ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Matt Leinart struggled in his debut for the quarterback-depleted Buffalo Bills, who closed the preseason with 35-13 loss to the Detroit Lions on Thursday night.
After the game head coach Doug Marrone summed things up this way. "Ithink we all realize that, and I told this to the team afterwards was the one thing that's disappointing and we spoke to the players about it really from Day One is what's been hurting us for a long period of time is the turnover ratio. When you give up three turnovers, obviously close in the red zone or on your side of the 50, really you're giving them 21 points. Then you have a personal foul, which leads to another touchdown. It's really difficult to overcome those things and win games. So for us, I told the team that we are not going to be that football team. Whatever we have to do as coaches and players to make sure that we don't do that, that's what we need to do because history has shown, if we've learned one thing, that's the one way that we don't give ourselves a chance. If we give this football team a chance, then they'll have the opportunity to win some games."
Looking like someone who's had just three days practice, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner went 3 for 10 for 11 yards and two interceptions before being yanked after five possessions. That represents a major concern for Buffalo (2-2), which scrambled to sign the 2006 first-round draft pick Sunday after losing its top two quarterbacks to injury. Leinart said after the game "You know obviously you have an opportunity, and you go out there and do your best. I will not sit here and make excuses for myself. I could have played better but you just move on. I was hoping to maybe get in there in the second half and kind of redeem myself but, you can't turn the ball over in this league and expect to win. So yeah it's tough but, I was thankful to be here and you know we'll see what happens. Obviously after that performance you can't feel too good but, we'll see."
First-round draft pick EJ Manuel is recovering from a left knee injury, while veteran Kevin Kolb is out indefinitely with a concussion.
Lions second- and third-string quarterbacks Shaun Hill and Kellen Moore threw two touchdown passes each in helping Detroit build a 35-3 lead at the half.