Buffalo Bills Preseason Game 5 Recap

Bills 0   Lions 23

BILLS LIONS MANUEL FINAL.jpg

This would be a game that was supposed to allow us to forget the previous terrible game against Tampa Bay and to have a positive showing in preparation for the season opener.

Neither occurred!

This one had our offensive starters playing only three series and with them gaining only 58 total yards.

I feel the need to summarize this one quickly as the pain is so hard to bear!

EJ Manuel went three out of seven for only 56 yards. It started out fine with him completing his first pass for a first down to Fred Jackson. Then on the next set of downs, EJ found Fred who converted a third and fourteen off a screen pass, but all this went for naught as the Bills would have to punt.

The Bills defensive starters played pretty good with forcing the Lions to a three-and-out. I need to make mention that the Bills had most of their starters playing, while the Lions did not. Dan Orlovsky was the Lions starting quarterback.

Quarterback Dan Orlovsky

Quarterback Dan Orlovsky

The Bills second series had blunders that have been problematic all preseason. EJ totally missed the mark to Sammy Watkins who was back in after being cleared to play from a rib injury. Sammy would again be hurt on that play which frustrates the heck out of me. First of all, why is Sammy Watkins playing in our final preseason game? He was healing well and another nine days would have him even better. Coach Marrone would say that Watkins needed the work with Manuel as he had just three catches for 21 yards in this preseason. This is another one of my problems with our coach. Week after week there seems to be glaring decisions that make no sense. Watkins is a superstar that just needs to get on the field to work his magic. Look at the practice footage and you will see some amazing stuff from him. He has been practicing with Manuel from the get go. With a very sore rib injury there was no logical sense to put him in this last meaningless game. This decision would come back to hurt Marrone as Sammy gets hurt again!

Sammy Watkins was hurt again.

Sammy Watkins was hurt again.

Fred Jackson then drops a third down throw and our offense again punts the ball away.  Punter Brian Moormon looks real bad and his job is definitely now on the line. Seems one of our greatest punters simply does not have it anymore.

The Bills starting defense again stops the Lions backups (no surprise) and they go three-and-out again.

Manuel comes out for his last series with our offensive starters, which resulted in one good play to Robert Woods. Manuel’s throw went off of Woods then crazily off the defender and then luckily back to him for a 20-yard gain. But that would be all for any form of good luck as we would have to punt. 

The starters would come out after this and...we should be shaking in our boots. The offense looks no way ready! Its worry time!

The next Lions drive would entail a key third and seven sack of quarterback Dan Orlovsky by Defensive end Manny Lawson and Tackle Corbin Bryant. Unfortunately like so many penalties before, there was another one against us that wiped this good play away.

The second quarter would have the Lions scoring just fifty-two seconds in as Nate Freese would kick a 53-yard field goal.

Jordan Palmer, the newly acquired quarterback would come in with only a few days to prepare. His first series was an apparent three-and-out but only because of an illegal hands to the face penalty against Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, was this series allowed to go on. Palmer had two passes of which only one was completed to Anthony Dixon and the Bills would again be forced to punt.

Brian Moorman would kick this one just 30 yards and the Bills knew they needed another punter as this was getting worse and worse.

Lions put Kellen Moore in at quarterback and the Bills would assist him with a penalty that gave them a first down. That would be it though as the Bills backups would stymie them and they were forced to punt.

This game was ever so exciting at this point with eight combined drives ending in punts. Yes our defense was also stopping them but most of it was our starters against their backups!

The Bills next drive would have all Bills fans really concerned about newly acquired quarterback Palmer. He threw to T.J. Graham very badly and was easily intercepted by Detroit’s Isa Abdul-Quddus. 
The Lions would be put in great field possession and easily move down the field and score on a one yard touchdown pass. Quarterback Kellen Moore found Jeremy Ross and it was now a 10 point lead.

The Bills next drive would be another one that makes us all sickly. 

First was another penalty. Second was a sack against us and then running back Bryce Brown got hurt. Brown was helped off the field by C.J. and Fred.

What else could go wrong?
The Bills would once again punt and Moorman kicked his best one this time that went 52 yards. 

The Bills would stop the Lions and thankfully Bryce Brown would be back in with our offense. With two minutes left in the half, Palmer throws two balls to Chris Hogan that go incomplete. On Third down he is sacked. Yes, this would be considered painful to watch!

Detroit would score on its next drive with Moore passing to Corey Fuller for a very nice 25-yard touchdown. It was now 17 to 0.

With nine seconds left in the half, Marquise Goodwin received the kick and crazily went out at our own 6-yard line. It was halftime and this was another game that needed to get over with quickly as we were getting worse and worse. Fans booed the team as they left the field

Jordan Gay was out to do our kickoff. This punter/kickoff specialist looks like he will be replacing Moormon. His kick though just reaches the goal line and the Lions return it to the 26-yard line for a nice return.
The Bills defense would force a quick three-and-out.

Jordan Palmer would be back in and throws his best pass to T.J. Graham for a 16 yard gain. The drive would stall with Palmer missing Marquise Goodwin.

Jordan Palmer

Jordan Palmer

The Lions would score on a 53-yard field goal by Nate Freese. This drive had 13 offensive plays but would be stopped from very nice tackles by Landon Cohen. Cohen has been a continuous bright spot and deserves to have a roster spot.

The Bills next drive looked promising as Palmer converted a third down pass to Chris Gragg. But soon the penalties would be back with Cyrus Kouandjio being called for tripping. He had struggled very bad with allowing a sack earlier and now this. This drive would continue until Palmer would once again throw an interception. This time to T.J. Graham who seemingly had the ball and then allowed the Lions cornerback, Mohammad Seisay to wrestle it away. This type of playing could have T.J. looking for a new team.

The Lions would move the ball and get another field goal, this time being 28-yards from Freese. It was now 23-0.

Jordan would throw an interception on the Bills next drive. This would now be his third with back to back pics and the fans very much wanted him to be off our team as they booed louder than ever.

Palmer needed to find a way to get out of the stadium, as it was getting ugly!

After this interception, the Lions would go nowhere and punt.

The game was as exciting as ever as our team would also do nothing and punt. Nothing more would occur.

This one was thankfully over. Wow!

I know its preseason! I know it means squat. But we needed to not only see EJ play better but the entire team too! The Bills will trim this lineup down to 53 and our season will start. Stay tuned!

Michael Okun
Sports Writer for The Herd Report.