1. EJ Manuel needs work
The biggest question heading into the season for the Bills was if EJ Manuel could take control of the offense? While it was only the first pre-season game it was evident that Manuel has lots of work to do, especially in regards to his footwork. Manuel was just 2/7 for 19 yards on Sunday. He looked uncomfortable all night, as he often went to his check down option. If Manuel wants to improve, he must work on his footwork and be more comfortable throwing the ball in the pocket.
2. Robert Woods is poised for a breakout season
Bills fans were rather shocked to see Robert Woods playing with the second strings this past Sunday. Woods caught four passes for 49 yards and a touchdown. Poised to play with the starters, Woods was playing with a chip on his shoulder, and it showed as he was Buffalo’s best receiver. If Woods can continue to make plays and produce, he will be back with the starters in no time.
3. Buffalo’s defensive line is for real
Jim Schwartz went from coaching a good defensive line in Detroit, to arguably the league’s best in Buffalo. Although they were only in the game for two series, the combination of Jerry Hughes, Marcel Dareus, Kyle Williams and Mario Williams was lethal. They held the Giants to a three and out, followed by a five play drive, which resulted in a sack fumble. There is no doubt that the Bills defensive line will continue to dominate on a week to week basis.
4. Bills lack depth on defense
The Bills really showed that they lack quality depth on defense. Giants’ running backs Andre Williams and Peyton Hillis combined for 14 carries and 84 yards. Back-up quarterback Ryan Nassib was 7/12 and threw for 139 yards with a touchdown as well. If the Bills want to have success on the defensive side of the ball, they will need to have quality back-ups ready to jump in and contribute.
5. Dan Carpenter is as good as any
Bills kicker Dan Carpenter continues to show that he is one of the NFL’s elite kickers. Last season, Carpenter was stellar to say the least, as he finished the season going 33/36. On Sunday Carpenter nailed a 51 yarder and finished 2/2 on the day. If Carpenter can produce another strong season, he will definitely show he belongs with the league’s best.
Although we are just one game into the pre-season, there are both positives and negatives to take out of this game. Ultimately, the success of the Bills heavily relies on EJ Manuel. If Manuel can improve and progress from his rookie campaign, the Bills may be okay; however, if Manuel plays like he did on Sunday, we may be in for a long season.