The Buffalo Bills close out the preseason against the Detroit Lions for the 16th straight year on Thursday. While we’ve come to know and love the eventual castoffs from both franchises, Bills fans really don’t need to pay attention to the actual roster very closely. The Bills and Lions last played a meaningful game in 2014, which you may remember as Kyle Orton’s first start with the Bills. Orton threw for 308 yards, and Dan Carpenter hit a late 58-yard field goal to give the Bills a 17-14 win.
I traded questions earlier in the week with Chris Prefett of Pride of Detroit, the SB Nation Lions blog, for some insight about the team. I also answered some questions on the Bills for their readers, which you can find here.
Matthew Stafford just signed the largest contract in the NFL. How does that deal look for the Lions, and what does his future look like in Detroit?
Stafford's contract is going to be the benchmark for this weird world we live in riiiiiight up until someone throws a treasury at Kirk Cousins. His future is secure with the Lions, although the specifics of the contract are rather interesting. It's pretty well loaded on the guaranteed money towards the middle of his contract and the last year or so plays out much like a team option. Either way, I think Stafford has a long career with the Lions so long as he doesn't keep taking these massive shots and getting turned into a gif. The offense is being built around him and will continue to be, but now that his contract is done, it's in full gear.
Cyrus Kouandjio found himself with the Lions after being released by the Bills in the wake of a bizarre off-the-field incident, but was just waived a few days ago. What happened?
I honestly thought he'd make the team, but they seem ready to go ahead with Cornelius Lucas. Any help on this offensive line is good and necessary. Taylor Decker's injury will keep this team behind the eight ball, and Lions fans just got done watching an offensive line flail around for years before rebuilding itself.
Ziggy Ansah had a down year after a breakout 2015 campaign, but was seemingly hampered by an ankle injury for most of the year and is currently on the PUP list. What are his prospects for 2017?
I...really don't know. Honestly people point to his good year but he was a ball of up-and-down play before and after that. I think he's probably going to get the franchise tag in the offseason, but there's always going to be this dance of how good Ziggy is, when he's going to "learn" football (honestly he knows it already!) and morph into a monster. I think the window is gonna close soon enough on that question. 2017 is pretty much pivotal on what his outlook is going to be.
Give us one player on each side of the ball who is playing for a spot on the Lions' final roster this Thursday.
The Lions need defensive linemen, and Jeremiah Valoaga is going to be playing hard for a spot. He's impressed in training camp but he needs to have what we call the "Kerry Hyder Special" to really make this team.
Even after the Keshawn Martin cut, competition among wide receivers is still fierce. I'm rooting for Jace Billingsley, who many thought had a great preseason last year and then spent the season on the practice squad. He hasn't done much this year but he's got a shot to make it.
This is the 16th consecutive season that the Bills and Lions close out the preseason against one another. What's your most memorable moment from the series?
The most memorable moment was when Ralph Wilson and William Clay Ford got drunk together and [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] and that's why we play this game every year.