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Bills Win Opener 16-13
We cover the victory in detail in our gameday section, just click the Tennessee link. Briefly the Defense dominated like it did last year and the Offense struggled mightily, especially the line. Our Take: This game was almost a carbon copy of the playoff game, except the miracle fell short for the Titans. The offensive line needs to go back to the drawing board after a lackluster preseason was followed by an absolutely horrible first game.
There were a couple of interesting personnel decisions in the opener. Pat Williams saw extended playing time with the first unit as the Bills would run Marcellus Wiley off the field at the last second and insert Williams at end on the 3-4 and in the middle with Ted Washington in a 4-3. Another player receiving extended playing time was Sammy Morris. He split time at fullback almost evenly with Sheldon Jackson and even ran the ball twice! Our Take: Very good decisions by the coaches in getting these two solid players more playing time.
One more note on the game, the new starters didn't make the fans feel nostalgic for the old days. They all made some plays. Keion Carpenter picked off a pass in the first quarter. Keith Newman had two sacks and was all over the field. Antoine Winfield showed why he is the best defensive back on the team with great coverage and some hard hitting. The defensive line didn't miss Bruce Smith as they shutdown the running game and gave constant pressure on McNair, as he was sacked 4 times. Our Take: It looks like kudos go to the scouting staff again, the young players appear to be the real deal.
On the injury front, Rob Johnson went down to a nerve injury in his leg in the fourth quarter of the game but should be ready for next week. Doug Flutie did dress for the game as the emergency QB and came close to getting into the action but the coaches went with the healthy Alex Van Pelt who picked up the victory in relief. Our Take: Johnson proved he can take a hit in this game despite leaving with a freak nerve injury. Gutsy move pays off, staying with the healthy Van Pelt instead of going to the healing Flutie. The Van Pelt signing paid off immediately.
In ex-Bills news this week, Bruce Smith had two sacks and a forced fumble in the Redskins 20-17 win over Carolina. Thurman Thomas had three carries for 9 yards and three catches for 22 yards for Miami in their shutout win against Seattle. Jeff Burris picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown to seal the Colts victory over Kansas City. Andre Reed asked for, and was granted, his release from Denver. He want to catch on with another team. Our Take: Reed should just save some dignity and retire. Smith can still play and Thomas will be just a role player in Miami except when they play Buffalo.
The Bills set their five man practice squad on Monday. They added the two UB players, Drew Haddad and Josh Roth. Also added were Nick Ferguson, Corey Hulsey, and Jarett Procell. Our Take: With Haddad on the squad every draft pick remains with the team. Nice touch keeping both local college players.
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