Recap: Lions at Bills

Posted Aug 28, 2014

Tim Twentyman breaks down the Lions’ 23-0 win over the Bills.

What happened: Quarterback Kellen Moore was cool, calm and collected (basically being very Moore-like) in leading the Lions on four scoring drives on the night as Detroit pounded the Bills, 23-0, in both teams’ preseason finale.

Moore found Jeremy Ross and Corey Fuller on touchdown passes of 1 and 25 yards, respectively, and led two other drives that ended in field goals.

The Lions defense recorded four sacks and forced three turnovers in Buffalo territory (interceptions by Isa Abdul-Quddus,Mohammed Seisay and Nate Ness) as the Bills continued their preseason struggles on offense.

“We came in and everybody’s trying to learn a new scheme, new system, and develop our chemistry as a new team, new secondary,” safety Glover Quin said of the development of this Lions defense over the last couple months.

“Just over the time of camp, just bonding, working with each other each and every day it’s been fun. We’ve come a long way, we’ve learned a lot, we’ve grown in our scheme so now we’re ready to start honing in for week one.”

Moore finished the game 17-of-28 passing for 178 yards and those two touchdowns and a passer rating of 102.9

Dan Orlovsky started the game for the Lions and finished 7-of-11 passing for 39 yards in a quarter and a half of work. He led the first scoring drive.

The Lions finished with 258 of total yards to just 162 for Buffalo.

What didn’t happen: The Lions weren’t about to take any chances when it came to injuries to any of their key starters.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford, receivers Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, running back Reggie Bush, center Dominic Raiola, guard Rob Sims and tight end Brandon Pettigrew all watched the game in street clothes for the offense.

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, cornerback Rashean Mathis, defensive end Jason Jones, safeties James Ihedigbo and Don Carey and linebacker Kyle Van Noy didn’t play on defense.

It gave a number of players an opportunity for extended time, and a few of them took advantage, particularly Moore.

Play of the game: In the second quarter, safety Isa Abdul-Quddus intercepted Bills quarterback Jordan Palmer at the Buffalo 32-yard line and returned it to the 26.

It was terrific recognition by Abdul-Quddus, who walked up closer to the line of scrimmage from his safety spot, read the play, and jumped the quick out route.

The interception led to a 1-yard touchdown pass from Moore to Ross a few plays later that gave the Lions a 10-0 lead.

“Yes he is great,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of Abdul-Quddus at halftime. “He’s really active throughout the preseason and he has been maturing within the defense for quite some time now. It’s good to see him actually apply it out there on the field.”

Key stat: Nate Freese being 3-for-3 on field goal attempts.

Thursday night in Buffalo began the Freese era in Detroit after Caldwell made the rookie seventh-round draft pick his regular-season starter earlier this week.

He hit from 53, 53 and 28 yards on the night.

His second attempt from 53 yards ricocheted off the left upright, but went through.

Kellen MooreQB Kellen Moore (Photo: Gavin Smith)

Player of the game on offense: QB Kellen Moore

Moore continues to show great command of Joe Lombardi’s offense, leading the Lions on four scoring drives.

He distributed the ball around to a lot of different receivers, moved the chains and took care of the football.

Those are all the qualities you’d like to see in a backup quarterback.

Moore has played well all preseason. Has it been enough to challenge Dan Orlovsky as Stafford’s backup?

It should at least be discussed when the coaches and front office personnel sit down and start talking about the 53-man roster starting Friday afternoon.

Player of the game on defense: DE George Johnson.

The former four-technique defensive tackle turned edge rusher has been one of the surprise performers this preseason.

Johnson has taken advantage of every snap he’s been given, dating all the way back to the OTAs and minicamp.

He recorded two tackles, 1.5 sacks and three quarterback hits in Buffalo. He finished the preseason with 2.5 sacks in four games.