There was 182 days between the Super Bowl and Hall of Fame Game, which was 182 days too many. Sure Sunday’s game was only a preseason game, but there were still many reasons to tune in to NBC last night. Rookies like Sammy Watkins were getting their first taste of NFL action, while Eli Manning took his first snap after off-season surgery.
Here are three takeaways from Sunday night’s preseason battle between the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants:
Seantrel Henderson Shines: The Bills seventh round draft pick has had quite the training camp thus far. With starting left tackle Cordy Glenn on the sidelines with a non-football related illness, the rookie from the University of Miami has been thrust into a starting role. Since the beginning of camp, Henderson has held his own against some of Buffalo’s best pass rushers. Henderson’s spectacular play has even been noted by some of his veteran linemates.
“Seantrel is doing a great job. I’ve seen a lot to like out of him,” center Eric Wood said. “He’s really taken this opportunity to run with it. He’s extremely talented. He’s really working on his technique diligently, and I’m glad he’s on our team.”
Sunday night’s game gave the rookie tackle an opportunity to match up against some fresh talent, and Henderson held his own. Time and time again the left tackle was able to stymie the likes of Jason Pierre-Paul. It was a very good start for Seantrel Henderson.
Andre Williams Makes Case For Himself: The show the former Boston College product put on Sunday night made some question how Williams fell to the Giants in the fourth round this past spring. Williams performance Sunday reminded fans, both of the college game and pro game, why he was the leading rusher in Division I this past fall.
Williams’ five carries for 35 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown was the lone highlight from the Giants’ first-team offense. Whether Andre Williams is the Giants starting running back right now or Week 1 or not is not the point, because he play a major role this season.
Jim Kelly Steals The Show: Was Jim Kelly inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend? No, but it certainly seemed like it.
From taking part in the coin toss Sunday night, to throwing a pass to Andre Reed at the Hall of Fame inductions Saturday night, to having a feature broadcast throughout the afternoon all over ESPN Sunday, Jim Kelly was everywhere. As he should be. The fact that Kelly was even present in Canton this weekend is incredible within itself.
The former Bills quarterback has been through hell and back. From losing four straight Super Bowls, to losing his son and to being diagnosed with cancer, Jim Kelly continues to fight. He continues to fight because he is tough, he is Kelly Tough.
Hall of Fame weekend was extremely important to Kelly because he wanted to be there to support his teammate and friend Andre Reed. Reed’s speech was rather emotional as he mentioned the connection between the two friends. In Reed’s speech he cites “12 plus 83 always equals 6″ and called Kelly one of the toughest guys he’s ever known.
You don’t have to be a Buffalo Bills fan to be a fan of Jim Kelly and that was extremely clear this weekend.
Remember… No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills, and no one emulates that phrase more than Jim Kelly.