Matthew Stafford makes first appearance of the preseason

Josh Alper
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has gotten more days off than most people expected this summer, but he was working on Friday night.

Stafford got the start against the Bills in his first game action of the preseason and first game action under offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Things got off to a slow start, but productivity picked up over Stafford’s next two drives.

Stafford completed four passes to set up a Matt Prater field goal and capped the next drive by hitting running back Ty Johnson for an 11-yard touchdown. He remained in the game after Buffalo fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but couldn’t convert a fourth down from the Bills’ three-yard-line. That pass left Stafford with a line of 12-of-19 for 137 yards for the night.

In addition to playing under Bevell for the first time, Friday’s game was Stafford’s first with first-round pick T.J. Hockenson and wide receiver Danny Amendola. He targeted each player four times and the rookie tight end had three catches for 52 yards, although the one missed connection was a drop. Amendola had three catches for 30 yards during a mostly positive night of work for the first-team offense.

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