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TIM AND MIKE: Preseason Week 1 observations

Settling in: Penei Sewell hadn't played a live football rep against an opponent since the end of the 2019 college season at Oregon after opting out of the 2020 college season. Sewell started at right tackle for the Lions Friday night and on the third play of the game, with the Lions facing a 3rd and 10, Buffalo rookie edge rusher Greg Rousseau beat Sewell on an outside speed rush to record the sack. Sewell settled in nicely after that, however, taking part in an 18-play, 70-yard Lions scoring drive on his second possession before his night was over. – Tim Twentyman

Small gains, big payoff: They might have gotten lost in the other stats, but two small gains by running back Jamaal Williams were important in the Lions' second possession that ended in a 28-yard field goal by Randy Bullock. Williams converted two third-and-ones into first downs with one-yard gains that kept the possession going. – Mike O'Hara

View photos from Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions Preseason Week 1 game at Ford Field on Friday, Aug. 13 in Detroit, MI.

Standing room only: The Detroit Tigers played the Cleveland Indians Friday night across the street from Ford Field. It was cool to look through the windows at Ford Field and see the Comerica Park crowd on their feet whenever Miguel Cabrera came to bat. The next Cabrera home run will be 500 for his career. He'll be just the 28th player in MLB history to accomplish the feat. – Tim Twentyman

Special teams specialists: Jack Fox showed his Pro Bowl form of 2020 on a 66-yard punt in the second quarter. He did not out-kick his coverage, though. The reason: Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, one of the NFL's top special teams players, got downfield to tackle the return man for a puny three-yard return. That was a net punt of 63 yards. – Mike O'Hara

Strong start: It was a nice start to the 2021 preseason for veteran defensive end Kevin Strong. He had a terrific 3-yard tackle for loss on Buffalo's first possession of the game (ended with FG). He forced a third quarter fumble and also stuffed Bills RB Matt Breida for a 1-yard gain on a 3rd and 3 play to force a punt in the second quarter. He affected a couple other plays, forcing ball carriers into other tacklers. Overall, it was a really nice start for Strong, who finished with six tackles. He adds great depth to the defensive front. – Tim Twentyman

Preseason play: The Bills went for it on 4th & 1 at their 30 early in the second quarter. Fullback Reggie Gilliam got the first down on a one-yard run. A good, tough play by the Bills –-- but doubt they'd have gone for it in the regular season. The preseason is different than the regular season. – Mike O'Hara

4th and 1: Speaking of going for it on fourth down. Coaches sometimes want to see certain situations in the preseason. Late in the second quarter, Detroit's second-team offense faced a 4th & 1 at their own 37-yard line. In the regular season, that's usually a punting situation. Not always, but often. Lions head coach Dan Campbell wanted to see if his second-team offensive line could get a push and get the first down. They didn't. Rookie running back Jermar Jefferson had nowhere to run and was dropped for a 1-yard loss. Buffalo took over and scored a field goal eight plays later to take a 13-3 lead. – Tim Twentyman

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