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Buffalo Bills Look to End Scoreless Skid as They Host Tampa Bay Buccaneers

August 23rd, 2014 at 11:30 AM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

The Buffalo Bills won't be too concerned with wins or losses as they prepare to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in preseason action Saturday (4:30 p.m.). But they will be concerned with finally scoring a first-team touchdown.

The Bills (1-2) have yet to see their starters score a touchdown this preseason. Quarterback EJ Manuel, for one, feels the pressure that's created but feels that streak will end Saturday:

"It's very important because that's going to help us win, period. The more we find the end zone, the more we'll win games."

The Bills' starting unit is 0-for-5 this preseason in the red zone, which has stalled a starting unit that's moved the fall fairly well overall. Wide receiver Mike Williams, who's fighting for a spot with that starting unit, said it was a point of emphasis all week:

"We've been working on it. We know that's a point of emphasis. We weren't ranked high in the red zone last year."

The Bills' starters figure to play into the third quarter Saturday before basically sitting out the preseason finale next week. Coach Doug Marrone would not commit to a firm timetable for how long they will play, but he said the coaching staff won't be afraid to keep them in as long as necessary so that they can get work in.

Marrone said the team's training camp, which wrapped up Thursday, was productive overall, with joint practices with the Pittsburgh Steelers and a fifth preseason game giving the team extra practice. That practice is needed if the team will end its 14-year playoff drought, he said:

"We are close. What is it going to be to get over the top? It's a matter of either you get over the top or you don't, and we've got to find a way to push ourselves over the top."

The starters' extended stay on the field means the coaching staff put together at least a partial game plan for the Buccaneers, who are debuting a new coach this season in Lovie Smith. They also have a new starting quarterback in Josh McCown, who's taken the job from last year's starter Mike Glennon. Tampa is coming off a 4-12 season and hasn't been in the playoffs since 2007.

Defensive tackle Kyle Williams, cornerback Leodis McKelvin and receiver Sammy Watkins are all questionable with injuries.

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One Response to “Buffalo Bills Look to End Scoreless Skid as They Host Tampa Bay Buccaneers”

  1.  Wayne Lester says:

    The first string offense has only 5 trips in the red zone in 3 games so far… So thats an average of 1.4 trips to the red zone per game and taking account that the first string only played about 2 quarters per game means their average would be 2.8 red zone trips per full game… ok so that means the Bills will average 3×7= 21 points per game IF they score a touch down EVERYTIME they get into the red zone (which is exactly what the offense averaged in points per game last year). Since the Bills offense is still averaging the same as last year and the defense lost Kiko Alonso and Jarius Byrd (which negates any new players on defense this year) and they also have a new defensive coordinator again… this year would put the Bills back at 6-10 for this year… BUT considering the Bills only played 3 playoff teams last year (Kansas City, Carolina and New England) and play 5 playoff teams this year (San Diego, New England, Kansas City, Denver and Green Bay) this will put the Bills at 4-12 for the season.

    Conclusion: Cleveland gets the #1 draft pick next year.

    Prediction: Bills lose to Tampa Bay by 6 points.

    “You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe (like EJ will take the Bills to the playoffs). You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole (playoff drought) goes. Remember — all I am offering is the truth, nothing more.”

    A Bills Fan since 1978.

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