The Lions Lost To The Bills 27-17. Here’s How It Happened.
The Bills opened the game with possession of the ball, and they had no trouble going on a long, methodical drive that ended with a 30 yard field goal. Rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman completed 6/7 passes on the drive and Detroit’s defense looked completely lost.
Detroit’s first drive of the game saw Matt Asiata rush for eight yards on two plays, but Jake Rudock threw an incomplete pass on third down and two, forcing the Lions to punt.
The Bills started their second drive of the game with 6:48 left in the first quarter, and again did a good job of marching the ball down the field. This time, they got into the end zone with a 21 yard run from running back Jonathan Williams. This brought Buffalo’s advantage to 10-0.
Detroit picked up one first down on their second possession after Jake Rudock found Robert Tonyan for 14 yards, then Rudock converted an ensuing third down and seven with an eight yard scramble on the last play of the first quarter.
Bills lead 10-0
On the first play of the second quarter, Jake Rudock hit Jared Abbrederis for a 16 yard gain, but Abbrederis fumbled the ball, giving possession back to the Bills.
The Bills took advantage of the turnover and went on a 12 play drive that was extended by a roughing the passer penalty from rookie defensive end Pat O’Connor. The drive ended with a 45 yard Buffalo field goal, giving the Bills a 13-0 lead..
Detroit put together one first down on the next possession as Matt Asiata ran the ball two times for 11 yards, but they were unable to gain another first down and had to punt the ball. The Bills went three and out on their ensuing possession, giving the ball immediately back to the Lions.
Detroit finally put together their first scoring drive on this possession, advancing the ball to the Buffalo 34 yard line before the drive stalled and they were forced to settle for a 53 yard Matt Prater field goal, making the score 13-3.
Buffalo’s last possession of the first half started with 1:50 left, but they opted to just go to half time with their 10 point lead and ran out the clock.
Bills lead 13-3
Brad Kaaya started the second half for the Lions, but was unable to get anything going for Detroit’s offense as he was sacked on the third play of the opening drive of the second half. Detroit was then forced to punt.
The Bills went on another long drive that ended in the endzone. They went 74 yards in 11 plays, and Joe Banyard scored a touchdown from one yard out to make the score 20-3.
The Lions picked up a first down on the next possession with a big 35 yard run from rookie Tion Green, but they couldn’t do anything after that and had to punt.
The Bills went three and out on the next possession, giving the ball back to the Lions at the Detroit 38 yard line. The Lions did a good job of moving the ball on this drive, but Brad Kaaya threw an interception in the end zone, ending the drive.
The Bills ran the ball one time for three yards after the turnover, then the quarter ended.
Bills lead 20-3
The Bills ran the football for all of the first nine plays of the first quarter, and had success with the running game as the drive resulted in a two yard rushing touchdown, making the score 27-3.
The Lions finally scored their first touchdown of the game on the next possession, as Brad Kaaya threw a screen pass to Tion Green, which Green proceeded to take 76 yards for a touchdown.
The Bills went three and out on the next drive.
Brad Kaaya looked good on the ensuing possession, as he completed six of eight passes including a six yard touchdown to rookie receiver Dontez Ford.
The Bills then went three and out again, giving the ball back to Detroit. Brad Kaaya was sacked and fumbled on the second play of the next possession, giving the ball back to Buffalo, who knelled on the ball to end the 2017 preseason.
Bills win 27-17
Buffalo had the ball for 35:41, Detroit for 24:19
The Bills were able to dominate the time of possession in the game, as they had the ball for more than 10 minutes more than the Lions. Detroit’s defense couldn’t seem to stop anything that Buffalo was doing all night.
The Bills ran 72 plays. the Lions ran 51
Going along with the time of possession, Buffalo ran 21 more plays than the Lions, which is a very large amount. Buffalo’s offense was dominant last Thursday.
Buffalo ran for 205 yards
Detroit’s defensive line was overpowered by the Bills offensive line in the run game as the Bills racked up more than 200 rushing yards. This kind of performance on defense is unacceptable and cannot carry over into the regular season.
Detroit turned the ball over 3 times, Buffalo did 0 times
The Lions were rather careless with the ball as they lost two fumbles and Brad Kaaya threw an interception. Turning the ball over at this rate is a recipe for disaster, so Detroit will need to iron this out.
Tion Green touched the ball 12 times for 150 yards
Tion Green made a huge case for making the team last Thursday; at time it seemed like he was the only one in a Lions jersey who came to play. He averaged 12.5 yards every time he touched the ball, and if he doesn’t make the 53 man roster, he seems like a lock to be on the practice squad.
Plays That Made The Game
Jonathan Williams’ 21 yard touchdown run was the first touchdown of the game. The Bills offensive line opened up a big hole for Williams, and after shaking off one tackler, he was off to the end zone. The Lions need to be more disciplined than this on run defense in the regular season.
Joe Banyard’s one yard touchdown put the Bills up 20-3 in the third quarter. Buffalo’s offensive line pushed the Lions defensive line back into the end zone and Banyard was able to muscle his way in for the touchdown relatively easily.
Tion Green’s 35 yard run was the first sign of life from the Lions defense all game. Green did a great job of bouncing the run to the outside, and showed a lot more acceleration than he has in previous games this preseason.
Brad Kaaya’s interception was a very bad decision by the rookie quarterback. To make matters worse, it was a red zone turnover. Kaaya tried to force the ball to the receiver in the back of the end zone, but instead threw it right to the Bills defender for an easy interception.
Taiwan Jones’ 39 yard run was very impressive. The veteran runningback cut the run all the way back across the field and was able to take the run upfield for nearly 40 yards. Johnson Bademosi took a poor angle on his tackle here, resulting in the long run.
Tion Green’s 74 yard touchdown reception was the biggest play for either team. Green caught a screen pass at the Lions 20 yard line, then ran 80 yards into the end zone for the Lions first touchdown of the game. Green made several defenders miss tackles on this play, and showed several traits you want to see in a NFL running back.
Brad Kaaya’s six yard touchdown pass to Dontez Ford was a nice throw from the rookie quarterback. He hit Ford, who was running an out route, on the run. Ford was then able to take the ball an extra few yards and into the end zone for the final points of the Lions 2017 preseason.
Player Of The Game
Tion Green had by far the biggest game out of any of the Lions fringe players. The undrafted rookie running back out of showed great field vision, burst, patience, agility and speed along with an ability to catch passes out of the backfield. He finished the night with eight carries for a team high 63 yards. He also led the Lions in receptions and receiving yards with four catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.
Tion Green touched the ball 12 times on offense Thursday night, and made the most of it, turning them into 150 yards. Tion Green wasn’t on the radar of many Lions fans before the final preseason game, but he earned a spot on the 53 man roster with a fantastic preseason game four performance..