Bills WR Sammy Watkins pulled in zero of his three targets during Sunday night’s preseason opener against the Giants; EJ Manuel completed just 2-of-7 passes for 19 yards, Robert Woods pulled in four passes for 49 yards and 1TD, Mike Williams pulled in 1 pass for 11 yards, CJ Spiller ran the ball one time for two yards, and Bryce Brown ran the ball seven times for 40 yards. On the Giants side of the football, Eli Manning completed 6-of-7 passes for 43 yards, Andre Williams ran the ball seven times for 48 yards and 1TD, and Rashad Jennings ran the ball seven times for 23 yards.
SMITTY: Sammy Watkins owners could be in some trouble early on in 2014 if EJ Manuel can’t find a way to deliver him the football. Manuel haters need to give it more than seven passes before they completely write him off as a legitimate NFL passer, but I can’t say he looked good on Sunday night, that’s for sure. He telegraphed everything, something he will need to remedy moving forward he he wants to get his rookie the football. Despite some early EJ Manuel concerns, we still have Sammy Watkins set for some pretty good full-season projections.
According to buffalobills.com’s Chris Brown, the rookie season AJ Green produced back in 2011 could be comparable to the rookie season Sammy Watkins is about to produce. Brown writes that the 65 receptions, 1,057 receiving yards, and 7TDs that Green pulled in as a rookie are not unrealistic numbers for Watkins this upcoming year.
SMITTY: Not many rookie receivers pull in 1,000 yards, let alone 7TDs, but it’s crazier to rule out such a stat line for Sammy Watkins this season than it is to rule it in. For our exact 2014 projections for Watkins (based on your scoring), run our Draft Analyzer. As for other Bills players, an elusive Watkins running all over the field is sure going to create nice rushing lanes for CJ Spiller, who could very well bounce-back in 2014.
According to buffalobills.com, the Bills are considering using CJ Spiller on special teams in 2014.
SMITTY: There are two ways to look at this. First, if the team does use CJ Spiller on returns, that could indicate that he may not be guaranteed as many starter-type carries on offense (meaning Bryce Brown and Fred Jackson could be more involved in the rushing game than most had predicted). Or, this could mean that Buffalo’s coaching staff just wants to get their most powerful weapon on the field more. Either way, returning kicks puts Spiller in a position to get hurt, so I’m not a fan of the idea. Nothing appears to be locked in, this report merely points out that Spiller is in the competition for the return job. If not returning kicks, which still could be the outcome here, Spiller could be in for a bounce-back year… Sammy Watkins also has a shot at the gig. Watkins should be in for a big rookie campaign, and could pull in 1,000 yards and 6 or so scores as a rookie (which is rare, but he is a rare talent).
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