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Week 1 of the NFL preseason has officially begun, bringing two more games on Friday night, including the Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions. The Bills came from behind to topple the Lions, thanks in part to a heroic effort from backup quarterback Jake Fromm.
Bills at Lions score and results
The Bills outlasted the Lions in each team’s preseason opener. Both teams put forth impressive plays while both teams also were left with questions yet to be answered.
Buffalo utilized a heavy two-quarterback system after Mitchell Trubisky started the game, but played one series. Davis Webb received most of the snaps after Trubisky, finishing the game at 11-16, 90 yards, 1 TD. But it was Fromm who receives the most credit, finding his groove in a two-minute drill to set up a game-winning field goal from Randy Bullock.
The game’s biggest storyline, however, came in the first quarter, in the first series to boot. Rookie right tackle Penei Sewell was ‘beat’ for a sack by rookie defensive end Gregory Rousseau as the Lions first-round pick was shaky in his first action since the 2019 season with Oregon. Sewell was credited with allowing this sack to Rousseau, 11 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
Two looks (from the broadcast) of the 'Penei Sewell allowed sack'
Harrison Phillips walking back Halapoulivaati Vaitai takes precedents here pic.twitter.com/f1tjq3ClTW
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) August 14, 2021
Score it how you will, the 20-year-old Sewell fared as expected in his debut: shaky at first, solid after. Fellow Lions players who had impressive showings were RB Craig Reynolds, DE Julian Okwara, and K Randy Bullock.
Reynolds, signed a day prior, finished with 6 carries for 49 yards and 1 touchdown while Okwara blew up a screen for an impressive sack late in the fourth. Bullock handled all kicking duties despite the Lions having an ‘open battle’ with him and Zane Gonzalez.
For the Bills, their storyline headlines around their quarterback battle between Webb and Fromm for what amounts to QB3 in Orchard Park. Webb handled most of the action but Fromm held his own when called upon.
Jake Fromm, this is the your moment.
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 14, 2021
Webb finished with 90 yards on 11-16 passing while Fromm finished with 65 yards on 8-13 passing, 42 of which yards came on one pass to rookie WR Marquez Stevenson.
Bills and Lions highlights and updates
9:59 PM ET: Bullock connects on his third field goal of the night, hitting a 28-yard field goal to put the Lions ahead. Bullock continues to handle all kicking duties ahead of Gonzalez. Lions lead, 15-13.
9:55 PM ET: Lions WR Tom Kennedy breaks a slant route off for a big 29-yard gain to put Detroit in field goal range. With less than two minutes to play, Kennedy continues to impress, and his final play could lead to a preseason victory.
9:44 PM ET: Backup center Evan Boehm gets rolled up on in a play that didn’t look good for the potential backup center in Detroit. Boehm laid on the ground for a minute in pain before bouncing back up but needing help off the field.
9:34 PM ET: Second-year running back Craig Reynolds takes a handoff for 24 yards and a touchdown for Detroit. Reynolds cut back in the backfield, making a defender miss before skirting the defense for six points. Detroit went for the 2-point conversion but missed a David Blough to Sage Surratt pass that would have put them in the lead. Bills still lead, 13-12.
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) August 14, 2021
9:22 PM ET: Jake Fromm takes over for the Buffalo Bills at quarterback. Fromm connects on his first pass to Brandon Powell for 5 yards. He hit rookie WR Marquez Stevenson for no gain on the next pass. Fromm was subsequently sacked by Bruce Hector for a loss of 10 yards to end his first drive.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) August 14, 2021
9:19 PM ET: Bullock hits another field goal for the Lions, proving to have done enough in camp to out-duel Zane Gonzalez in terms of opportunities. Bullock hits a 27-yard field goal to bring it within one score. Buffalo leads, 13-6.
9:10 PM ET: Rookie RB Dedrick Mills breaks a tackle and puts forth an impressive run to end the third quarter. Mills broke a tackle in the backfield before shaking a defender at the second level for a first down on a fourth-down carry. Heading to the fourth quarter, Bills still lead, 13-3.
8:59 PM ET: Lions WR Geronimo Allison makes his first catch in over a year after opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. Allison grabs a pass and converts a first down with an impressive run after the catch.
8:54 PM ET: Boyle looks sluggish following the interception and injury, missing two straight passes. A punt ensues and the third-string players for each team continue to look off.
8:48 PM ET: After multiple slow series to start the second half, Boyle throws an interception to Andre Smith. A roughing the passer penalty gives the Lions the ball back, but Boyle is shaken up on the play.
8:24 PM ET: The first half ticks away as the Bills lead the Lions, 13-3. Davis Webb leads the game’s only touchdown drive, finishing the half by completing 6-of-9 attempts for 51 yards, and 1 TD. Goff exited after an impressive, controlled performance, completing 7-of-9 passes for 56 yards. He was accurate and distributed the ball well, but issues on the offensive line were worrisome in the early stages of the first quarter for Detroit.
8:22 PM ET: Penalties stymie the Bills drive late in the second quarter, resulting in another field goal. Bass drills home a 37-yard field goal to increase Buffalo’s lead, 13-3.
8:05 PM ET: Webb connects with Singletary on a play-action pass out of the backfield for the game’s first touchdown. The Lions’ defense got caught cheating up after the Bills’ run game began to churn out yards easily. Bills lead, 10-3.
