There's been plenty of dreary football at a dreary Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. The Buffalo Bills are tied with the Dallas Cowboys, 6-6.
It's been rough.
Here are a few halftime thoughts.
Preseason Atmosphere. Both teams are missing key starters on both sides of the ball and it shows. It's a been a rough game of bad tackling angles, overthrows, penalties and overall sloppiness. Incredibly, Ralph Wilson Stadium is nearly full for this game between the 6-8 Bills and 4-10 Cowboys. Really, the loser wins here, inching closer to a higher draft pick. Both teams are playing as such.
Awful interception: The final drive of the first half had some promise. Sammy Watkins ran a deep cross for 38 yards with 56 seconds left to get the ball deep into Cowboys territory. Taylor then set the franchise all-time rushing record for a quarterback on a six-yard run, breaking Doug Flutie's '99 mark. Then, predictably, things fell apart. Taylor's miserable third-down pass --- maybe a fade? --- to Chris Hogan was easily intercepted and the Bills went into halftime tied a 6-6. Fans booed the home team soundly.
Rambo's gaffe. For the second week in a row, Bacarri Rambo took a brutal tackle angle from the safety position. In a 35-25 loss at Washington, he missed badly on DeSean Jackson's 77-yard touchdown. On Sunday, he was in position to tackle Brice Butler --- not quite Dez Bryant --- and missed. Butler took the slant pass 34 yards down to Buffalo's doorstep before the Dallas drive stalled. Rambo can wreak havoc on the back end but has also been caught out of position too much for someone on the last line of defense. Will Aaron Williams be ready for contact when training camp rolls around next summer? The Bills will need to find dependable safeties for 2016.
Mike Gillislee is Anders Lindback. Tank Mode would be Best Mode for the Bills at this point. Sound familiar? Well, one player who's getting in the way of a better draft pick for the football team in Buffalo has been running back Mike Gillislee. He's bee one of this scouting department's best midseason finds this season. On third down, he took one Tyrod Taylor swing pass 14 yards, down to the 1-yard line where Karlos Williams punched it in for six. He reads his holes well and is slippery through the hole. Expect much more of the Florida Gator in the second half. He has 23 yards on five carries, a rare reason for fans to cheer so far Sunday.
Bawitawhat? Dan Carpenter missed his fifth extra point of the season, a point that's been the difference in the game so far. Surly on the subject a few weeks back, the Kid Rock lookalike said the NFL is getting what it wants. Still, he's missing more extra points than other kickers and it's been a problem all year. So... should the Bills add an extra-point specialist, too? They already have a kickoff specialist. Yeah, they'll need to rethink kicker in the off-season and find one who's reliable with everything.
Injuries, of course: Yep, there were more. Wide receiver Marcus Easley was carted off with what appears to be a severe leg injury. Trainers encased the vet's leg in a cast and he was in clear, visible pain. Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus also went down with a shoulder injury and was ruled out.