It looked like Kelvin Benjamin was going to have himself a day.
The Buffalo Bills’ new receiver caught a 9-yard pass on the second play from scrimmage Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Twice more on the opening drive, Benjamin was targeted by quarterback Tyrod Taylor, although those passes felt incomplete.
Things changed dramatically from that point, though, for both Benjamin and the Bills in what turned into an ugly 47-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints at New Era Field.
Benjamin wasn’t targeted again until Nathan Peterman replaced Taylor late in the fourth quarter.
“I think we came out there on that first drive, they was kind of more man” coverages, Benjamin said. “They switched up the coverages … rolling more to my side, I guess. I think we tried to come out fast and we did. It just kind of slowed down for us.”
So what the heck happened?
"We couldn't get into a rhythm after that," coach Sean McDermott said.
"The defense started rolling toward him," Taylor said. "Just a lack of execution across the board. Passing game, running game. That starts with me."
Benjamin finished the game with three catches for 42 yards, which led the team.
“I felt good. I felt very comfortable with the playbook,” he said. “Just trying to play fast, man. Unfortunately it didn't go our way. We'll get the film, find out the mistakes, fix them and move on.”
With the Bills trailing by as much as they were, the team was forced to go into its hurry-up offense. When it did, Benjamin was still on the field, which is a good sign, because those plays are relayed by signals.
“For my first game, I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty happy as far as … learning the playbook,” he said. “I’m here to play football and help the team win. I'm not trying to take all the targets. I'm not trying to do that. We have other receivers that can make plays, too. It just wasn’t going our way today.”