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Fourth-quarter analysis: Matt Simms' two-minute drill comes up empty

Matt Simms' audition for a job with the Buffalo Bills – either on the 53-man roster or practice squad – ended on a sour note Thursday night against the Detroit Lions inside Ford Field.

Simms had an opportunity to lead the Bills to a tying or go-ahead score with less than two minutes to play, but the drive stalled out once it reached Detroit territory. After a 17-yard gain to running back Cierre Wood that got the Bills to the Detroit 47-yard line, Simms threw incomplete to tight end Nick O'Leary. After a 1-yard completion to Wood, Simms threw incomplete to Marcus Thigpen and incomplete to Andre Davis to turn the ball over on downs.

Simms finished the game 22 of 38 for 223 yards. He was sacked three times for a loss of 45 yards and although he didn't throw any interceptions, was credited with three lost fumbles. One of those, however, never reached him on a botched snap by center Kraig Urbik.

Costly mistake: Bills defensive end IK Enemkpali lined up offside on a fourth-and-1 play for Detroit. That gave the Lions a first down – a bad mistake by Enemkpali since Bills cornerback Ron Brooks tackled receiver Jeremy Ross for no gain, which would have resulted in a turnover on downs and the Bills taking over possession. On the next play, Lions fullback Zach Zenner scored the go-ahead touchdown.

Amazingly, Enemkpali got called for the same penalty later in the quarter.

Quietly productive: Thigpen hasn't gotten a lot of attention this preseason, but the Buffalo Bills' returner has done a solid job. Thigpen's only punt return Thursday against the Lions went for 16 yards, giving the Bills decent field position for their two-minute drill at the end of the game. Thigpen's 16-yard return was right on his average for six previous punts in the preseason. That type of average in the regular season would be near the league lead.

 

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