Denver Broncos vs. Buffalo Bills
The Denver Broncos and the Buffalo Bills both look for their first win of the preseason as they face off in Denver on Saturday. The Broncos are -4.5 point favorites over the Bills with an over/under point total set at 36.5.
The Denver Broncos should be one of the more improved teams in the NFL this season and while it’s tough to take much away from the first preseason game at Dallas, Denver has a lot of things they can smile about. Kyle Orton only completed two of his eight passes and Time Tebow completed six of his seven but neither’s role in the game could be considered significant as Brady Quinn got the bulk of the snaps and threw the only touchdown pass for the Broncos. The Broncos gave a lot of running backs carries as Knowshawn Moreno saw light action but scored a TD, Willis McGahee carried just twice gaining 17 yards. Lance Ball had the most carries with eight but his spot on the depth chart definitely looked unsettled as Jeremiah Johnson was impressive in his four carries finding the endzone once. Eron Riley and David Anderson both led the team in receptions with three but Eric Decker looked like he could be an answer catching a 29 yard pass, Mark Dell could be a contributor, and Eddie Royal was back to practicing live on Monday and should see action this week. The Denver defense should be markedly improved as Elvis Dumervil returned playing just a series and one extra play, Von Miller saw his first action but Nate Jones had six tackles and Braxton Kelly and Cassius Vaughn each had four tackles. We should see more of the starters this week and get a better idea as to what we can expect to see from the Broncos this year but it’s clear this is going to be John Fox’s team which means a lot more running the football.
The Buffalo Bills starters played sparingly in game one at Chicago but if what we saw was any indication at all of what we are going to see from the Bills offense this year it’s going to be a long season in Orchard Park. Ryan Fitzpatrick completed seven of his nine passes, Levi Brown was seven of 15 with an interception and Josh Nesbitt didn’t throw a pass while Tyler Thigpen was ineffective completing just a pass. Buffalo’s most compelling work under center was by Brad Smith who took several snaps from the “Wildcat” including throwing three passes and running the ball three times including picking up a nice first down. Fred Jackson carried three times for 18 yards, C.J. Spiller took two handoffs, and Johnny White carried the ball nine times and while his numbers weren’t impressive, he looked to be a guy who can and will play in the NFL. Naaman Roosevelt led Bills receivers with three catches as did Steve Johnson. The good news for Buffalo was on defense where they had nine sacks including two each by Shawne Merriman and Danny Batten while Kellen Heard had a sack and forced a fumble and Aaron Williams had an interception. It was a sloppy game in the rain overall but it was clear the Bills have some work to do and we should see the starters go deeper this week in Denver.
Buffalo couldn’t get out of their own way on offense and the Broncos first unit offense didn’t do much either and I like the way both of these defenses looked. Both of these teams defenses looked respectable and I see them both getting even better, so scoring will probably be low here.