Post-game: Chan Gailey wouldn't commit to Trent Edwards as his starting quarterback, despite another stellar performance by the frontrunner against the Bengals. But it's fairly clear that the job was Edwards' to lose, and he strengthened his hold on the job with his solid play on Saturday night.
"He's earned the right to be in the position he's in right now," Gailey said. "We're still evaluating everybody. As they continue to play, they continue to get better. If everybody continues to get better, it'll probably end up like it is. I still want to reserve the right to make an evaluation, though."
More quotes from after the game:
Edwards on the offense scoring three times in the first half: "I don't want to get too ahead of myself, but I think we're finding our rhythm. We're starting to get in synch. We're starting to be a little more active. We're starting to hit some holes a little bit harder. It's the little things it's going to come down to. We did a lot of little things well tonight, and I think we'll be able to win some football games in the regular season tonight if we do that."
Edwards on whether his confidence is as high as it's been in his NFL career:
"I don't know. I feel like I''m just enjoying it a lot more. I don't know about my confidence. I feel like I'm having fun out there. I really enjoy playing with these guys. I really enjoy playing for Chan.It's fun having C.J. in the backfield. It's fun throwing to Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish. It's fun winning football games. So if that leads to more confidence, then yes.
"But it's still preseason. I don't want to get ahead of myself. There's still going to be mistakes on tape. There's still a ton of room for corrections. We need to do a good job of not getting too high after a win like this. We need to come back on Monday. I think we have film and practice. We need to fix the mistakes we made and move on to the Lions on Thursday."
Aaron Maybin, who had two sacks, on gettings a lot of reps late in the game:
"I think it's important. You can ask the coaching staff and myself. I think we all feel as though the reps are definitely the only way you're going to get better. So I'm trying to take as many reps as possible, as many reps as the coaches will let me and as many reps as I can get out there. And then, with our position at linebacker, with Reggie (Torbor) being down, and some other guys taking some shots, even guys that are playing that are dinged up, we don't have the necessity of just sitting some guy some time."
Gailey, asked whether C.J. Spiller's play surprised him:
"No. He didn't surprise me. I saw him up close and personal for two years (when Gailey was at Georgia Tech and Spiller at Clemson in the ACC). He doesn't surprise me a lick. He's a very good football player, and can do a lot of different things."
End of game: Bills beat the Bengals, 35-20, sending the youngsters home happy on the 10th annual Kids Day at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Announced crowd was 57,867. They're now 2-1 on the preseason and have scored 34 and 35 points in successive games. So what do you think? Better than the critics suspect?
2:40 left in the game: Sorry, was busy writing on deadline. Bills are safely ahead, 35-20, and will move to 2-1 on the preseason. The Buffalo backups had their way against the Bengals in the second half, an encouraging sign. David Nelson continued his bid for a receiving spot, catching a 20-yard TD throw from Ryan Fitzpatrick midway through the third quarter.
The Bengals kicked a couple of field goals and trailed, 28-20, after the third. But Reggie Corner picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown for the decisive score.
We'll have more statistics, quotes and other observations after the post-game interviews.
--- Jerry Sullivan.
Halftime: Wow. If the Bills were looking to generate excitement by taking C.J. Spiller in the draft, they're getting their wish. For the second preseason game in a row, Spiller scored a touchdown that left Bills fans gasping for breath. Late in the half, Spiller took an inside handoff from Trent Edwards, darted to his left, avoided a couple of tacklers and sprinted into the left corner of the end zone for a 20-yard TD and 21-14 halftime lead.
It was a terrific first half for the Bills' offense after an initial three-and-out. Edwards was accurate and swift with his decision making. He got Roscoe Parrish into the offense. An of course, Spiller creates a crisis for the defense every time he touches the ball. He had two huge negative runs early, but he got going late in the half and found seams in the Bengals' defense.
The Bills' first-team defense was weak again. The special teams continue to be mediocre. Those are major concerns, but at least the offense is coming on. If nothing else, the Bills might given their fans some high-scoring games as they attempt the slow climb back to respectability.
Spiller finished the half with 52 yards on 12 carries -- a 4.3 average despite a minus-11 yarder. Edwards was 13 of 17 for 153 yards, getting the ball to seven different receivers. The Bengals QBs were 13 of 18 for 131 yards and they averaged 5.6 yards on 12 rushes. Rough night for the Buffalo starting D.
--- Jerry Sullivan.
8:33 left in the second: It's 14-14, as the Bills' starting offense once again answered a score from the Bengals. With Trent Edwards again making quick, accurate throws, the Bills marched to a TD. C.J. Spiller, who had a 20-yard run early in the drive, capped it with a 1-yard dash around left end for the TD.
Chan Gailey is clearly making a difference with this offense, especially with his utilization of Roscoe Parrish in the slot. Edwards hit Parrish with a gorgeous 28-yard out during the drive. He also found Corey McIntyre in the flat for a 16-yard gain. Gailey is calling plays that have Edwards getting the ball away quick and compensating for the offensive line's shortcomings.
The defense is another matter. Gailey said they were ahead of the offense in the spring, and it seemed the case early in camp. But the first-team D has been brutal in the three preseason games, giving up two TDs in each game and getting beaten consistently on pass plays down the middle and runs between the tackles. Carson Palmer carved up the Buffalo D on his second TD drive, hitting Terrell Owens twice and finding Chad Ochocinco open in the left corner of the end zone for a TD on second-and-goal from the 6.
--- Jerry Sullivan
4:13 left in the first: It looks like we have another entertaining preseason tilt on our hands. After 10 minutes and change, it's 7-7. The Bengals scored on their first possession to take a 7-0 lead, getting a 51-yard kickoff return to start the drive and a 9-yard TD pass from Carson Palmer to wide-open tight end Jermaine Gresham for the score. Terrell Owens caught the first ball thrown his way for a 16-yard gain over the middle to keep the drive going.
The Bills tied in with a curious drive that began on an 11-yard loss by rookie C.J. Spiller. Trent Edwards, who has been sharp thus far, hits passes to David Nelson and Lee Evans to get a first down. He finished the drive -- which was aided by a personal four call against Cincinnati defensive end Jonathan Fanene -- with a 12-yard TD throw on a crossing pattern to Roscoe Parrish.
--- Jerry Sullivan
Welcome to Ralph Wilson Stadium, where the Bills host the Bengals tonight in the annual Kids Day preseason game. It's the 10th year of the event, which means no kids have yet to witness a Bills team on its way to a playoff berth.
C.J. Spiller will start again for the Bills at running back in the absence of Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch. Fellow rookie Torell Troup gets the start at nose for Kyle Williams, who is nursing minor injuries. Terrell Owens, returning to Buffalo after one rather uneventful year, starts at wideout for the Bengals in place of Antonio Bryant.
Rookie Joique Bell is tied for second in the NFL in preseason rushing yards with 132 yards on 16 carries. Bell, making a strong roster bid, is leading the league in average per carry at 8.2. The Bills are the only team with three backs averaging 5.0 per carry. Spiller has 14 rushes for 70 yards. Chad Simpson has 75 yards on 15 carries.
It will be interesting to see if the Bills continue to prosper on the ground tonight. Cincinnati is a strong defensive team with solid cornerbacks. The Bills need to establish the run to open up their suspect passing attack. Trent Edwards is expected to play a half tonight in the one-sided "open" competition for the starter's job. Edwards is the nominal No. 1, and doesn't figure to lose the job unless he is positively brutal tonight and one of the other QBs lights up the stadium.
--- Jerry Sullivan