Defensive backs take part of their traditional pregame huddle before taking the field for warmups.
Game day!! I will be here for every road game this year to chat with anyone who would like to join me. I’ll be adding my commentary as the game progresses in the comments area. You may notice breaks in commentary if things start turning south in a game. That likely means I’m running on the treadmill while watching to avoid turning my wall into swiss cheese. I started doing that last season, and it’s a life saver.
Lots of subplots in today’s game. Here’s what I’ll be paying particular attention to:
– Road defense. Road defense. Road defense. If we hold the Bills to 15 pts or less, we’d be off to a great start defensively on the road. This is going to be the best predictor of future performance this season. We could struggle/succeed in other aspects and it would not mean as much as a really good or really bad performance by our defense. We need to put last year behind us and move on. Run defense is the key overall. Holding the Bills under 100 yards rushing would be a huge accomplishment.
– Rushing offense It’s hard to believe that my expectations have gone 180 degrees on this part of our team in a very short time. I think we’re going to shock the Bills and the league with a strong running game. I want to see what I saw in the preseason. 130 yards = Good. 150 yards = Great. 180+ = Cloud 9.
– Ray Willis / Rob Sims / Chris Spencer This will be a test not only of these players, but of the new offensive line coach, Mike Solari. It looked like we installed some techniques and schemes that reduce the importance of winning 1:1 battles on the line. There should be more help from the backfield as well. The Bills are sure to bring blitzes and pressure. These guys must hold the line.
– Lawrence Jackson Wild card. This guy stripped the ball every time he sacked a QB in the preseason. He’s bigger than Tapp, and should be able to hold the point of attack against the rush better. But who knows? That’s what is fun about young guys or new players. I would not be shocked if this guy makes a big play or if we never hear his name.
– Jason Babin Sticking with the DEs, I am really pumped to see Babin out there. The guy was everywhere in every preseason game. He could be a huge story this year if he can bring it in the regular season.
– Punt returns Josh Wilson is doing the kick returns. Nate should be doing the punt returns, but we’ll see. Nothing will get me on the treadmill faster than a fumbled punt.
– Olindo Mare Looking forward to the deep kickoffs. Nervous about the FGs. We need this guy to be reliable.
– Hasselbeck Please don’t be rusty. Please. If Hass is sharp, we’re always in good shape.