The series dates back to 1972 when the teams met for the first time in a 21-21 tie. The two have played eight other times with each team winning four contests. The Lions won the last meeting in the preseason last year, 16-6, to cap off an undefeated preseason. The two have met in every preseason since 2002 and 31 times total in the preseason, with the Lions holding a 19-11-1 record.
2011 REGULAR SEASON RANKINGS
|Points per game||29.6 (4)||23.2 (14)|
|Total yards per game||396.1 (5)||351.5 (14)|
|Rushing yards||95.2 (29)||120.1 (13)|
|Passing yards||300.9 (4)||231.4 (15)|
|Points allowed||21.4 (23)||27.1 (30)|
|Total yards allowed||367.6 (23)||371.1 (26)|
|Rushing yards allowed||128.1 (23)||139 (28)|
|Passing yards allowed||239.4 (22)||232.1 (19)|
|Turnover ratio||+11 (4)||+1 (15)|
PLAYERS TO WATCH
It was probably the most analyzed five carries for 1 yard ever last week in Oakland for Leshoure. He made his NFL debut against the Raiders last week and showed some good things, though the box score didn't say so. He showed quickness avoiding a defender in the backfield on his first run and good power when finishing runs. He's likely to get more of a load tonight considering he begins his suspension on Friday night at 9:00 PM and can't be in the building for the next two weeks.
The Lions traded for Barnes on Monday and like his versatility. His being able to play both inside in the slot and on the outside should help the team's depth in the secondary. Barnes will have only had one practice and a couple walkthroughs before tonight's game but he's already played the Bills this preseason when he was with the Redskins and the Lions need to see if he can contribute right away.
"We'll see how quick we can get him up to speed," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "He's not going to know everything that we do when we get to Thursday night, but he's going to have enough that he can go out and show if he can help us."
Moore is likely to get a lot of playing time tonight. He's gotten better in every game he's played in this preseason and the Lions would like to see that continue just one day before they have to decide whether or not they keep two or three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.
Tarvaris Jackson, QB:
The Lions have seen Jackson plenty of times before from his days in Minnesota. The Bills traded for Jackson on Monday, just hours after they cut Vince Young. Just 10 days before the Bills open the regular season against the Jets, they need to find out quickly how he fits their offense.
Stephon Gilmore, CB:
The Bills used the No. 10 overall pick on Gilmore, who became one of the draft's biggest risers after the college football season last year. He was considered the second-best corner available in the draft and has gotten rave reviews from teammates so far. He had three tackles last week against the Steelers.
Mario Williams, DE:
Williams signed the most lucrative contract for a defensive player in the history of the NFL this offseason. Last week against the Steelers, he showed why the Bills opened up their checkbook when he had three tackles and two sacks in a half's worth of work.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
Short and sweet
Schwartz said any player who is 100-percent healthy would play tonight. There's a little grey area there with a player like quarterback
If Stafford plays, it won't be much. He made it just four plays in last year's preseason finale before he was taken out of the game. Expect all the Lions starters to see little action tonight.
Bills coach Chan Gailey said this week that his starters should play around 10 plays tonight.
One last chance
Tonight marks the end of the preseason and the final chance for some bubble players to earn a spot on the final 53-man roster. The competition for the one or possibly two receivers spots will be filled by either
Setting things at punter
The NFL announced Wednesday that it will begin Week 1 of the regular season with replacement officials as the league and the NFLRA continue to try and negotiate a new deal. It's a tough task to try and get acclimated to the speed of the NFL when some of these officials are used to seeing college Division II and III athletes in the Midwest. The NFL should hope that at least the pace in which the replacement officials run the game and make calls improves from a week-to-week basis. We'll see if it's any better tonight.
Receiver Lance Long (Shelby Township), running back