The Buffalo Bills will take on the Detroit Lions in an NFL preseason contest on Friday night at Ford Field. Buffalo comes into the contest with a 2-0 record this preseason, while Detroit has started 0-2.
Still Some Questions
The Bills are coming off a 6-10 record after making the playoffs the previous year. They spent last season bouncing quarterbacks around until they eventually found their guy in rookie Josh Allen. Allen can run well and has a cannon for an arm, though his accuracy needs improvement. But another year in their system should give him a chance to get comfortable and make good decisions with the football.
While Allen looked good last year, the Bills still have a lot of question marks as far as their weapons on offense. With no true No. 1 receiver and a mix of running backs that don’t have a standout, they will be looking for consistency on that side of the ball.
They did add former Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley over the offseason who should give Allen a solid short-route target that can get the ball moving and keep plays alive.
On defense, the Bills have some talent, such as safety Micha Hyde, and they did add a top prospect out of the draft in defensive tackle Ed Oliver from Houston, who has been compared to the Rams’ Aaron Donald. Even with those players, the Bills still have big gaps in their defense, and it is a work in progress. Look for them to find guys in these preseason games to step up and fill some of those spots.
Second Time’s A Charm?
The Lions are also coming off a 6-10 season where they were never able to get any momentum going. Last year was head coach Matt Patricia’s first season with the team, and while they had some good moments, like beating his former team the Patriots, it was overwhelmed by bad ones.
They finished last in the NFC North, which continues to grow stronger with the Bears and Vikings making progress and the Packers getting Aaron Rodgers back.
One bright spot for the Lions last year up until his injury was the Lions’ rookie running back from Auburn, Kerryon Johnson. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry on 118 attempts. Look for him to get into the swing of things this preseason to hit the ground running in Week 1.
The biggest thing to look out for on the Lions offense is their rookie tight end, T.J Hockenson from the University of Iowa. He gives Matthew Stafford another weapon on offense. If Hockenson, Johnson, and the rest of the offense can get going this year, it should give them a lot to build on this season and a chance to compete. They will most likely not be competing for the division, but they would be happy with a Wild Card spot.
What To Expect
With any preseason game, it is usually the team that will push the envelope more and keeps its starters in longer that will take the win. I expect the Lions to test out their offensive weapons as a group more than the Bills will, and they will wrap up their first preseason win.