Bills’ depth impressive in 27-17 win over LionsSeptember 1, 2017
ORCHARD PARK, NY
Backups took center stage and stole show as Buffalo earned its first preseason win for new head coach, Sean McDermott.
QB Nate Peterman led two scoring drives in the win and completed 9 of 11 passes for 81 yards. He connected with four different receivers on the opening drive and led an impressive 11 play, 72 yard drive, capped off with a nifty 21 yard touchdown run by RB Jonathan Williams.
Peterman gave way to newly acquired Keith Wenning who was a modest 5-15 for 41 yards. Wenning was brought in as an extra body since both starters at QB, Tyrod Taylor and TJ Yates are still in concussion protocol. It appears as if Peterman has done enough to earn the backup job but if Taylor cannot go in week one, the rookie will get his first start in a meaningful game. Although it was only an exhibition game, Peterman admitted the importance of getting a win. “I think it was big. It definitely helps morale in the locker room after the game and going forward, I am sure it will help give us some momentum into week one. A lot of guys played well tonight so it is exciting to see.”
WR Brandon Reilly may have locked up a roster spot with another impressive performance. Reilly has been a pleasant surprise this summer. The undrafted free agent from Nebraska caught two passes for 27 yards and finished the preseason with 11 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown.
Jonathan Williams and Joe Banyard led an impressive rushing attack that proves there is sufficient depth behind star RB LeSean McCoy, who sat this one out with most of the starters. Both Williams and Banyard scored rushing touchdowns. Williams finished with 53 yards and a touchdown while Banyard had 68 yards for another score. McDermott praised the consistency of the running game where the Bills outgained the Lions 205-100.”I thought they ran the ball well and really different people touching the ball, it wasn’t all one back. Jonathan (Williams) had a couple of good carries, Joe (Banyard) had a couple of good carries, Taiwan (Jones) and Jordan (Johnson) came in. Great to see Jordan, a hometown product score the touchdown at the end and he broke the team down. That is the great part of the preseason and happy when you can see a young man who has worked hard get a chance and make the most of it.”
The Bills built a 27-3 lead before surrendering two fourth quarter touchdown passes. One of those touchdowns included an electrifying 74 yard TD pass to Tion Green.
The defense which has been very stingy much of the preseason with starters and backups, forced three turnovers. Rookie Ian Seau, a long shot to make the team, had a nice resume builder as he finished with two sacks and a fumble recovery. The second sack involved a double play strip and fumble recovery. CB Greg Mabin ended a third quarter Lions drive with an interception in the end zone.
The Bills,who were in double digits in penalties, each of its first two games, were flagged just five times against Detroit. In addition, the offense did not turn the ball over.
Up next for the Bills is decision time for McDermott and GM Brandon Beane as rosters must be trimmed to 53 players by Saturday, 4pm EST. Then, it’s on to preparing for the N.Y. Jets who come to Buffalo for the season opener on September 10.
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