By NOAH TRISTER/AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) – Matthew Stafford threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate, and rookie running back Ameer Abdullah ran for 67 yards – 45 on one play – to lift the Detroit Lions to a 23-3 preseason victory over the New York Jets on Thursday night.READ MORE: 133,000 People Remain Under Boil Water Advisory In Michigan, Could Take Weeks Before Water Is Safe To Drink
Stafford played only one possession in Detroit’s exhibition opener. He threw for 57 yards, completing his only two pass attempts – both to Tate. The touchdown came on a throw over the middle, and Tate slipped between three defenders after the catch and ran to the end zone.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets’ new starting quarterback, played one drive, going 2 of 3 for 16 yards and guiding New York to a field goal. It’s been a tumultuous week for the Jets, who lost Geno Smith to a broken jaw when he was punched by teammate Ikemefuna Enemkpali in the locker room Tuesday. Enemkpali was cut shortly after, and picked up on waivers by Buffalo, coached by Rex Ryan, who drafted the linebacker in the sixth round last year while with the Jets.
Smith, who was having a solid camp, had surgery on his jaw Thursday and is expected to miss 6-10 weeks.
Although Stafford’s appearance was brief, Abdullah played a bit longer and impressed the Ford Field crowd with his seven carries. The highlight was his 45-yard run up the middle in the first quarter.
Abdullah, a second-round draft pick from Nebraska, could be a real asset to the Lions, who cut Reggie Bush in the offseason and were without injured running back Joique Bell on Thursday. Abdullah got a nice cheer on his first carry of the game, and Lions fans had to like what they saw from him.READ MORE: Salvation Army Collecting Supplies For Back To School Drive
Brandon Marshall, acquired by the Jets this offseason in a trade, caught one pass for 12 yards in his debut. Bilal Powell had 35 yards on eight carries, and Chris Ivory had 25 yards on six attempts. Cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, signed as free agents this offseason, also made their returns for the Jets.
Detroit’s Dan Orlovsky threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Greg Salas early in the second half after the Jets fumbled. Salas, who played with the Jets the last two seasons, finished with five catches for 92 yards against his former team.
Detroit lost star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in the offseason, and although his jerseys were still being sold at the stadium, the Lions did their best to move on without him. Defensive tackle Caraun Reid and defensive end Devin Taylor combined for a sack in the second quarter, and the Jets didn’t score again after Fitzpatrick’s opening drive.
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