Preview:  Bills vs. Vikings Preseason Game #1

by Paul Peck, Buffalo Sports Page

Let me get this on the record right away:  I hate the preseason.

I hate everything about it.  I hate that all of us can’t wait for it, because it signals the beginning of the season.  I hate that we then use that anticipation to answer the questions we’ve been asking all offseason. I hate that the preseason always never provides any of those answers.  Thus, I hate the preseason for getting us excited or angry over stuff that will have no impact on the regular season.  I hate that the teams make no effort to have the preseason mean anything.  They don’t play their key players, and they don’t game plan for opponents.  I hate that the majority of players in the preseason are players who will never actually play in a meaningful NFL game.  I hate that some of those players who actually look good usually get cut anyway because, after all , who did they look good against?  I hate that the preseason is just a money grab by the owners and a TV time filler.  I hate it, hate it, hate it.

OK, glad I got that off my chest.  I feel better now.

So, are you ready for the Bills vs. Vikings in the preseason opener at New Era Field?

The Sean McDermott era begins with the new Bills head coach saying his starters will play around one quarter.  I doubt the main stars (McCoy, Watkins, Kyle Williams) will even play that much.

The real benefits of this game come for the young players and rookies.  It will be their first chance to suit up and play in an official NFL game, even if it’s not their first time in New Era Field.

“When the lights come on, it’s a little bit different, which is part of the reason why we went down to Buffalo last week, so we could get a dry run and also so the players could get a dry run,” said McDermott. “We’ve got quite a number of young players on this roster who have never played in a game before, so this will be their first time. We wanted to get them into a routine, wanted to get them acclimated to the locker room and to the routine, so that it’s not, “hey this is the first time,” and then bang, they’re up against an opponent. We do get a lot off of the evaluation in games. You come to find out things that you never knew before. Just like when you go from the spring, where it’s just helmets, to full pads. There’s a difference, some things come out. That’ll be part of the evaluation and what we’re anxious to see come Thursday night.”

So here are a few thing I do want to see in this game:

  • No starters play more than one quarter.
  • Tyrod Taylor throw the ball over the middle.
  • Sammy Watkins catch a 5 yard out, run out of bounds, and stay on the sidelines for the rest of the night.
  • LeSean McCoy wear a hat and not a helmet.
  • Tre’Davious White look like he’ll belong as a starter.
  • Tight End Logan Thomas give me hope that he can be a weapon.
  • Defensive end Eddie Yarborough continue his good camp, and get a sack.
  • Buffalo native Jordan Johnson rip off a nice run
  • Jonathan Williams rip off a few nice runs
  • Rookie linebackers Matt Milano and Tanner Vallejo look like they belong, especially on special teams
  • Nate Peterman look solid

If I see most of this, I won’t be such a preseason hater.

Stay with Buffalo Sports Page for our postgame reactions and observations.


Paul Peck

Paul Peck is sports broadcaster with over 25 years experience in TV and Radio. He served as sports anchor, reporter, and producer at WIVB for 24 years. In that role, he covered all four Buffalo Bills Super Bowls, the Buffalo Sabres in the Stanley Cup Finals, the NCAA Basketball Tournament and the Daytona 500. He has been the Voice of the UB Bulls Football for 17 seasons, in addition to host of Bulls Athletics TV & Radio shows. Peck also served as the sideline reporter for the Buffalo Bills Football Network, host of the bowling show "Beat The Champ" and announces college basketball for ESPN 3 and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel. He has also been the Master of Ceremonies for the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, one of the largest sports banquets in WNY.

Paul is also involved in the local business community, having been a financial advisor at AXA Advisors, and is currently the Vice President of Sports Development at VSP Graphics Group.

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