By John Wawrow
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman continued making his offseason-long case to secure the backup job in a preseason-ending 27-17 win over the Detroit Lions on Thursday night.
The fifth-round draft pick out of Pittsburgh finished 9 of 11 for 81 yards. Peterman played two series, which ended with Jonathan Williams scoring on a 21-yard run and Stephen Hauschka hitting a 30-yard field goal.
There was additional emphasis on Peterman’s performance after starter Tyrod Taylor and veteran backup T.J Yates were sidelined by concussions sustained in a 13-9 loss at Baltimore on Saturday.
Peterman jumped ahead of Yates in taking over the primary backup spot after Buffalo’s preseason opener. He finished the preseason going 43 of 79 for 453 yards and a touchdown.
Taylor has yet to be cleared for practice, but he was healthy enough to attend the game. Though he didn’t take part in warmups, Taylor was spotted on the field alongside running back LeSean McCoy about 90 minutes before kickoff.
Buffalo (1-3) avoided going winless in the preseason, while Detroit (2-2) closed with two consecutive losses.
Lions second-year quarterback Jake Rudock went 6 of 9 for 41 yards in playing the entire first half.
Rookie Brad Kaaya went 11 of 19 for 182 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and lost fumble. Dontez Ford scored on a 3-yard catch and bad tackling by the Bills led to Tion Green scoring on a 74-yard catch and run midway through the fourth quarter.
Detroit’s injury-depleted defensive front showed holes throughout the game.
Buffalo had a 247-89 edge in yards midway through the third quarter, when Joe Banyard scored on a 1-yard run to put the Bills ahead 20-3. Jordan Johnson also scored on a 2-yard run.
Detroit’s patchwork defensive line is missing Jordan Hill (bicep), Kerry Hyder (Achilles tendon) and Ziggy Ansah (ankle). Ansah remains on the physically unable to perform list.
Part of the Lions’ focus was on the after-effects of Hurricane Harvey. Safety Glover Quin’s family lives in Houston, as does tight end Eric Ebron’s pregnant fiance. Earlier in the day, Lions owner Martha Ford donated $1 million toward relief efforts.
“It’s been very stressful. It’s a lot of water. A lot of uncertainty. A lot of panic,” Quin told Detroit’s WJBK-TV before the game. “And what the Fords did, I know the people in Houston are suffering without a doubt, but I know they very much appreciate it.”
Quin said he’s fortunate because his home has not been affected by flooding, and vowed he’ll do his part to help.
“I love the city of Houston,” Quin said. “I know they will bounce back.”
Lions: Had only one listed starter on the field, outside LB Antwione Williams, who opened the game in the middle position.
Bills: LT Cordy Glenn played briefly in making his preseason debut to test his left foot, which had sidelined him for much of the preseason. RT Jordan Mills and RG John Miller also started, though both haven’t yet secured starting jobs. Cornerbacks Kevon Seymour and E.J. Gaines both played in the opening quarter in continuing their competition for a starting job.
Lions: OL Cornelius Lucas left in the second half with an ankle injury.
Bills: OL Michael Ola did not return after hurting his left ankle in the first quarter. DL Jerel Worthy sustained a possible concussion when he banged helmets with a teammate while tackling Rudock on the final play of the first quarter.
For the third consecutive game, Bills backup offensive lineman Cameron Jefferson raised his fist in silent protest during the national anthem.
Lions: Open regular season hosting Arizona on Sept. 10.
Bills: Open regular season hosting New York Jets on Sept. 10.
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