8:01 PM ET: Rookie LT Spencer Brown puts forth a dominant effort on a first-down carry. Brown clears the running lane and reaches the second level with speed and strength at the point of attack.
Oh, hi Spencer Brown pic.twitter.com/S0JUz303nB
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) August 14, 2021
7:59 PM ET: Newly-signed Nickell Robey-Coleman is called for a pass interference penalty that extends a Bills drive. Robey-Coleman was signed just this week after the Lions realized a hole in their depth at cornerback.
7:50 PM ET: Davis Webb entered the game at quarterback for the Bills. After four straight carries, Webb completes his first pass to third-year TE Tommy Sweeney for a gain of 18 yards. Webb hit Sweeney on a play-action pass on the backside that Sweeney ran 16 yards after the catch.
7:44 PM ET: After a three-and-out from Buffalo, Tim Boyle takes over at quarterback for the Lions. Boyle’s first three passes are good for one completion, one yard, and one punt.
7:36 PM ET: Trubisky completes his first pass as a member of the Buffalo Bills, hitting TE Dawson Knox for 10 yards and a first down. Trubisky’s first completion is the last play of the first quarter, tied at 3-3.
Jared Goff went 7 of 9 for 56 yards with a controlled performance in his Detroit Lions debut.See Also[Top 5] Star Citizen Best All Around ShipsInpatient Rehabilitation Hospital Cincinnati | Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of CincinnatiRyan World Phone Number - Fan Mail, House Address, Contact
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 13, 2021
7:31 PM ET: An impressive 18-play drive comes to a screeching halt in the red zone. The drive leads to a 28-yard field goal from Randy Bullock. Detroit ties it with Buffalo, 3-3.
7:30 PM ET: Bills CB Levi Wallace makes the game’s best defensive play to date with tight coverage on Lions WR Tyrell Williams. He spotted the ball quickly and records a pass breakup in the end zone.
7:27 PM ET: St. Brown continues to showcase his ability to separate from the slot, running a crisp out route for a gain of 9 yards. St. Brown hauls in 3 receptions in his first quarter.
7:24 PM ET: Lions C Frank Ragnow called for a costly holding penalty, negating a 14-yard gain from St. Brown. Ragnow was called for just two penalties a season ago.
7:21 PM ET: Rookie WR Amon-Ra St. Brown makes his first reception as a Detroit Lion. He quickly breaks off an out route for just a gain of 3 yards, but St. Brown showcases what made him such a special draft prospect.
7:19 PM ET: Bills safety Josh Thomas knives through the defense for an impressive tackle for loss. Thomas drops Lions RB Jamaal Williams for a loss of one.
7:14 PM ET: Bills kicker Tyler Bass gets the first points on the board, nailing a 50-yard field goal. Buffalo leads early, 3-0.
7:12 PM ET: Mitchel Trubisky’s first pass for the Bills is thrown low to Isaiah McKenzie. A catchable pass but it would’ve been a tough reception.
7:10 PM ET: Lions DE Kevin Strong breaks through the offensive line for an impressive tackle for loss. Strong takes down Singletary for a loss of three.
7:06 PM ET: Devin Singletary takes the Bills opening play for a gain of 15 yards. The play is negated by a holding penalty by tackle Bobby Hart.
7:03 PM ET: Bills defensive lineman Harrison Phillips walks back Lions right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai and sacks Goff for the first big play of the game. Rookie defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau gets credit for the sack against Sewell.
Penei Sewell was no match for Gregory Rousseau 😤😤pic.twitter.com/0D19Wl2GqS
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) August 13, 2021
7:02 PM ET: Penei Sewell misses a block in the run game on Jamaal Williams’ first carry, leading to a carry for no gain. Jared Goff started the game for Detroit, throwing an incompletion on his first attempt.
Bills at Lions preview for Week 1 of the NFL preseason
Detroit kicks off their first season with new head coach Dan Campbell while the Bills will look for an even deeper playoff run in 2021. MVP candidate Josh Allen will make his 2021 season debut fresh off signing one of the most lucrative contracts in NFL history.
Jared Goff to make his Lions’ debut
In addition to a head coaching change, the Lions swapped quarterbacks this offseason, trading for former Rams QB Jared Goff. That means that for the first time since 2009, someone other than Matthew Stafford will be the Opening Day starter for Detroit. That streak — now broken with Stafford in Los Angeles — was the third-longest in the NFL behind only Matt Ryan in Atlanta and Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.
Goff had an up-and-down career during his tenure with the Rams. He lit up scoreboards during his 2018 season that saw him throw for 5,400 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. Despite missing the playoffs with LA in 2019, Goff signed a four-year contract worth over $110,000,000, showcasing the Rams’ belief in him.
However, as quickly as he came, he was gone after an exit from the playoffs following a disappointing Divisional Round loss against the Green Bay Packers.
The Rams packaged Goff with two first-round picks to the Lions in exchange for Stafford, proving to be too much for the team to want to hang on to him and his contract. For his career, Goff has thrown over 19,471 yards and 111 touchdowns against just 57 interceptions. He has made the playoffs as a full-time starter in three seasons, including a Super Bowl appearance against the Patriots in 2018.
It remains to be seen how long Campbell will play his starting quarterback against the Bills in Week 1 of the preseason. But nothing should come as a surprise with Campbell at the helm.
Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.