Lions vs. Bills Report Card: Grading Detroit’s preseason opener

Ifeatu Melifonwu, Detroit Lions (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Ifeatu Melifonwu, Detroit Lions (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /

Ladies and gentlemen, we have football. After a long offseason fueled by new head coach Dan Campbell’s limitless energy, the Detroit Lions returned to Ford Field to take on the Buffalo Bills. Additionally, they played their first game in front of a home crowd since before the pandemic.

And it turned out to be a pretty fun game, while they didn’t get the win it was still an exciting finish,  and while they blew it in typical Lions fashion, it was enjoyable regardless. And since wins and losses don’t matter in the preseason, the fans got to just sit back and enjoy the comeback attempt.

Without further ado let’s get onto the grades …

Offense- 3/5 Stars

This was a very up and down game for the offense, after starting with a brutal three-and-out, Detroit embarked on an 18-play, 10-minute long drive that predictably ended in a field goal.

After that, the second-stringers really struggled to generate anything, and poor backup quarterback Tim Boyle was being treated like a piñata just getting hit play after play.

However the third-string offense found its grove and managed to come back to take the lead, unfortunately, the defense couldn’t finish the job but it made for quite the last few moments.

Best offensive player: Craig Reynolds

For a guy that was signed on Thursday, that was a really good introduction to Detroit. Running back Craig Reynolds was the fourth running back to make an appearance, but he was easily the most productive.

Reynolds only had a handful of carries, but every single one seemed to be a really solid run, headlined by a 24-yard touchdown run to bring the Lions to within one. He certainly made himself known with his performance, it will be interesting to see if he sticks around with the team.

Worst offensive player(s): The second-team offensive line

Touched on it briefly but Boyle was getting absolutely blasted by the Bills, the second-stringers on the line just could not protect him at all. Offensive guard Logan Stenberg was okay, but far from perfect, and everyone else had a very forgettable night. If anyone of the starters gets hurt, it could prove fatal to the entire offense.