There is a good deal to like about the Bills’ offense, and some of it was on display in the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday night.
The Bills’ skill-position depth looks to be a strength. The WR corps is skilled. No. 1 pick Sammy Watkins didn’t register a catch in the exhibition opener against the Giants, but his talent is obvious, and he’s drawn rave reviews this summer. Ex-Buccaneers wideout Mike Williams showed some strength and run-after-catch ability in turning a screen pass into an 11-yard-gain. And second-year pro Robert Woods can play, too.
The Bills’ backfield looks stout, too, with C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon a quality quartet. Buffalo’s ground game should be a strength this season. Brown, the ex-Eagle, is the wild card; he began the third quarter with three nice gains against the Giants’ backups.
Other positives: The Bills’ offensive line had a solid first half, not allowing a single sack. Jeff Tuel got the first shot at relieving starting quarterback E.J. Manuel and played pretty well, completing 12-of-17 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown (though he was picked late in the first half).
As for Manuel? Well, the first game of his second NFL season left something to be desired. He had two passes knocked down, and he was almost picked off by dropping Giants linebacker Jacquian Williams. He also overthrew Watkins on a long pass attempt. Overall, Manuel completed just 2-of-7 passes for 19 yards. He did, however, appear to hit his second read on one of his completions, an eight-yard toss to tight end Lee Smith.
In the end, Sunday was just a start for the Bills’ offense. That’s all it is. The goal is getting everyone on the same page — and ascending — when Week One comes around. And if that happens, the Bills will be very interesting to watch.