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Lions Blank Bills 23-0; Watkins Injured

The Bills lost Thursday's preseason finale 23-0 to the Detroit Lions and also lost WR Sammy Watkins with another rib injury.

Watkins was hit hard by Lions linebacker Ashlee Palmer on an incomplete pass and immediately clutched his midsection. After being examined by trainers on the sideline, the rookie wide receiver headed to the locker room and did not return. Later in the half, Bryce Brown went down with an apparent knee injury and had to be helped off the field by Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Moments later, however, Brown was jogging on the sideline and re-entered the game on Buffalo's next offensive series.

Most of the Bills starters were pulled from the game early, including EJ Manuel who lasted three series. Manuel was sacked twice and went 3 of 7 for 56 yards as the Buffalo offense struggled to move the ball. His replacement, newly-acquired Jordan Palmer, fared no better. Palmer was picked off by Isa Abdul-Quddus and four plays later, the Lions were in the end zone, a 1-yard touchdown toss from Kellen Moore to Jeremy Ross. Detroit went up 17-0 on Moore's second scoring pass of the evening, a 25-yard attempt to Corey Fuller.

Nate Freese connected on a pair of 53-yard field goals, one in the second quarter and the other in the third. Freese also hit a 28-yarder in the fourth, making the score 23-0 in favor of the Lions.

Palmer played the entire second half, finishing 9-22 for 73 yards and three interceptions. Jeff Tuel did not take a snap on Thursday evening.

The Bills open the regular season on Sunday, September 7 against the Chicago Bears. John Murphy, Mark Kelso and Sal Capaccio have the call on WGR 550 and the Buffalo Bills Radio Network.

1st Quarter
No scoring

2nd Quarter
DET - 14:08 - Nate Freese 53-yard field goal attempt is good - DET 3 BUF 0

DET - 5:55 - Jeremy Ross 1-yard TD catch from Kellen Moore (Freese PAT is good) - DET 10 BUF 0

DET - 0:09 - Corey Fuller 25-yard TD catch from Kellen Moore (Freese PAT is good) - DET 17 BUF 0

3rd Quarter
DET - 3:24 - Nate Freese 53-yard field goal attempt is good - DET 20 BUF 0

4th Quarter
DET - 10:43 - Nate Freese 28-yard field goal attempt is good - DET 23 BUF 0

Individual Stats

Kellen Moore - 17-28, 172 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Dan Orlovsky - 7-11, 39 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

Jordan Palmer - 9-22, 73 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT
EJ Manuel - 3-7, 56 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT


George Winn - 12 car, 43 yards
Mikel Leshoure - 8 car, 18 yards
Theo Riddick - 3 car, -2 yards
Kellen Moore - 3 car, -4 yards

Anthony Dixon - 8 car, 46 yards
Bryce Brown - 8 car, 12 yards
C.J. Spiller - 2 car, -3 yards


Corey Fuller - 3 rec, 48 yards, 1 TD
Patrick Edwards - 3 rec, 47 yards
Ryan Broyles - 3 rec, 31 yards

Robert Woods - 2 rec, 36 yards
Bryce Brown - 3 rec, 21 yards

Team Stats
Total Yards

DET - 258
BUF - 162

Passing Yards
DET - 203
BUF - 108

Rushing Yards
DET - 55
BUF - 54

DET - 10/68 yards
BUF - 10/70 yards

Time of Possession
DET - 36:42
BUF - 23:18

Are the Sabres now a legitimate playoff contender for next season?
  Yes. They may not make it but they'll be in the race all season.
  No, not yet. They still need a defenseman and another good winger.
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