Bills finish preseason with a win

The Buffalo Bills capped off the preseason with a 22-16 victory over the Detroit Lions. It was a rather uneventful game for the Bills, who finish with a 3-1 preseason record. The Lions fell to to a .500 finish at 2-2.

The first string that did play looked good while they were out there. The Bills defense held the Lions to a three and out on the first posession of the game, setting up the biggest fireworks of the night, a 75 yard punt return for a TD by CFL'er Antonio Brown. This was Brown's second TD of the preseason, with him running back an 87-yarder against Baltimore. This may have cemented his spot on the team as the kick return specialist.

The Lions had even less luck with their next possession, losing their starting RB James Stewart to a separated shoulder after taking a hit from Bills safety Coy Wire.

On the Bills first posession the first string offense didn't do much at all, punting after three plays. When DE Ryan Denney recovered a Detroit fumble two plays later it was QB Alex Van Pelt that marched the offense back on the field, connecting with WR Josh Reed on a 34 yard TD pass to give the Bills a quick 14-0 lead.

The Lions answered with a long 71 yard drive ending in a TD to bring the game to 14-7. Van Pelt threw an interception on the next possesion and set the Lions up to bring the margin to 14-10. They also added another FG before halftime, giving us a score of 14-13 going into the break.

In the second half you got the feeling that the Bills wanted to run out the clock rather than spend anymore time evaluating players. Maybe Gregg Williams was just spooked by the Lions bad luck with injuries thus far into the game. Olandis Gary saw action all second half through midway in the 4th quarter and helped the Bills eat up a lot of clock, gaining 57 yards on 17 carries and scoring the go-ahead TD early in the 4th quarter to cap off a drive that lasted over 11 minutes.

Joe Burns started for the Bills at RB today, with Travis Henry sitting out with a sprained foot. Burns was one of the players on the bubble, fighting with Ken Simonton for the last RB roster spot. Burns finished with 9 carries for 33 yards. Simonton, the former Oregon State and NFL Europe standout, didn't play until the 4th quarter, gaining 26 yards on 7 carries.

There was only one injury to report, starting offensive guard Ruben Brown left the game in the second quarter with a left hand injury, which doesn't seem to be serious and should be more then ready to play in the regular season opener against the Patriots.

The Bills have until 4:00 PM EST Sunday, August 31, to cut thirteen players in order to get to the 53 man roster limit as mandated by the NFL. On Labor Day, September 1, the team can then assign up to 5 other players to the practice squad.

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