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Bills Fall In Preseason Opener to Redskins, 17-14

Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (22), avoids a tackle by Washington Redskins safety Kareem Moore (41), during the first half of their pre-season football game Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008, in Landover, Md. Redskins won 17-14.

The Bills played their first pre-season game in Washington this evening and while it is just pre-season and it is very early there were some things that could cause concern for Bills fans.

The Bills first team offense played just two series, and both times their progress was stalled by inaccurate throws from Edwards and by false start penalties. The false start penalties are cause for concern because it makes one wonder how the line is going to gel minus Jason Peters at camp, especially when the penalties were on Chambers and Walker.

Chambers would not be starting if not for the absence of Peters, and Walker is playing out of position at Peters’ left tackle spot. If Peters’ holdout continues for a long period of time the line may lack the consistency that goes along with working together throughout camp, which is not a good thing for a team working on a new offense and trying to reach the playoffs. When all was said and done Lynch only played one series, Edwards played two and finished 1-5 for 18 yards, and the line had two penalties in two series.

The starting defense fared well in its first series, forcing the Redskins to punt, but in the second series the defense looked a lot like last year’s unit. While not every starter was in many still were and the Redskins steamrolled the Bills with a time consuming 12-play drive resulting in a Clinton Portis TD.

Once the starters went to the bench and the reserves units came on for both teams things improved for the Bills. J.P. Losman looked very solid, completing 7 of 9 passes for 73 yards and a TD pass to rookie James Hardy. If you like to talk about a QB controversy odds are you’ll have the opportunity to do so on talk radio shows in Buffalo on Monday.

Rookie DB Leodis McKelvin also looked solid in his first outing, especially in the returns game. On two different occasions he had long returns, one being a 45 yard punt return and the other being a 37 yard kick return that led to a field goal for the offense.

While it’s just the pre-season it was nice to see the two rookies make immediate contributions but the struggles of the starting offense and especially Edwards are cause for concern. It is also clear that the sooner the Bills can get Peters into camp the better off they will be, as the line could continue to struggle with consistency in his absence. After only three more preseason games the games start to count, and it’s apparent that the Bills have some work to do until then.

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