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Lions vs. Bills: What Just Happened?

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A collection of thoughts on the Lions third preseason game

NFL: Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions just aren’t going to win any preseason games this year. That’s okay, though, because they don’t mean anything. Still, even though the Lions lost 24-20 to the Bills on Friday night, this was the most fun preseason game of the year simply because it was the dress rehearsal, and we got to see pretty much all the starters. It also sucked because some of those starters suffered injuries that could leak into the regular season.

As always. I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.

Stafford is still Stafford

Let’s lead off with some good stuff for once. Matthew Stafford looked pretty sharp during his time in the game. He went 12-for-19 for 137 yards and a touchdown. Lions fans can rest easy and give up the conspiracy theories that he may have been secretly injured. They can also rest easy that their quarterback came out of this game without an injury as well.

This needed to happen, though. I hate the preseason just as much as everyone else. I mean I absolutely despise it. But to get your quarterback some live reps in an actual game helps.

Stafford to Hockenson is the new “it” thing in Detroit

If you can gleam one thing from Friday night’s game, it’s that Stafford is going to target rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson a lot this season. He threw to him four times in the quarter and a half they played. Hockenson caught three passes for 52 yards. The fourth target was a sure touchdown, but it was awkwardly thrown as Stafford was being taken down.

When the Lions drafted Hockenson eighth overall, we knew he was good and would get some instant playing time. But we also knew how hard the transition is for tight ends going into the NFL. Right now it looks like this kid is taking to it like the Incredible Mr. Limpet.

This is an incredibly long way of saying like a fish to water.

Amendola looks like he’ll be getting his fair share of targets too

I’ve been wondering for a while how Danny Amendola was going to fit in. I mean, I know what his purpose is and all that. I just didn’t know how much Stafford might target him. Friday night, he hit him three times on four targets for 30 yards. Just like Hockenson, Amendola had a chance for a touchdown catch but dropped the pass. You have to hope these red zone drops and misfires don’t carry into the regular season.

Amendola looked pretty good, though. He even made this pretty nice catch.

Now if I could only get my wife to stop staring at his damn, good-looking face, everything will be well in my world.

C.J. Anderson looks good

I have to be honest, I was worried that the Lions made a mistake with C.J. Anderson. He’s had a relatively quiet camp and preseason thus far, but on Friday night he looked pretty damn good. I mean, it was only 24 yards on eight carries, but he did make someone’s mother cry with this stiff arm.

Seriously. That’s gotta be a traumatic experience for that guy.

Still, don’t expect Anderson to rush for 1,000 yards this season. If anything, tonight shows that he can complement Kerryon Johnson quite well. Between these two, Zach Zenner and Ty Johnson, who caught a touchdown pass Friday, the Lions running back group is looking pretty solid right now.

Okay, let’s talk some bad stuff now.

The Lions first defensive series of the second quarter made me want to cut off my own foot like Carry Elwes did in ‘Saw’

Things were going pretty well. The Lions were stopping the Bills offense again without much trouble. Then, Josh Allen threw an interception to Jalen Reeves-Maybin. An interception that was enough for me to go to Vegas and bet one of my body parts on the Lions winning it all. Then it got called back because of this.

Hell immediately proceeded to break loose after this. That’s not a roughing the passer by the way. This is, though.

Anyhow, this is where the Lions do that thing where they struggle to overcome adversity. A short bit later, the Lions allowed Frank Gore to bust off a 27-yard run that was capped off with a late hit call on Tracy Walker. A’Shawn Robinson thought it would be the right thing to do to tack on an additional 7 yards with a taunting call. The Bills immediately scored.

The Lions have to clean this type of thing up. Penalties are going to happen, it’s a part of the game, there’s no way around it. But where the Lions have always had trouble is the compounding of those penalties.

This team has to grow up a in that area and learn to control themselves in these moments. They have to learn to overcome adversity and get back at it. This is a problem this team has had for the last decade. It has to change.

Preseason football continues to be hell

These games are completely meaningless. I know I talked earlier in this article how getting live reps is a good thing and all that, but I’m an idiot. Don’t listen to that me. Listen to this me.

Seriously I can’t take this anymore. Every time another important player gets injured in one these games I get this moment flashing through my mind.

Seriously. I would rather get stung by bees like Thomas J in “My Girl” than watch a team that did next to nothing for their offensive line depth in the offseason lose its best offensive lineman.

You have to hope that the Lions will be able to get Frank Ragnow and Jarrad Davis healthy in the next two weeks. It’s not looking good for Davis though. Let’s hope the prognosis comes back better than this.

David Fales fooled us all

Last week in Houston, Fales looked like a competent quarterback that made all the case in the world to be the No. 2 quarterback on this team. While that’s not saying much, it’s saying something. He went 12-19 for 226 yards and a touchdown.

Coming into Friday night, everyone was wondering what Fales might be able to do this week. He proceeded to go right back to the same David Fales that’s struggled all through camp and has this maddening propensity to hold onto the ball. I mean 1,000 of years from now, long after Skynet kills us all, machines will be looking through the wreckage and remains of human life and will find the skeleton of David Fales clutching the ball he was holding onto on his last roll out to the sideline before the explosion happens.

All told he went 3-for-8 for 22 yards. The Lions’ backup quarterback situation is just next level bad.

Matt Prater is the Night King

I don’t have any proof of that. But I would bet if Matt Prater was killed, all the kickers in the NFL would die at the same time. Look at this.

When I die I would like to have one of these two things happen to me. I’d like to either be buried in the Gucci store or put inside a giant sunglasses case like Spock and be kicked into the galaxy by Matt Prater.