Friday night, the Detroit Lions kicked off their preseason schedule with a 16-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills. While it’s hard to get a gauge on performances in just one preseason game, here are some of the moments that stood out in the preseason opener.
The first drive did not go as planned. On the opening drive, Sewell gave up a sack to Bills rookie Greg Rousseau that went for an eleven-yard loss on the third play from scrimmage.
Goff had a shaky first throw that was nearly intercepted, and after the sack, the Lions were forced to punt. The second drive for the first-team offense definitely felt like the unit was more comfortable and had settled their nerves after the first drive of the 2021 season.
A late field goal propels the Buffalo Bills over the Detroit Lions in the preseason opener.
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Goff’s day ended after just missing a connection with new Lions wideout Tyrell Williams, which resulted in the drive ending with a field goal. The final stat line for Goff was 7-9 for 56 yds on two drives.
Special teams are a unit that Lions fans should keep a close eye on during the preseason. Earlier this week, the team cut Matthew Wright and signed veteran kicker Zane Gonzalez to compete for the starting placekicking position with Randy Bullock. Gonzalez didn’t get the opportunity to show his leg Friday night, while Bullock made a strong case for the position, going a perfect 3 for 3 in his attempts.
Another note on the special teams unit was that punter Jack Fox continued to show his dominance. Fox showed the league he still has a golden toe sending one of his three punts a staggering 66 yds down the field. The Lions should not take Fox’s skill set for granted.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions definitely showed some issues stopping the run. Bills’ first-team running back Devin Singletary had some big holes on the opening drive that made the Lions’ run defense something to keep a close eye on as the preseason continues.
Lions fans were treated to a nice introduction by rookie Derrick Barnes in his debut with the team. Barnes showed flashes of great potential with his performance on Friday night. Barnes made two outstanding plays finishing his debut with two solo tackles.
The final score of a preseason game doesn’t tell you the whole story of the game. The Lions have things they need to work on and showed some positives that can continue to be built on before their next game at Pittsburgh.