The Lions first team offense finally came down to Earth. Matthew Stafford turned in his worst performance of the preseason as his only touchdown pass of the game went to the wrong team. Drayton Florence got his hands on Stafford’s second pass of the game and went 40 yards the other way for six points.
The lack of production out of the starting unit is not as troubling considering their body of work over the entire preseason.
Holding Jahvid Best out of the game allowed the Lions to get extended looks at their other running backs as they are just days away from making final roster decisions. Kevin Smith turned in a better performance and may have done enough to avoid losing his roster spot. Maurice Morris got only three carries but gained good yardage in his limited action. Morris was also very good in pass protection. Aaron Brown’s night was aided by one 14-yard run but has the kind of versatility that NFL teams find valuable. DeDe Dorsey was impressive running and receiving but lost a fumble. Little may have been settled on the field and the final decision about running back roster spots could come down to trade possibilities. If Martin Mayhew finds he can get something in return for one of his back-up running backs then he might have an easy decision, otherwise the decision could be very difficult.
Landon Cohen and Andre Fluellen each turned in very good performances with the reserve defensive unit. Cohen in particular was a disruptive force and Fluellen showed versatility by playing inside at defensive tackle and outside at defensive end.
Some have speculated that the Lions could choose to part ways with Drew Stanton in order to carry more players at a different position. Stanton, as limited as he may be, was effective in the preseason finale and might not stay off a roster long enough for the Lions to come back to him should they have an injury to Matthew Stafford or Shaun Hill. After watching the Bills trot out Levi Brown is it obvious that teams can do a lot worse than Stanton as their third string quarterback.