X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NFL Buffalo Bills

5 Takeaways from the Buffalo Bills’ Week 2 Preseason Loss

1 of 11
NEXT

5 Takeaways from the Buffalo Bills' Week 2 Preseason Loss

C.J. Spiller Buffalo Bills
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With a lot of people around the league pegging the Buffalo Bills as a potential sleeper team in 2014, the Bills have failed to show anything that would indicate the potential for such a season to this point in the preseason. Here are some reactions to their 19-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

5. Alan Branch Likely Won't Make the Roster

Alan Branch Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

5. Alan Branch Likely Won't Make the Roster

Alan Branch Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Early in the offseason, it looked like veteran DT Alan Branch could have a shot at a starting job on Buffalo’s defense. But through training camp and the first half of the preseason, Branch’s reps have diminished, and it now looks like he is in serious jeopardy of being left off of the 53-man roster. While the Bills have talent across their defensive line, a veteran presence like Branch is always a plus. Unfortunately, that is looking unlikely.

4. The Offense Continues to be Conservative

Doug Marrone Buffalo Bills
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

4. The Offense Continues to be Conservative

Doug Marrone Buffalo Bills
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Deespite the offseason additions of Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams, Buffalo's offense will continue to be conservative, relying on short passes and their strong running game. With E.J. Manuel entering a pivotal season, one would think that the Bills would want to see what he was capable of by letting him throw it down the field. Manuel has been content settling for short easy passes, a strategy that, while cute, won’t win many games.

3. Jeff Tuel Will be the Backup QB

Jeff Tuel Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

3. Jeff Tuel Will be the Backup QB

Jeff Tuel Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tuel looked like he had the inside track on being E.J. Manuel’s backup to begin with, but now it looks all but assured. Tuel has played adequately so far this preseason, certainly better than last year’s backup Thad Lewis. Lewis is having a rough couple of weeks, a trend that continued against the Steelers as he went 1-for-6 with an interception against Pittsburgh’s backups. Barring injury, Lewis’ role on the Bills will likely be minimal.

2. Buffalo's Run Defense is Vastly Improved

Brandon Spikes Buffalo Bills
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

2. Buffalo's Run Defense is Vastly Improved

Brandon Spikes Buffalo Bills
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills’ defense has been woefully inept against the run in seasons past, a flaw that has been the main culprit behind a number of losses. But they look like they have turned a corner, as the Bills have been downright dominant against the run so far this preseason. A big reason for this improvement is the addition of Brandon Spikes, who came into Buffalo with a reputation as an elite run-stopper, and has lived up to that reputation so far.

1. E.J. Manuel Isn't Quite There Yet

EJ Manuel Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

1. E.J. Manuel Isn't Quite There Yet

EJ Manuel Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After a promising week of practice, E.J. Manuel once again had a very mediocre performance against the Steelers. While he completed most of his passes, most of Manuel’s throws were short dump offs to the running back or tight end. On one of his rare downfield throws, Manuel threw a bad interception. While Manuel was without Sammy Watkins for most of the night, it is clear he still needs a good deal of improvement.