"Bills After Sunday": Washington Redskins Recap and Pittsburgh Steelers Preview

Medicine_Gone_BadAnalyst IAugust 12, 2008

I always liked the title of "Bills After Sunday", so now, every week, I will use it as my opening in recapping the previous Bills game and the upcoming match; two opinions in one piece (save the E-Trees!).

Check out my Bio for explanation of the four weekly "awards".



White Hard-Hat: Rian Lindell, a kicker that can be in position to pounce and recover a fumble is always a good bet to energize the rest of the team.

Yellow Hard-Hat: The offensive line earned this week's best-unit honors.

Blue Hard-Hat: Special-teams coach Bobby April had his players more prepared to play in this first preseason game

Push Broom: The Bills' third-defensive unit needs to do some cleanup after being pushed around in the fourth quarter by the Redskins. This Bills roster is deep this year, but these players have a chance to impress and sign on with other NFL teams.


Redskins Recap

Preparation and execution are two of the main goals in preseason and the Redskins clearly were the more prepared team, including the HOF game. You have to wonder if the new Redskins coach has watered down the playbook and it's complexity to give his team a running start.

The good news is that the Redskins only managed a three-point victory over this rusty Bills team and would be no match for a prepared "Bills football machine" at the start of the NFL regular season.


Player notes

Paul Posluszny was outstanding and any player within his grasp was dropped to the ground. He was always utilizing his size and speed. SF 49ers' Patrick Willis has company.

Roscoe Parrish gets better every game, and you will never see him "turtle".

Marshawn Lynch gave everybody a scare when he had eight Redskins on top of him trying to tackle him to the ground. There was real concern for the health of the eight Redskin players.

James Hardy and Derek Schouman had first-string jitters that made QB Trent Edwards look worse than he was.

TE Courtney Anderson showed why he can be very valuable with his size and catching ability. The teams that cut him previously were poor, and the QBs were even worse. He could be rounding into form now and his upside with QB Edwards could be huge.

RB Dwayne Wright had a great run, but then fumbled the ball. As the Packers management would say, "What's his state of mind?"

CB Ashton Youboty had his best game ever.

QB J. P. Losman could regain his confidence in the short game, playing against second and third stringers. He made some nice plays, with Parrish and Hardy making nice catches.

There is no QB controversy in Buffalo for the simple fact that QB Losman luvs to play, QB Edwards luvs to win!

Game Replay

I replayed the beginning of the game, watching the first unit's offensive series and top two defensive series in slow speed.

Two things jumped out.

The offensive line played great! Langston Walker was excellent. Derrick Dockery had his back a couple of times, to cut off the inside from Jason Taylor, and Melvin Fowler went back and blocked a defender. The OL and OL Coach, Sean Kugler, were the best unit, making LT Jason Peters realize that he can replaced.

The OL is always late to get praise but quick to get the blame.

Marcus Stroud is the "impact" player, as advertised. The Redskins' offense avoided him during the first series, but that didn't stop him from making an impact.

When the Redskins ran to the left, Stroud helped keep their OL in check and allowed LB Posluszny to knife through for a tackle. When two Redskins tried to block Stroud, Chris Kelsay snuck inside for a tackle.

When Stroud was in a one-on-one battle, he pushed the defender back about five yards, collapsing the pocket. Stroud will create opportunities for everyone on the defense and make them all better, if they execute.


Bills Killer Red-Zone Offense

Bills' fanbase concerned about the offense? An offensive formation with WRs Lee Evans and Hardy, TEs Schouman and Anderson, and RB Lynch. This red-zone offense would be difficult to stop, even for the Patriots' "Lord Belichick."

Both WRs may need to be double teamed with TE Anderson as an optional lead blocker for Lynch, or a pass route like Schouman. If a play is stopped, then run the no huddle until the defense bites on something.

Everyone covered? Edwards hands off to Lynch, Lynch looks like he has no place to run, looks confused, and then throws a perfect strike into the end zone to an open Trent Edwards. Can't beat these boys!

Steelers Preview

The Steelers should prove to be the stiffest test for the Bills' offense and defense this preseason, especially with the Colts' Peyton Manning sidelined. Steelers looked impressive on their opening drive against the Eagles and always play a physical brand of football, regardless of preseason or not.

Steelers' WR Holmes looks ready for a huge season and will give the Bills CBs a stern test, with the Steelers defense ready to test QB Edwards' "poise" level.

Have to wonder if Bills' COO Russ Brandon has asked the Bills to step up their game in Toronto to secure a victory, for the sake of future ticket sales, concessions, TV ratings, and media PR.

The additional advantage of winning this game for the Bills is the ability to create a undefeated streak that can be continued with the Dolphins this year. The streak may become useful the next couple of years, with opposition becoming stiffer.

The psychological advantage for the players and fans' excitement can give the Bills a legitimate and dominating home-field advantage.

A victory is not a priority in preseason. The only advantage is dulling the pain of the bumps and bruises the next day. With the city of Toronto potentially being a major financial windfall, look for the Bills to win this game at all costs; with the goal of trying to improve their preparation and execution from the previous Redskins game.