Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions: Three Keys to the Game


Three things to keep an eye on when the Buffalo Bills play the Detroit Lions

It has been a busy week for the Buffalo Bills, and we haven’t even played the fourth and final preseason game yet.

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With the somewhat surprising cut of Fred Jackson and the announcement of Tyrod Taylor as the team’s starting quarterback on Monday, there has been a lot of buzz at One Bills Drive lately. And it’s not going to stop anytime soon.

Thursday night’s preseason matchup against the Detroit Lions provides players in the bottom portion of the depth chart one last opportunity to show the front office and coaching staff why they deserve to be on the 53-man roster. It will also be the last time we will see 22 men suited up in a Bills uniform.

With that being said, here’s this week’s Three Keys to the Game for the matchup with the Lions, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. from Ford Field:

1) Stay Healthy

This is the last time the Bills will take the field before the regular season – aside from practice. With one game left before showtime, Buffalo needs to leave their final preseason game with a clean bill of health.

There could be some opportunities for guys – like Anthony Dixon and Percy Harvin – who have missed out on preseason action thus far, but will play crucial roles in the offense for week one against the Indianapolis Colts. Again though, these guys need to come out of the preseason finale unscathed.

As with the past three weeks, staying healthy is the most important key to the game.

2) Wide receivers need to step up

With a limited number of wide receiver spots still available on the 53-man roster, players like Andre Davis, Deonte Thompson and Dez Lewis will have one final opportunity to impress the coaching staff.

Aug 20, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Deonte Thompson (80) and Cleveland Browns defensive back

Tramon Williams

(22) go after the ball during the game at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Lewis is the one who most likely needs a big performance, considering he didn’t come on in camp until late on, whereas Davis and Thompson have been impressing throughout.

With extra reps to come, the trio needs to make the most of their opportunity against the Lions.

3) Make or break for Matt Simms

It’s finally Matt Simms‘ time to shine.

Throughout camp it’s been about Taylor, EJ Manuel and Matt Cassel. Now it’s Simms’ turn.

Rex Ryan has already said that the Bills plan to keep three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. But will Simms be one of them? Thursday night provides an opportunity to prove he deserves to be Buffalo’s third quarterback.

Next: Buffalo Bills Detroit Lions: Getting to know the enemy

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