It really was a closer game than the final score indicated.  The Bills lost their second straight pre-season game Friday night to the Minnesota Vikings 36 to 14.  It doesn't matter if you lose by a point, or 50, it's still a loss.  But in the pre-season it just doesn't matter.  There's no game plan.  The coaches simply want to see as many players in game situations as possible.

A few key mistakes was the difference.  The Bills were only trailing by five points in the fourth quarter and driving in Minnesota territory when they decided to go for it on a fourth and five.  The pass play came up one yard short.  Then late in the game Bills qauarterbacks Tyler Thigpen and Brad Smith threw interceptions on consecutive plays from scrimmage, both returned for touchowns by the same guy - rookie linebacker Audie Cole.

One of the bright spots was the play of quarterback Vince Young who completed eight passes for 123 yards including a 64-yard bomb to rookie T-J Graham.  Young is competing with Thigpen for the back-up job to Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The biggest concern is the officiating.  With the regular officials sitting out in a contract dispute, replacement officials are handling NFL games this summer, but barely.  They've missed some obvious calls.  But, let's be honest, pre-season games just don't matter.  They're exhibitions and from year to year I have a tough time remembering what their record was in the summer.  Nobody really cares.  It's just a way to get an idea of what these players can do.  It's not a fair representation of what this team will be like when they play for real.

Their next pre-season game is Saturday night at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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