If the Bills hope their offense is going to take a step forward with second-year quarterback EJ Manuel this year, they can’t feel good about the results of the preseason.
As of the end of the first quarter of today’s preseason game against the Buccaneers, the Bills have managed a total of nine points, on three field goals, in the first quarters of their four preseason games. (The Bills have put more points on the board later in games, but mostly with backups on the field for both teams.)
In today’s first quarter the Bills scored zero points. Their five offensive possessions ended with three punts, an interception and a fumble.
The fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium don’t seem to be enjoying what they’re watching, and Manuel has heard his share of boos.
Tampa Bay’s offense hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, but the Bucs have taken advantage of the short fields they’re getting from the Bills. The Bucs got a touchdown on a five-play, 39-yard drive and a field goal on an eight-play, 27-yard drive, and Tampa leads 10-0.
UPDATE 5:40 p.m. ET: Shortly after we posted this, the Bills’ offense went from bad to worse: Manuel fumbled and Tampa Bay’s Clinton McDonald recovered and returned it for a 17-yard touchdown to make the score 17-0 Bucs.