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Lions vs. Bills quick thoughts: What Just Happened?

A collection of thoughts on the Lions preseason opener

Buffalo Bills v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Well, that was a football game.The Detroit Lions opened up the preseason with a 16-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills. What did anyone really expect? It’s preseason football and the Lions fielded a pretty much brand new team with a completely new coaching staff. Did you think this thing would be a blowout or something?

As always, I have thoughts on this game:

Amon-Ra St. Brown might be the real deal

Don’t get it twisted. It’s not like St. Brown put up 15 catches for 200 yards or something. But, he did have himself a nice quarter of football where he caught two catches for 12 yards and he looked really good doing it.

St. Brown also had another nice catch, almost breaking one, before it got called back on a holding call.

Statistically, it was nothing spectacular, but coming into this game, the question of how big of a role St. Brown would have was an unanswered one. On Friday, he looked like a guy that had been in the league for years and he was just doing his job as he had always done. He did not look like a rookie trying to find his way. Those three catches showed that St. Brown is at the very least going to be a guy that gets a lot of targets in 2021.

Jared Goff was alright, Boyle was bad and Blough is gonna be here for a while

I fully expected Lions fans to totally overreact to Jared Goff’s performance whether it was good or bad. But, Goff didn’t really give us anything to talk about. He almost did when his first ever throw as a Lion was nearly picked off. Other than that he was very steady throughout the game going 7-for-9 for 56 yards. We definitely need to see way more before any type of judgment is cast.

Tim Boyle showed on Friday that if aliens ever come down to Earth to take us out and a scientist named Jeff Goldblum deems that the only way to stop the aliens is to throw a football really hard at their heads, Boyle will be the guy the world hires. The problem is he will only hit 53.3 percent of the aliens.

David Blough earned the backup job Friday night, in my opinion. He was throwing deep and he was accurate and he helped the Lions have a chance to win this game.

Who is Craig Reynolds and why is he so good?

Speaking of earning a job on a Friday night, Craig Reynolds may have just done that. The former Kutztown College standout got signed earlier a day ago and was perceived to be a camp body at best. He’d previously had shots with the Football Team, Jaguars, and Falcons to no avail. Then he ran for 49 yards and a touchdown on 8.2 yards per carry in his first game with the Lions. You have to love seeing stuff like this.

D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams are clearly the Lions guys at running back in 2021, but that third spot is still wide open. Seventh-round pick Jermar Jefferson didn’t have a very good showing in this game. Reynolds may have jumped him. At least for now. There’s still a ways to go. Maybe I’m overreacting.

Speaking of running, the Lions can’t stop anyone who’s doing that

The Bills ran all over the Lions starters in the first quarter and then again in parts of the second. This has been a longstanding issue for this team and Todd Wash showed that he still has plenty of work to do with this Lions defensive front. Devin Singletary is a fine running back, but there are going to be a lot better backs going up against this team, and if the Lions can’t stop this guy, they’re definitely not stopping anyone better.

Derrick Barnes and Julian Okwara showed up

The Lions needed some help at linebacker. Frankly, they’ve needed it for a long time. While the Lions are in no way out of the hole, both Barnes and Okwara showed that they might be able to climb themselves out earlier than anyone thought.

Okwara looked a bit rough early on, but he quickly rebounded by getting pressure on the Bills quarterback and even sacked him in a nice fashion later on. Barnes showed sideline-to-sideline ability that Lions fans hoped he’d show and he did get a quarterback hit on the very next play.

You gotta love that second highlight. Jarrad Davis would have missed by a mile and fell into the Gatorade cooler. Barnes saw the target and stuck it. That alone is a major improvement for the Lions’ linebacking corps.

Michael Brockers eats peanuts/sunflower seeds like a true G

We didn’t get to see Brockers play at all, but we did get to see him eat peanuts/sunflower seeds in the only acceptable way. Grab a handful, shake the handful and then deposit the handful into your mouth and discarding the leftovers. Show them, Michael.