The Buffalo Bills have had no shortage of poor news this season. First round pick Shaq Lawson needed surgery, second round pick Reggie Ragland will miss the entire season, Marcell Dareus got suspended, and Karlos Williams was cut. Despite all of that, the Bills are the top ranked team in the preseason, according to Pro Football Focus.

And if the Bills can finish the preseason at the top, they will be in good company.

If the Bills finish with a record like that, the preseason drought will finally be over andfans everywhere can celebrate.

Preseason performances

The Bills preseasonstatistics could be slightly inflated by a 21-0 thrashing of the New York Giants in week two of the preseason.

The Giants offense was rendered completely ineffective by a Bills defense that stifled every group the Giants put out there. The offense groups weren't bad either, putting up 21 points on the Giants fairly easily. Tyrod Taylor was impressive, completing 7 of 10 passes for 132 yards and throwing for one touchdown. Even E.J. Manuel managed to throw for a touchdown on a battered Giants defense.

The first preseason game against the Colts wasn't as good.

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But Tyrod Taylor played only one series in the 19-18 loss the Bills suffered in week 1. And there were several bright spots. Cardale Jones looked like he could be the Bills quarterback of the future after he led a successful two minute drill with no timeouts. The Bills rookie finished the game with 162 passing yards, 34 rushing yards, and a touchdown, impressive numbers for a rookie making his first appearance.

The Defense

The real story for the Buffalo Bills has to be the play of the defense. In two preseason games, the defense has looked consistently dominant against the best players from opposing teams. That's great news for a team that will be without two key draft picks and Marcell Dareus for a significant period of time. The defense also looks much more comfortable with the new system that Rex Ryan has finally implemented to full effect.

Last year, the Bills played a hybrid defense that catered to the strengths of the team. Now Rex Ryan will be able to call plays on defense without the confusion that accompanied some of the playcallinglast season.

Penalties

The one thing that the Bills still need to fix are the penalties. The Bills had 143 penalties for more than 1200 yards last season, numbers that cannot happen again if the teamwants to make the playoffs this year.

The Bills had 11 penalties in their first game against the Colts, something that needs to be and should be fixed in the regular season. If the Bills can do that, they could be making their first playoff appearance in sixteen years.

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