Three up, three down following Bills' loss to Ravens - The Buffalo News

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Three up, three down following Bills' loss to Ravens

BALTIMORE – Sean McDermott took the glass-half-full approach Saturday night.

After sending his star defensive tackle home for a violation of team rules and then watching his starting quarterback get knocked out of the Buffalo Bills' preseason game against the Ravens, McDermott insisted afterward that the sky is not falling.

"There were a lot of positives," he said. "We gave great effort. We gave ourselves a chance to win the game at the end. We need to win those games. And that becomes a mindset, a winning mindset. ... And that's how our team needs to grow in that area."

Here is a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling after the third preseason game:

Three up

• Charles Clay – Seven targets resulted in four catches for 47 yards for the Bills' starting tight end. That's a promising sign heading toward the regular season. The Bills have carefully managed Clay's work load this summer, and Saturday showed he looks ready for meaningful games.

• Preston Brown – The middle linebacker had a team-high seven tackles and otherwise led a run defense that held the Ravens to 41 yards on just 16 carries in the first half. The bright spot in the preseason has definitely been the Bills' run defense.

• E.J. Gaines – The newly acquired cornerback had one tackle and one pass defensed, but he drew praise from McDermott after the game. "I thought E.J. played at an extremely high level," the coach said.

Three down

• Richie Incognito – A pair of holding penalties contributed to the offense's struggles. Incognito has been a rock at left guard for the past two seasons, so one poor showing is nothing to fret too much about. It wasn't one of his best showings, though.

• Andre Holmes – He was targeted five times, but made just one catch for 9 yards. The Bills are desperate for a receiver to step up following Anquan Boldin's retirement. At least Saturday, Holmes wasn't that guy.

• Marcell Dareus – This spot it usually reserved for someone who, you know, plays. But Dareus is a special case. What an absolute mess the Bills have on their hands here. The team's highest-paid player can't be counted on. Quick – when's the last game you can remember Dareus having a positive impact on? You're probably going back to 2014 for it. For those asking why the Bills don't trade Dareus, remember that he has one of the worst contracts in the league, is one failed drug test away from a 10-game suspension and, again, can't be counted on. Other than that, though! It will be fascinating to see what General Manager Brandon Beane does with Dareus.

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