What it means: The Bills’ No. 1 goal was to escape without significant injury so the Bills rested all of their starters in this one. On to Indianapolis.
Player of the Game: Most preseason finales are ugly. This one was no exception. Buffalo had to be pleased with Dezmin Lewis’ game, though. The seventh-rounder from Central Arkansas knows he needs to play with more physicality to stick in the NFL and he did on Thursday, catching six passes for 81 yards. He’s a 6-foot-4 project worth developing on the practice squad.
Play of the Game: Buffalo’s lone touchdown was a fun one. Merrill Noel drilled Lions receiver Jeremy Ross with so much forced, the ball ricocheted straight into the air when Ross landed on his back… to the waiting arms of cornerback Ron Brooks who took it 81 yards to the house. Brooks had a solid game for Buffalo, closing fast to tackle and covering well.
Stat of the Game: Zero fumbles for Bryce Brown on 11 touches (nine carries, two receptions). Buffalo gave him a lot of work after missing a chunk of training camp with a hamstring injury. His burst is evident. Brown had one impressive 17-yard run off right tackle. Now, he needs to prove he can hang onto the ball.
Back-up OL disappoints: The Bills probably didn’t expect their 2014 second-round pick, Cyrus Kouandjio, to be playing deep into the second half of a fourth preseason game but there he was. Seantrel Henderson ran away with the job in training camp. The No. 2 line as a whole struggled Thursday, with Cyril Richardson allowing one sack late in the first half.
Whoops: Matt Simms will cringe when he sees his wild, blind, throw/fumble behind the line of scrimmage. It was a rocky day for the young quarterback. He did, somehow, escape a point-blank sack by Corey Wootton to scramble and hit Cierre Wood for 17 yards. But in four quarters, Simms managed three points. He completed 22 of 38 passes for 223 yards.
Coming up: The Bills need to shave their roster down to 53 players by Saturday evening and then it’s game week. Real football is right around the corner.