The Buffalo Bills (2013: 6-10 SU, 8-8 ATS, 2014: 1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS) lost their fourth preseason game to Tampa Bay at home, 27-14 as they struggled on both sides of the ball. Detroit (2013: 7-9 SU, 6-10 ATS; 2014: 2-1 SU, 1-1-1 ATS) hasn’t looked much better as they put up just 13 points in a one-point win over Jacksonville last week. The Lions travel to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo to take on the Bills on Thursday night at 7pmET.
Preseason Point Spread: Buffalo opened as a -3-point betting odds favorite and moved to 4.5 in most books. The total opened at 42 and moved to 41.
Detroit Quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 21 of 30 for 204 yards with two touchdowns and one interception this preseason. He threw that one interception in last week’s game against Jacksonville at home, but did not throw a touchdown pass.
New head coach Jim Caldwell could play him briefly in their final against Buffalo though he was with Baltimore last year when Stafford played two series in last year’s finale against Buffalo. Jim Schwartz was the coach at the time and Stafford ended up throwing an interception.
The Lions certainly need to curb their mistakes. They had 15 penalties for 131 yards last Friday.
The offensive highlight came when Reggie Bush rmoped for an 86-yard touchdown run, as the Lions ended up with 178 yards on 27 carries.
The defense allowed 245 passing yards but held the Jaguars without a touchown in the first half.
Defensively, Detroit allowed 23.5 points per game (15th) and just 99.8 yards per game (6th) against the run. However, they struggled against the pass, allowing 246.9 (32rd) yards per game in the air.
The Bills scored no points in the first half against Tampa Bay last week and ended up losing, 27-14.
Starting quarterback E.J. Manuel has completed just 47 of 75 for 461 yards with one touchdown, two picks and a 73.3 passer rating. He did throw his only touchdown pass in the preseason against the Bucs in the third quarter (14-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams). The Bills had gone 18 preseason possessions without getting into the red zone before that touchdown pass against the Tampa Bay reserves.
The first-team offense gained 82 yards, made six first downs and committed three turnovers in first half, with Manuel getting sacked twice.
The Bills have had some terrible performances from their backup quarterbacks. Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel were a combined 46 of 78 for 404 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions with a 59.9 passer rating. So Buffalo went out and signed Jordan Palmer to back up Manuel and released Lewis.