BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot
FINAL THOUGHTS: Thank goodness the preseason is over! Buffalo fell to 2-2 on the preseason after losing to the Lions 35-13.
Buffalo’s game against the Lions was rough to watch with two new quarterbacks under center. Matt Leinart was given the chance to start but did not take advantage of the opportunity. Leinart finished the game 3/10 for 11 yards with two interceptions. Thad Lewis took over for Leinart a few minutes into the second quarter and started off slowly. However, by the end of the night Lewis was 7/16 for 132 yards passing with one touchdown. Lewis also added 51 yards on seven carries. When Buffalo trims its roster to 53 players, look for Lewis to be Buffalo’s fourth quarterback after E.J. Manuel, Jeff Tuel and Kevin Kolb.
The big theme of the evening for the Bills were injuries. Three wide receivers suffered injuries: Marquise Goodwin, Chris Hogan and Marcus Easley. Luckily, all three injuries were not serious. Goodwin was poked in the eye and did not return, but both Hogan and Easley returned to the game. Easley had the offensive play of the game with a 79-yard touchdown reception from Lewis.
Unfortunately, not all of Buffalo’s injuries were minor. Doug Legursky had to be carted off in the second half with a knee injury. While no word has been given on the severity, the injury did not look good and I’d expect Legursky to be out for some time.
Defensively, Buffalo’s cornerbacks were picked on early and often. T.J. Heath had the worst performance among all cornerbacks, but he was a long-shot to make the roster. Crezdon Butler was picked upon quite a bit in the first half, but he did improve in the second half.
On special teams, Dustin Hopkins made both of his field goal attempts and an extra point. Hopkins did not miss any kicks during the preseason. Cornerback Nickell Robey muffed his second punt of the preseason. Definitely not a good showing for someone fighting for a roster spot.
Perhaps the best news tonight came before the game when E.J. Manuel was seen tossing the ball on the field. When the Bills play the Patriots in Week 1 there’s a chance that the Bills’ first round pick will be under center.
Final Score: Lions 35 – Bills 13.
We’ve hit the two-minute warning! The Lions currently lead by 22 points. Thankfully, the preseason is about to end.
Lions 35 – Bills 13
Thad Lewis connected with Marcus Easley for a 79 yard touchdown pass. Lewis’ deep ball was accurate and hit Easley in stride. Lewis has won the third quarterback spot with his performance tonight.
Thad Lewis was moving the ball well again for the Bills, but the Bills turned the ball over on downs after a Marcus Easley drop on 4th and 2.
End of the 3rd Quarter:Lions 35 – Bills 6.
Thad Lewis is struggling to move the ball through the air, but he is proving his value as a runner. While neither Bills quarterback has played well, Lewis has outplayed Matt Leinart.
Buffalo will have to spend the next day and a half looking at the waiver wire to add a player to their offensive line as well as a cornerback.
Doug Legursky is on the turf grabbing his knee. He looks as though he hyper-extended it. Legursky was having a good night, especially in the running game. Losing Legursky long-term would hurt Buffalo’s offensive line depth significantly. It looks as though it’s a serious injury as Legursky had to be carted off the field.
Chris Hogan also returned to the game for the Bills. Thad Lewis attempted a deep pass to Hogan that fell incomplete.
Bryan Scott intercepted a Kellen Moore pass that was tipped by Izaan Cross.
Easley Update: Marcus Easley returned to the game for the Bills, but the drive stalled out.
Easley walked off the field on his own power. Much like the injuries to Marquise Goodwin and Chris Hogan, Easley’s injury seems to be minor.
Marcus Easley was shaken up on Thad Lewis’ 12 yard run. Easley is Buffalo’s third wide receiver to suffer an injury against the Lions.
Lions 35 – Bills 6
Buffalo moved the ball well on the ground to start the second half, especially on the left side of their offensive line. Unfortunately, the drive stalled out and Dustin Hopkins was called upon to kick a 36-yard field goal.
Injury Updates: Marquise Goodwin was poked in the eye in the first half and left the game. Goodwin should be okay to start the regular season.
