[2014] Preseason [preview] Bucs @ Bills

So what are we looking for in this game? Well, again, we are going to watch the lines. We played the Bills week 14 last year and it was a blow out. We had 7 sacks and 4 interceptions. The offensive line for the Bills got man handled by McCoy and crew. Even Revis got in on the action with a sack in this game. So it is going to be interesting to see how the Bills offense handles having to play us again.

The Bills offensive line has 4 of its 5 starters returning this season. The only differences is at left guard. Chris Williams, an ex Lovie draftee bust from the Bears, is going to be playing left guard in place of Doug Legursky, who has been moved to back up center. This offensive line is the most experienced we have played so far this preseason and should be a step up in competition.  While I have enjoyed watching Gerald McCoy play aggressive and dominate his opponents, I have also recognized that his opponents have been, thus far, of not high caliber. The Bills offensive line, while not the best unit in the league, ranking 16th in the run and 29th in pass protection in 2013 according to FootballOutsiders.com, they are still going to present a more formidable opponent for our defensive line that the past two teams who have fielded inexperienced and new units. I fully expect to see our defense make some plays but I do not expect to see them dominate, especially McCoy, like they have.

Our Offensive line is going to be tested in a serious way. The Bills have some monster defenders up front in Kyle Williams and Mario Williams. Their unit ranked 3rd in the league for pass defense and 20th in run defense. I fear that our QBs are going to be on their backs quit a bit.

Things to look out for:

  • turnovers. We need turnovers. Lovie wants to call them takeaways but I am not going to until they start getting them. We had 0 turnovers in our first preseason game and only one last week in game 2. So far we are -3 in the turnover battle and that is simply unacceptable for a coach that preaches takeaways.
  • The battle at the offensive line guard positions. We allowed 5 sacks last week and 3 the week before. It has become the battle of the have-nots but it is still a battle to watch. I hate that we are having to panic about a unit that was not a concern a year ago.
  • Our defense getting pressure on the quarterback. We were promised elite pass rushing and even went out and spent a great deal of money to bring in players to help accomplish this. Unfortunately, it has not materialized. We have only had 2 sacks in two games. Again, unacceptable.
  • Solomon Patton returning kicks. He was exciting last week with 6 spectacular returns (half mainly to him getting his head almost knocked off when tackled) and we want to see him continue that trend.
  • Stunts. Last week our first team defense ran 7 stunts in 22 plays. It will be interesting to see if they keep that pace up.
  • Mike Evans. It is time to see him light it up. This is the week that the starters get to play into the third quarter. Plenty of time to see him catch a pass or two.
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