Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions Game Preview

The Bills and Lions conclude their 2003 preseasons with a matchup against one another at Ralph Wilson Stadium tomorrow night. The Bills (2-1) are coming off a victory against the St. Louis Rams 28 -24. The Lions (2-1) are also coming off a victory, 38 - 17 against the Cleveland Browns. Though both teams share preseason records they're goals for the 2003 season are different.

The Lions are slowly building their team back to the level that so them routinely make the playoffs year in and year out during the 90s but are a few players away on offense and defense from fully making the transition. THe Bils on the other hand have put together a roster that should put them in the playoff hunt in the 2003 season.


Detroit Lions:
The Lions have two very good young players on offense, Joey Harrington and Charlie Rogers. In a few years both could be perannual Pro Bowlers in the NFC but this year both will have to develop a relationship to build on. Harrington, the third overall selection in the 2002 NFL Draft started most of last season and had your typical rookie ups and downs. Rogers, the second overall pick in the 2003 draft, is a physical marvel at the wide receiver position, having all the size and speed any team would want. New head coach Steve Marrucci no doubt will try and make both excel in the West Coast Offense that made Jeff Garcia and Terrel Owens Pro Bowlers while he was in San Francisco. Former Bill nickel back Chris Watson wn't see the field as he recovers from a back injury. One former Bill who will see the field, Shawn Bryson is in the mix amongst the running backs looking to back up James Stewart. Another former Bill who won't be seen is DT Shawn Price who was released by the Lions earlier this week when they had to reduce their roster to 65 as mandated by the NFL.
Injuries: Chris Watson CB Back (Out Indefinitely), Chris Cash CB Knee I-R (Out For The Season), James Davis LB Ribs (Out Indefinitely), Az-Zahir Hakim WR Knee (Out indefinitely).

Buffalo Bills:
THe Bills in comparison to the Lions are veteran team looking to to move from outside the playoff picture to from the inside this year. Led by quarterback Drew Bledsoe the Bills have Pro Bowl talent on offense with running back Travis Henry and wide receiver Eric Moulds. Second year player, and forth overall pick in 2003, RT Mike Williams might follow fellow Bills offensive linemen LG Ruben Brown to the Pro Bowl in the not to distant future. On defense the Bills welcome Pro Bowl new comers Takeo Spikes and Sam Adams to talented DT Pat Williams, LB London Fletcher, CBs Antoine Winfield and Nate Clements all of whom could see the Pro Bowl in 2003 if the defense gels quickly.
Injuries: Gary Byrd OT Knee I-R, (Out For The Season), Willis McGahee RB Knee NFI (Out for at least six weeks)

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