It's a pretty poor excuse for an NFL football game -- not just Thursday night's exhibition at Wilson Stadium, but every preseason finale. The projected regular season starters almost never play, and they shouldn't for fear of injury.

Fans stayed away in droves from the game between the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions. With quarterbacks EJ Manual and Kevin Kolb out with injuries and undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel, who could very well start the season opener, sitting out, the Bills used a couple of quarterbacks who joined the team just four days earlier. It was not good. The Lions built a big lead and held off the Bills 35-13.

The lone highlight of the night was Thad Lewis' 79-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Easley for the Bills lone touchdown of the night. Lewis finished 7 of 16 for 132 yards and the one score. He also ran for 51 yards. Matt Linert started the game and looked rusty. He completed five passes, but two of them went to the Lions. Lewis replaced him in the second quarter.

The most interesting news of the night was that Manuel was on the field before the game to do some light passing. He didn't put a lot of weight on his left knee, but it was an encouraging sign from who appears to be the Bills answer at quarterback.

So now that the preseason is over the Bills and all other NFL teams have until 6 p.m. on Saturday to reduce their roster to 53 players. The season opener for the Bills is Sunday, September 8 at home against the New England Patriots.