--Buffalo's pass rush was among the few bright spots in their 36-14 loss to Minnesota. Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams sacked Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder on the game's opening drive. Still, Ponder went three-for-three for 56 yards, including a 33-yard pass completion to Jerome Simpson, who hurdled over Buffalo free safety Jairus Byrd in the process. The Vikings went on to score. "Normally sacks stop drives," coach Chan Gailey said. "We have to keep them reeling once we get more."
--The Bills were outgained by the Vikings 421-317. Minnesota averaged a healthy 5.9 yards per rush to Buffalo's 3.4 and the Bills were a combined 5 of 17 on third- and fourth-down conversions. "Tough loss tonight. We have a lot of work to do between now and the season opener," left guard Andy Levitre tweeted. Said linebacker Shawne Merriman: "Not what we wanted so we got some work to do buckling down for the next one."
--After being whistled for 17 penalties against Washington the week before (14 were accepted for 134 yards), the Bills fared better in the penalty department against Minnesota. The Vikings accepted seven penalties for 55 yards. Many of the calls against Buffalo by substitute NFL officials were borderline. "We still need to cut down on our penalties," wide receiver Donald Jones said. "We are just killing ourselves out there. Next week, we will get more work because we will probably be out there three quarters and continue to work on putting everything together."
--Bills first-round pick Stephon Gilmore has made a good early impression and is on track to open the year in the starting lineup. The Bills are willing to live with his growing pains because his upside is so great. Gilmore has terrific size and speed and has shown very well in coverage. "I have learned so much since I have been here to now, so I think I just have to keep taking it one day at a time and I will be good," Gilmore said. Gilmore is confident without a hint of cockiness. "I just feel like this is in me. I am here to come out and just compete and play my game," he said. "I love playing football and that is what I love to do. My team has got my back and I am happy to be here."
--Defensive back Delano Hall, a rookie free agent from Stanford, is among the sleepers in camp. Playing free safety with the second unit, Hall tied for the team lead in tackles with four against Minnesota and also had a fumble recovery. The Bills are in the market for a fourth safety and Hall could be the man. "He's making a run at this thing," said coach Chan Gailey when asked of Hall's play.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"It is my seventh year in the league, so football is football and our system is pretty simple. We do not make it complicated. We try to keep it easy so we can play fast. You just basically know what you have to do and it is just about going out and being fast." -- DE Mario Williams on his approach to the preseason.
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