CAPACCIO: Bills-Lions: Arrow Up/Arrow Down

The preseason comes to a close for the Bills with a 27-17 win over the Lions

Sal Capaccio
September 01, 2017 - 12:46 am

Finally. The preseason is over. It only took one month, four quarterbacks, too many concussion protocols, and a long-awaited win against the Lions. It was the first Bills win over Detroit in ten preseasons, which means I finally get to start my arrows on the positive side, as well.


ARROW UP
 

QB Nathan Peterman

The rookie has looked decent this preseason. But he looked really good Thursday night. Peterman went 9-for-11 for 81 yards, but once again showed plenty of poise and very good decision making. He also ran a couple times, using his feet and athleticism wisely. The only poor throw he made was one that went slightly behind TE Nick O'Leary in the red zone. Otherwise, Peterman made some very good, NFL throws. Head Coach Sean McDermott reiterated in the locker room after the game that Tyrod Taylor is still the team’s starting signal-caller. But if for some reason he could not play week one against the Jets, Peterman at least showed he's capable of running an offense and giving it a chance to compete. Heck, he even used the hard count right, drawing the Lions offsides twice.
 

WR Brandon Reilly

The undrafted free agent was squarely on the roster bubble headed into the game and did everything he could to earn a spot. I think he should make it. But, if he's left off, it's not for anything he did or didn't do Thursday night. Reilly made tough catches as he's done all preseason. This kid just seems to catch anything thrown his way. Unfortunately, he also got banged up near the end of the first half and did not play at all in the second half. Let's hope that doesn't hurt his chances of surviving the final cut-down.
 

CB Greg Mabin

Another player who I believe was squarely on the bubble, and probably on the outside looking in heading into Thursday, put together another strong performance. Mabin has been flying under-the-radar all preseason. Thursday night, he collected his second interception, this time in the back of the end zone to stop a late Lions’ drive. He was also in perfect position on another play that caused the QB to eat the ball and throw it into the ground and get called for a penalty.
 

Penalties

Hey, look what we have here! This category has appeared in the down side of the column for each of the first three preseason weeks. But, Thursday night, McDermott's club committed only five fouls for 60 yards. That's something he'll be very happy about and hopefully is a sign of things to come.
 

Running game

I don't care what the situation is or who is on the field, when an NFL team runs for over 200 yards, that's a good day. And in this case, it was the Bills second and third stringers (albeit against the same for the Lions) who put up 205 yards on the ground. A very good performance from all included.
 

S Trae Elston's hitting 

You could probably tell if you watched the broadcast that Elston was flying around. But, my gosh, being down on the field and seeing and hearing it up close was pretty eye-popping. It's very unfortunate that one of Elston's big hits was friendly fire on his own teammate Jerel Worthy, who appeared to be out cold and later had to be evaluated for a concussion. But that's because both players were going hard and trying to make a play. Otherwise, Elston had at least three other huge hits that made differences in plays, including one that directly caused a fumble that was recovered by the Bills.


DT Ian Seau

The rookie filled up the stat sheet on defense, collecting two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, a quarterback hurry, and a tackle for loss. That's a full night.
 

ARROW DOWN
 

TE Rory Anderson 
 

Normally, I wouldn't put someone on this list who just signed a few days prior to the game and was thrown into action. But Anderson was standing wide open at the numbers and could've walked in the end zone if he would've caught a ball thrown by Keith Wenning. But he dropped it.
 

Big plays given up

The Bills defense gave up only 158 yards on 47 plays.  But they also gave up 159 yards on only four other plays (74, 35, 26, and 24 yards). And all of those were in the second half.  


THE BIG PICTURE

Real Football Starts Next Week.
That is all.


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