If the Buffalo Bills’ matchup with the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 of the 2012 NFL preseason is any indication, Vince Young may have finally gained some ground in his battle with Tyler Thigpen for the backup quarterback job.
Though the Bills lost their second consecutive game of the preseason, the offense did make some strides. The first team incorporated the run game, Ryan Fitzpatrick was pretty sharp with his throws and certain wide receivers started to separate themselves in a deep group.
But perhaps the biggest storyline from this matchup was Vince Young’s performance.
Young’s stat line wasn’t spectacular (8-of-14 for 123 yards) and he certainly wasn't perfect. It took him a series to get settled in, as he missed a couple throws early on as the first half came to a close.
But it was nice to see Young airing it out a bit. Although he overthrew Derek Hagan on a deep pass near the end of the second quarter, he quickly made up for it on the other end of halftime.
The highlight of his night was a beautiful deep ball to rookie receiver T.J. Graham that traveled about 60 yards through the air for a big completion. It was the first play of the second half, and Young dropped it in perfectly to the speedy Graham, who made an equally nice catch downfield.
Young seemed poised and managed the offense well, albeit against Minnesota’s second-team defense. He was fairly efficient and performed well in his limited time. It was the kind of performance that the coaching staff was hoping to see out of the former third overall pick at this point of the preseason.
Buffalo signed Young as a free agent to compete with Tyler Thigpen for the backup position behind Ryan Fitzpatrick. Up until now, neither has done much to make a convincing case for the job.
But Young has been improving in practice, and he looked in control tonight, making smart reads and accurate throws for the most part while also catalyzing the offense with his bomb to Graham.
If he can continue to build off this performance and keep his momentum going, he should have no trouble locking up the No. 2 quarterback job for the Bills in 2012.
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