The Buffalo Bills closed their 2009 pre-season schedule with a 17-6 home loss to the Detroit Lions. Buffalo did not score an offensive touchdown in either of their final two pre-season games, and the only starters that took the field in tonight's contest were the five starters along the offensive line.
Ryan Fitzpatrick started at quarterback, completing 9 of 17 passes for 78 yards; Gibran Hamdan took over in the second half, also completing 9 of 17 passes for 163 yards. Both quarterbacks threw interceptions. Meanwhile, rookie DE Aaron Maybin had a sack and a forced fumble on top overall draft pick QB Matthew Stafford in the first quarter. Two other defensive rookies turned in big nights, as FS Jairus Byrd recorded an interception and LB Nic Harris led the team with a dozen tackles.
Bills head coach Dick Jauron mentioned in post-game interviews that the decision was made to rest his starters because preparations for the team's season-opening game in New England have already begun. In particular, in regards to QB Trent Edwards, Jauron mentioned that he "did him a disservice" by playing him without a game plan over the past two weeks, and did not want to repeat the feat tonight. Edwards spent the entirety of the past week running plays in the New England game plan, and the staff did not feel there would be anything to gain by playing Edwards without a game plan again this evening. The same can be said for the entirety of the starting defense.
WR Terrell Owens spent the game in full uniform on the sideline; he ran some routes in pre-game warmups and looked completely healthy.
Reserve G/C Brandon Rodd left the game with a leg injury and did not return. The same can be said of RB Xavier Omon, who was scheduled to get a lot of carries, but only managed 4 carries for 17 yards before leaving the game with a calf contusion.
Other big plays: John McCargo recorded a sack and was generally disruptive the entire evening. Reggie Corner had an interception and a lengthy return in the first half. WR Justin Jenkins caught a long 43-yard reception from Hamdan in the fourth quarter as the Bills were playing catch-up. Steve Johnson also had a 33-yard reception on the evening.
Buffalo has the next two days off as the Bills finalize their 53-man roster, which they must do by 4:00 PM ET Saturday. They return to the practice field on Sunday for a full week of preparation for their Monday Night Football opener in New England.
The pre-season is over. The football gods, at least on this evening, are merciful. Leave your comments on the pre-season and this game in the comments section - then be sure to check back in tomorrow morning for the announcement of our roster projection contest!