defense also held the Broncos to FGs in the first half, and despite some untimely penalties that kept some drives alive, they played very well against the Broncos’ backups. Most important of all is that the Bills’ starters in particular did not suffer or deal with any injuries, which was the concern of many Bills fans when McDermott announced that they would be getting playing time this week.
As with any other Bills game, we’re going to look at what was most inspiring from this game, what left us inquiring about a certain position battle, what group required a better performance, and what the most irksome thing of this game was.
Inspire-The Entire Roster
This is the deepest team in football and the most complete roster in football. What Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have assembled is truly remarkable in today’s NFL. People who watched the Georgia Bulldogs saw just how deep their roster was from top to bottom, every position seemed to be full of NFL caliber players, at least 2 deep at every position other than QB. The Bills and their complete domination of Denver on Saturday showed just how strong and deep their roster is.
Even areas that seemed a bit suspect last week (QB, OL) showed marked improvements against the Broncos. Virtually no other team in the NFL can come close to what the Bills have constructed with their roster on the whole. There are teams with better players at certain positions, but no team is as strong across the board, and deep at each position as the 2022 Buffalo Bills.
Araiza got the duties of holder during this game, and seemed to do quite a good job at it. But the first and only punt the Bills had on the day was from Matt Haack. It’s curious, and at times a bit befuddling, that the Bills are still retaining Matt Haack and giving him reps. With a player like Araiza, whose physical skill set is impressive but needs refinement, the more reps he gets, the better. Giving Haack reps seems detrimental to the team as a whole at this point.
This will be in relation to the penalties, but the young DBs struggled a little bit during this game. Dane Jackson, Christian Benford, and Kaiir Elam were all called for penalties of illegal contact, pass interference, or grabbing the face ask during the first half. It’s not unusual for young DBs to struggle with these penalties, as the rules for contact down the field are much more lenient at the college level, however, it’s something that every NFL team knows young DBs struggle with.
A team like the Rams with a smart and experienced coaching staff and excellent receivers will certainly take advantage of DBs being too physical and target them early and often. The young players have to figure out the right balance and adjust their playing styles to the NFL standard of rules, or there are going to be a lot of penalties called this year.
Speaking of penalties, that is an issue that continued for this team, as they’ve been a bit of a bugaboo for the Sean McDermott Bills. Though it was a point of emphasis for the coaching staff this week, Buffalo still had issues with penalties against Denver (8 for 68 yards). Unfortunately, this does not seem to be an area, for whatever reason, that Bills fans should expect improvement in for the regular season. It’s something that seems to just come with the Sean McDermott package, and as long as the Bills keep winning, it’s not something that needs to be viewed as a major issue. Still, penalties can derail a game quickly, and it’s not something any coaching staff would become lax about.
The Bills finish off the regular season in Carolina, next Friday at 7PM EST, and will continue to get ready for their Week 1 opener against the Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams Rams. The Bills showed today why they’re the odds-on favorites to win a championship – not just because their starters can dominate or go toe to toe with any team in the league, but because their backups are a notch above every other team in the league at this point.