Buffalo Bills 28, Detroit Lions 25: Quick recap and scores

The Buffalo Tickets had to overcome the jet lag of two round trips to Detroit in four days, as well as a feisty Lions team on a three-game winning streak, but they survived the game with a 28-25 win on a final field goal second second by Tyler Bass. Although the team seemed to run out of gas in the third quarter, when they punted three straight and surrendered the lead to the Lions, the Bills found a second wind when it mattered most and are emerged victorious.

Although both teams started the game with three straight drives, the two vaunted offenses heated up from there. For the Lions, a 12-play, 61-yard drive took nearly six and a half minutes of the first quarter, mixing runs and short passes before Jamaal Williams rushed left tackle for a two-yard touchdown. The Bills responded with their own TD drive, set up by a 21-yard run from Josh Allen that put them in the red zone. Allen hit Isaiah McKenzie on a deep cruiser to tie the game at seven apiece.

In Detroit’s next practice, the Bills forced a turnover: Ed Oliver was part of a Bills team that attacked Williams in the backfield, and as the ball flew free, Oliver dove on the fumble and got it back for Buffalo. Buffalo mixed six points and four short passes on another touchdown drive, which ended in a minor accident – Allen fumbled the snap, but as he recovered the ball, the unexpected fumble fired enough defenders out of position to open a scrambling lane. midfielder in the end zone.

Trailing 14-7, the Lions aggressively attacked the Bills in the second quarter. Dan Campbell kept his attack downfield at fourth-and-one from his own 33-yard line, and the gamble paid off with a first-down conversion. The Lions carried that momentum to the goal line, where they faced another fourth-and-one. Campbell dialed in a quick pass that scored a game-tying touchdown.

Detroit left enough time on the clock for a two-minute Bills drill, and although Allen had some early success hitting deep throws on the sideline, the Lions locked him in once the team arrived in the red zone. The teams entered halftime with Buffalo leading 17-14 after Tyler Bass kicked.

After halftime, the Bills offense ran out of gas in another pathetic third quarter. Although their first drive reached Detroit’s 10-yard line, Allen threw an interception when his pass deflected off the line, killing the drive.

Buffalo’s defense made a huge save on the ensuing possession: a tackle for loss, an incomplete pass and a sack-safety from Oliver that gave them a 19-14 lead. But none of that excitement carried over to the Bills’ offense, which threw three consecutive shots, with a total of 32 yards gained on those three shots. The Lions couldn’t avoid their own blunders, with a long drive ending in a field goal attempt, but in the final minute of the third quarter, Kalif Raymond netted a 41-yard punt return to trigger the attack of his team. A pass interference penalty later, the Lions were at the 22-yard line, and it didn’t take much more effort for them to break through the Bills and regain the lead right away.

Finally, the Bills figured out their issues well enough to stage another scoring campaign in the fourth quarter. It was an impressive 14-game, 80-yard run that included highlights and the re-emergence of Stefon Diggs, who had been nearly invisible the entire game as Allen worked on accuracy issues and exceptional pressure through three quarters. Diggs caught the touchdown pass to give the Bills a 25-22 lead, but as Tyler Bass aimed to make it 26-22, his extra kick caught too far to the left, and it left the game at a three point differential.

With 2:40 and three timeouts remaining, the Lions had plenty of time to claim victory (or force overtime). They ran for 22 yards in their first three plays, and even when the Bills had a tackle for the loss on the next play, the Lions were able to gain enough yards to set up a fourth and a pivot. Campbell made a great play call with a receiver pass that gained seven yards, but the Lions ultimately couldn’t execute the remaining steps to lock in a win. They had a chance when DJ Chark opened up deep, but he and Jared Goff weren’t on the same page on the pitch. Lions kicker Michael Badgley redeemed his earlier failure with a 51-yard mark to tie the game, but the Bills had 23 seconds and three timeouts to try to regain the lead.

Allen came out and ripped a frozen 36-yard rope to (who else but) Diggs, which immediately put the Bills on the cusp of field goal range. Strategic use of timeouts, along with two QB runs that gained 12 yards, set Bass up for his own redemption arc. He nailed the field goal from 45 yards to seal the victory for the Bills.

The Bills, at 8-3, are temporarily back in sole possession of first place in the AFC East. The stage is set for the final third of their season: Win their divisional games, and they’re in the playoffs (and probably with a very high seed).

injury report

  • Von Miller left the game in the second quarter after a Lions defender landed on the back of his right leg and rolled it up. It was classified as a knee injury, and early screenings indicated it could be an MCL sprain, but Miller will undergo an MRI to confirm the severity.
  • Dion Dawkins hurt his right ankle early in the third quarter. David Quessenberry stepped in at left tackle and Dawkins was listed as questionable to return to the game.

Quick shots

  • Josh Allen became the first quarterback to win in all three Thanksgiving slots with today’s win. He beat the Cowboys in 2019, then crushed the Saints last year.
  • In the third quarter, Ed Oliver fired Jared Goff for a safety to put the Bills up 19-14. It was Buffalo’s first safety since 2019, when Browns QB Baker Mayfield was sacked in his own end zone. For Detroit, it was their first safety since 2014.
  • Oliver wasn’t chosen as one of the stars of the game, but he deserved the honor. He had six tackles, a sack that caused a safety, two TFLs, two QB hits and a fumble recovery. He stepped up in a huge way when Miller couldn’t play.
  • Somehow, Isaiah McKenzie found himself as a key focal point today, targeting ten times and catching six for 96 yards and a touchdown. He gave the Bills some life on offense.
  • Stefon Diggs finished the first half with two catches for 15 yards on five targets. But he and Allen were back on the same page late in the game, as Diggs finished with a team-best eight catches on 15 targets, racking up for 77 yards and a touchdown.
  • The Bills defense gave up a 27-yard rush to Jamaal Williams, but overall locked Detroit at 96 yards on 28 rush attempts.
  • The passing game, on the other hand, was still problematic. Amon Ra St. Brown caught nine of ten targets for 122 yards and a touchdown. Jared Goff had a 98.9 passer rating that day.
  • Jim Nantz did his best to ward off bad luck, but to no avail: In the third quarter, when the Lions were lined up for a shot, he explained that the Lions kicker hadn’t missed a kick that season. So of course, Michael Badgley kicked his field goal attempt on the left.
  • Badgley wasn’t the only kicker to suffer the commentator’s curse today. It was delayed, but after Nantz mentioned Tyler Bass’ perfect extra-point streak, Bass missed an extra kick that would have given the Bills a four-point lead late in the fourth quarter.

Next week

It’s time for the first of two Bills-Patriots games on the program! The Patriots will host the Bills on Thursday Night Football, and in a bizarre oddity of the schedule, both teams will have seven days off, as both teams are playing today. The Patriots are 6-4 at press time, coming off a 10-3 win over the Jets on Sunday after a last-minute punt return touchdown.

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