The preseason is all about getting the young players acclimated to the NFL, knocking some of rust off for the vets, and for players on the roster bubble to show they deserve a spot on the team.
But walking away with a win is nice too.
Unfortunately, Detroit begins the preseason 0-1 after dropping their preseason opener to Buffalo Friday night at Ford Field. After scoring 12 unanswered fourth-quarter points to take a 15-13 lead late, Buffalo converted a long 4th and 10 play in the final minutes and eventually secured the 16-15 win with a 44-yard yard field goal with just 15 seconds left in the game.
But there were some good things to like early on for Detroit with a majority of the starters on offense and defense playing two series in the first quarter.
Quarterback Jared Goff made his Lions debut after being traded to Detroit for Matthew Stafford and two first-round picks this offseason. He orchestrated an 18-play, 70-yard drive capped off by a 28-yard Randy Bullock field goal on Detroit's second possession (Goff's last of the night).
View photos from Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions Preseason Week 1 game at Ford Field on Friday, Aug. 13 in Detroit, MI.
"You just wanted to see them be able to create a drive, sustain a drive, find a way to get a first down, move the football," Lions head coach Dan Campbell told Bally Sports at halftime. "What you learn is that they were able to do it in preseason game one. That's really all you learn, but it was good. It's encouraging."
Detroit's first-team defense played two series and allowed one field goal, but it should be noted it was on a drive that Buffalo started on the 50-yard line and had to make a 50-yard field goal.
Buffalo's offensive reserves tacked on 10 second-quarter points on a Davis Webb to Devin Singletary touchdown pass and a 37-yard Tyler Bass field goal.
Bullock added another 27-yard field goal for the Lions in the fourth quarter to trim the lead to 13-6.
The Lions cut the lead to 13-12 midway through fourth quarter on a 24-yard run by Craig Reynolds, who was signed to the roster on Thursday. Detroit's two-point conversion attempt failed. The Lions took the lead with a Bullock 28-yard field goal with just over two minutes remaining, but couldn't hold it.
Goff's night: After nearly throwing an interception on his first pass attempt of the game and then getting sacked two plays later on third down, Goff settled down rather nicely.
On Detroit's second possession of the game, Goff led the Lions on an 18-play, 70-yard drive that took nearly 10 minutes (9:54) off the clock. Goff completed his first seven passes on the drive and his only incompletion was an attempt in the end zone that wide receiver Tyrell Williams nearly caught. Goff played two series total and finished 7-of-9 passing for 56 yards. He also rushed once for 4 yards, and finished with a 92.6 passer rating.
Impressive performance: There were a couple for the Lions, but one question mark heading into the season is how much juice off the edge can they get from some of their edge rushers not named Romeo Okwara or Trey Flowers.
One name that's been standing out in training camp so far is Julian Okwara, Romeo's younger brother. Julian had a nice night Friday.
He notched a fourth-quarter sack to give the Lions a chance to win the game late. He had three quarterback hits, a tackle for loss and finished with three tackles.
Okwara played in just six games last year due to injury, so it was good to see him out there and being disruptive.
Position battle to watch: Backup quarterback job
Tim Boyle was the second quarterback in for Detroit. He took some licks, but he kept on going. The reserve offensive line had some struggles in pass protection, but Boyle led a fourth-quarter scoring drive and finished 8-of-15 passing for 38 yards and a 59.0 passer rating. He was aided by a roughing the passer penalty and pass interference call on the scoring drive.
David Blough took over the offense in the fourth quarter and led a fourth-quarter touchdown drive. He finished 5-of-6 passing for 76 yards with a 118.8 passer rating.
The edge goes to Blough after one preseason game.
Injury report: Center Evan Boehm walked off the field under his own power after being down on the field for a bit in the fourth quarter with an apparent right leg injury.
Boyle got up slow after a roughing the passer penalty in the third quarter, but stayed in the game. He got his left ankle heavily taped for the next series and kept playing.
Next up: At Pittsburgh Steelers next Saturday at 7:30 p.m.