As dreadful as pre-seasons can be in any professional sport, there isn’t an exhibition schedule long enough for the latest little-hope edition of the Buffalo Bills to get it right.
What a fifth summer game allowed the foundering franchise, however, was to find a new and arguably unnecessary way to mess it up.
Head coach Doug Marrone’s quest to build confidence and/or competence in the Bills offence Thursday night at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the Detroit Lions only ended in potential calamity.
His second-year quarterback (and first-round pick from 2013), EJ Manuel, continued to struggle as the leader of a unit absent a competent offensive line and thus unable to even revert to a once reliable running game. And that was the good news.
The gloom came not in the 23-0 loss to the Lions, but early on when flashy first-year receiver (and fleeting beacon off off-season hope) Sammy Watkins was forced out of the game with a rib injury in the first quarter.