Optimism usually buoys fans through the preseason, but Bills devotees were already in midseason frustration form, loudly serenading EJ Manuel and the offense with boos into halftime of a 27-14 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Manuel gave nothing for Buffalo to be thrilled about. He missed passes, failed on reads and looked lost when his offensive line faltered.
The starting quarterback's stat line ended 19-of-28 passing for 198 yards a touchdown, interception and the fumble. However, Manuel made most of his hay against the Bucs' second-team defense, when he went 10 of 10 for 131 yards and the score.
Sadly for Bills fans, teams won't be playing backups when the games count.
Some other notes from Saturday's game:
3. Mike Williams gave some semblance of revenge against his former Bucs teammates, catching a touchdown and making a nice toe-tap sideline catch.
4. Tampa's O-line remains a huge problem. Josh McCown was under siege early, and the line got no push in the run game. When McCown gets time he will be effective. On a drive late in the first half, the signal-caller led a beautiful 11-play, 82-yard drive ending with a 26-yard touchdown dime to Mike Evans.