The Detroit Lions continued their preseason dominance on Thursday night with a 35-13 win over the Buffalo Bills. The game was basically over midway through the first half, and the win sealed another above-.500 record for the Lions in the preseason. They finished 3-1 this year and are now 19-5 in the preseason since 2008.
Interestingly enough, this game actually began with a Lions turnover. A Matthew Stafford pass bounced right off Nate Burleson's hands and to a Bills defender for an interception on the game's opening drive, and following a quick three-and-out, it was more of the same for the No. 1 offense. Stafford overthrew Patrick Edwards on a long pass downfield for the second time in the game, and there was another drop. It was an ugly performance for Stafford and the starters.
After a Blake Clingan punt was downed at the 4-yard line, the Lions started to take control of this game. Three plays later, Matt Leinart was picked off by Bill Bentley, who took it back to the 8-yard line. On the very next play, Shaun Hill hit Edwards for a quick touchdown pass, and just like that, it was 7-0 Lions.
Following a Bills punt, the Lions again put together a scoring drive. This time, Hill found Joseph Fauria for 16 yards, a diving Matt Willis for 39 yards and Kris Durham for a 6-yard touchdown. Hill really did an impressive job leading the offense, and he left the game after two possessions with a pair of touchdowns.
After trading punts, the Lions continued pouring it on following a nice interception by Rashean Mathis. Just one play later, Joique Bell ran 23 yards untouched for a touchdown. The Lions displayed great blocking on the play, and Bell showed some speed by getting into the end zone for the score.
A Mikel Leshoure fumble on the Lions' next drive set up a Bills field goal, but the Lions quickly answered with another touchdown. Kellen Moore found Durham for 13 yards, Shaun Chapas for 7 yards and Edwards for 12 yards. The Lions appeared to score on a ridiculous 28-yard catch by Willis, but the play was overturned because he only had one foot inbounds. The Lions found the end zone -- for real this time -- on an 8-yard pass to Riddick, who had a 14-yard run earlier in the drive.
Following yet another Bills punt, Moore hooked up with Riddick again for a touchdown, this time from 4 yards out. The Lions' score came after the Bills muffed a punt, giving Detroit the ball at the Buffalo 10-yard line. The Lions turned another turnover into a touchdown just three plays later, and they took a 35-3 lead into halftime.
The second half opened with a lengthy Bills drive that ended with another field goal by Dustin Hopkins. This made the score 35-6 in favor of the Lions, and Buffalo tried to further cut into the lead by going for it on fourth-and-3 at the Detroit 11-yard line. Thaddeus Lewis, the quarterback who was just traded from Detroit to Buffalo last Sunday, was stopped short, keeping the score at 35-6. Before that, the Lions and Bills traded punts, and Moore was picked off on a pass that was batted into the air.
Thursday's game came to an end with more Lions punts, another fourth down stop by Detroit and a 79-yard Bills touchdown pass from Lewis to Marcus Easley. Chris Greenwood was burned on the touchdown, which made this a 35-13 game. The score remained 35-13 as the Lions and Bills ran out the final 7-plus minutes on the clock.
It's always nice to watch the Lions win, especially in such dominant fashion, but I'm glad the preseason is finally over. Now it's time for the Lions to establish their 53-man roster and get ready for Week 1 of the regular season against the Minnesota Vikings.