In a game that meant more for the reserves than the starters, the Lions were able to move the football a bit better than the Bills, which led to an early 10-0 lead for Detroit and ultimately a 16-6 win for the Lions in the preseason finale for both clubs.
“I thought we did some decent things. It was good to get some people back out there like Merriman,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “It was good to see (Kirk) Morrison and (Kelvin) Sheppard play a bunch in the ball game. It was good to get some things done special teams-wise that we needed to work on. There were a lot of positives. We can’t drop passes. We missed a couple of tackles and we one long run out of there. Those are things we can’t do and hopefully we’ll learn from it.”
“We had two opportunities to kind of get the ball deep that didn’t happen early,” said
Detroit’s second string offense was on the field after the first series. On their third possession of the game, backup running back busted a run off right tackle 47 yards on a 2nd-and-8 near midfield all the way down to the Buffalo 17-yard line before he was forced out of bounds. Three plays later Shaun Hill hit Maurice Stovall over the middle for a 16-yard touchdown reception and a 7-0 lead with 5:22 left in the opening quarter.
Buffalo’s starters on offense went four-and-out and three-and-out on their only two possessions of the night.
“We got out there and if you’re not playing much, if you don’t execute early you’re not going to put points on the board,” said
The first team defense for Buffalo benefited from
“I knew we were not going to be out there long, but we wanted to make a quick impact in the few plays we did have,” Merriman said.
Buffalo had a chance to get points on the board midway through the second quarter, but
Detroit added to their lead late in the second quarter with Harrison’s rushing again a factor against Buffalo’s reserves. The tailback ripped off a 17-yard run, which followed a 16-yard catch by Tony Scheffler and put the Lions in Buffalo territory.
“It’s one of those things you have to battle through it, overcome it and get a drive started,” said Thigpen. “We got something going here and there and one thing and we’d be out of sync or I’d miss a pass. Those are thing you have to overcome.”
The Lions tacked on a pair of second half field goals to make it a 16-0 lead in the fourth quarter.
The Buffalo reserves on offense had trouble moving the ball in the second half.
Brown led the offense down the field again in the final minute, but the clock expired before the Bills could reach the end zone again.
Buffalo finished the preseason 1-3, while Detroit was a perfect 4-0.
Players that performed admirably in the last preseason game included
Reggie Corner had three pass breakups in less than a half of action.
Kamar Aiken made a difficult catch over the middle for a third down conversion.
Craig Davis had five catches for 34 yards.