Chris Hogan, who is fighting for a roster spot, hurt his ankle to start the second half. He’s likely out for the game, but did walk off on his own.
At the half, the Bills are down 35-3. The Bills are playing poorly across the board.
On offense the team’s struggles are somewhat understandable. Matt Leinart and Thad Lewis have only been with the team for a few days so their lack of success makes sense. The two quarterbacks are a combined 5/15 for 22 yards and 2 interceptions.
Defensively, the Lions have picked on T.J. Heath and Crezdon Butler often. Both players are having rough games, especially Heath. Butler has a strong chance of making Buffalo’s roster, but it’s important that the team finds another cornerback who can play cornerback until Stephon Gilmore is ready to return.
On special teams, Nickell Robey had his second muffed punt of the preseason. Robey still has a chance to make the roster at cornerback, but may be the first cornerback out of a job when the team finds a player they like on the waiver wire.
Lions 35 – Bills 3
Theo Riddick added his second touchdown reception of the night, a four yard pass from Kellen Moore. The Bills couldn’t look much worse in the first half.
Nickell Robey fumbled the catch on a punt to get the Lions the ball in the redzone. This is Robey’s second muffed punt of the preseason.
Lions 28 – Bills 3
Theo Riddick caught an eight yard pass from Kellen Moore to extend Detroit’s lead. The Lions are moving the ball on Buffalo’s backups with ease at this point.
Matt Willis looked as though he scored a 28 yard touchdown pass from Kellen Moore to extend Detroit’s lead to 28-3. However, the play was reversed as Willis only had one foot land in bounds.
Lions 21 – Bills 3
Dustin Hopkins got the Bills on the board with a 38-yard field goal. The team recovered a fumble but Thad Lewis and the Bills could not get the ball into the endzone. Offensively the team is struggling mightily against the Lions.
Thad Lewis has come into the game early in the second quarter for the Bills. Matt Leinart’s night ends after going 3/10 for 11 yards and two interceptions.
Lions 21 – Bills 0
Matt Leinart threw his second interception of the game to Rashean Mathis. On the following play, Joique Bell ran the ball 23 yards for the Lions’ third touchdown of the evening.
At the end of the first quarter, the Bills find themselves down 14-0. Matt Leinart has shown nice touch on his deep ball, but he’s 3/8 for 11 yards and an interception through one quarter. Buffalo’s secondary has been picked on quite a bit by the Lions with T.J. Heath and Crezdon Butler both struggling.
Marquise Goodwin is down on the field. Goodwin awkwardly stopped on a deep pass thrown by Matt Leinart and hit the field hard with his helmet. The pass itself was on the money from Leinart.
Lions 14 – Bills 0
Kris Durham caught a slant pattern from Shaun Hill to increase the Lions lead to 14 points. Crezdon Butler gave up the touchdown and a 39-yard reception to Matt Willis on the drive. The Bills need some serious help at cornerback.
Lions 7 – Bills 0
Buried deep in their own territory, Matt Leinart threw an interception on 3rd and 5. The Lions took over on the Bills eight yard line and Shaun Hill found Pat Edwards for the touchdown. T.J. Heath, already having a poor game, missed a tackle on the play.
Marcus Dowtin intercepted a tipped Matthew Stafford pass on the first series of the game. Buffalo took over in great field position, but did not move the ball in their first series.
While you wait for tonight’s Buffalo Bills game to start, take a look at who Eric Samulski identified as the Buffalo Bills’ “Players With Most to Prove” in tonight’s game. Or if you’re watching the South Carolina-North Carolina game while you wait, check out Dan Hope’s look at the Jadeveon Clowney vs. James Hurst matchup!
Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com reported that Matt Leinart is tonight’s starter for the Bills. Look for the Bills to test both of their quarterbacks tonight.
Another notable starter is Chris Hogan at wide receiver. Hogan looks to have the inside track as the team’s fifth wide receiver. Tashard Choice, tonight’s starting running back can solidify his spot as the third running back with a strong game.