Lions rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford closed the preseason much like he opened it: by showing plenty of promise but little finish.
The same goes for the Buffalo Bills offense, which could certainly use a healthy Terrell Owens to help it find the end zone following a 17-6 loss to Detroit in each team's preseason finale Thursday night.
Fullback Jerome Felton scored on a 1-yard plunge late in first half to open the scoring for the Lions (3-1). Tristan Davis then sealed the win with a 79-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, in a game in which the Lions had 249 yards rushing and 422 yards total offense.
With NFL teams prepared to make their final cuts this weekend, Lions reserve cornerback Chris Roberson made a case to make the team with an interception and a fumble recovery.
Otherwise, there was not much to a forgettable, sloppy game between two teams intent on resting many of their starters. The Bills went so far as to rest their entire first-string defense in the first half.
Buffalo's sputtering offense looked much the same even without Owens, Trent Edwards and Lee Evans by being shut out the first half. Owens missed his fourth game recovering from a sprained toe, although he did return to practice this week.
Buffalo (1-4) finished the preseason outscored 75-12 in the first half, and failed to score a touchdown against Detroit while backup Ryan Fitzpatrick went 9 of 17 for 78 yards and an interception. Bills kicker Rian Lindell provided the only points with two field goals in the second half, including a 48-yarder.
Then there was Stafford, the No. 1 draft pick out of Georgia, who was making his second start this preseason and finished 5 of 9 for 81 yards with two drive-killing turnovers _ a fumble and interception. So much for Stafford strengthening his case to be the Lions starter ahead of veteran Daunte Culpepper, who was held out of after cutting his foot last weekend.
Stafford got off to a sharp start, hitting Calvin Johnson for 37- and 19-yard completions on the opening drive. He also hit Johnson on the fly in the end zone for what would have been a 34-yard touchdown, but the play was nullified by offsetting penalties.
And that's when the trouble began. Three plays later, Stafford lost a fumble after being stripped by defensive end Aaron Maybin, the rookie first-round draft pick appearing in his second game. The next drive ended when Stafford was intercepted by cornerback Reggie Corner.
Corner returned it 52 yards before being tackled by Stafford to prevent a touchdown.
The Bills, of course, couldn't capitalize despite two penalties against Detroit. The drive ended when Lindell missed a 33-yard attempt wide right.
In four appearances this preseason, Stafford went 30 of 55 for 389 yards and a touchdown, with four interceptions and a lost fumble. And his performance Thursday was a carry-over from an 18-17 win against Indianapolis last weekend.
That's when he engineered a 14-play, 79-yard drive that ended with an interception.
Brooks Bollinger, signed on Tuesday, at least produced a scoring drive, and finished 11 of 19 for 111 yards with an interception. Bollinger has the potential to become the Lions' third-stringer after Drew Stanton had surgery to repair a knee injury this week.
Billy Cundiff rounded out the Lions' scoring with a 32-yard field goal.
The Lions also rested several starters, including running back Kevin Smith, linebacker Ernie Sims and cornerbacks Phillip Buchanon and Anthony Henry.