Take a peek at Facebook or Twitter and it won’t take long for you to think the Bills must have LOST their Thanksgiving Day game at Detroit. A quick reminder here that road wins in the NFL are tough to come by. The margin doesn’t matter, but the W or L does.
The Bills did survive another somewhat shaky start in Detroit just 5 days after downing the Browns at Ford Field in the Snowbowl game, winning it 28-25 on Tyler Bass’s 45 yard field goal as time expired. The vastly improved Lions were 9 point underdogs and played tenaciously in front of the big crowd.
The Bills are now 8-3 despite another perplexing red zone interception from Josh Allen, his 6th red zone turnover this season, which is more than he had the previous 3 seasons combined. A huge win though, because it puts the Bills at least temporarily back atop the AFC East, with 3 straight division games ahead.
Although Allen’s final stats look pretty good with 24-42 for 253 yards and 2 TD’s, plus another 78 yards rushing and a TD on 10 carries, there were issues.
The INT at the Lion’s 10 yard line early in the 3rd quarter was an “oh no, here we go again?” moment. You have to wonder if Allen’s right elbow is even close to 100%, and also is he missing OC Brian Daboll? Allen has a strong relationship with OC Ken Dorsey, but the question has to be asked.
Is Stefon Diggs not getting open like he has been? Are teams getting better at disguising what they’re doing to confuse Allen? The two got off to rocky starts in both opening halves of the two games in Detroit, but put it behind them later. Luckily Isaiah McKenzie showed up big against the Lions with 6 catches for 96 yards and a TD. Diggs wound up with 7 for 77 and a score, but it was Diggs and Allen who provided the biggest play of the game.
The Lions kicked a tying field goal to make it 25-25 with :23 left in regulation. You left :23 seconds for Josh Allen? Here’s why even the naysayers have to be careful to count Allen out. On the first play after the kickoff, Allen fired a bullet downfield that Diggs caught between two defenders for a 36 yard gain. Allen’s couple runs got Tyler Bass closer, and Bass ended it.
Great players aren’t perfect, but they often make great plays with the game on the line. Allen came through.
Give the D credit here, even though they were missing some starters and Von Miller left early with a right knee injury. NT Ed Oliver turned the Lions’ bad field position into a safety of qb Jared Goff. Oliver also forced and recovered a fumble, making the two biggest defensive plays of the game. As for Miller, it looks like a sprain, but even that could sideline him 4-6 weeks.
With a game at New England next Thursday, if Greg Rousseau and Tremaine Edmunds aren’t back, the Bills D is really shorthanded.
Your eyes weren’t deceiving you if you spotted #27 out there for a few plays early. Cornerback Tre White made his return from ACL surgery almost a year to the day and played a limited amount of snaps, but he should see more action in a week.
Making things interesting as we head down the stretch, the Bills have reportedly (CBS Sports) set up a meeting with Odell Beckham Jr. in December. Don’t get too excited, with Dallas and KC also in pursuit of the talented wide receiver who is also coming off ACL knee surgery, but it is interesting. I’m no longer in the no crowd.
It’s gonna be a busy short week in the Bills training room with all the defensive injuries, but LT Dion Dawkins also left the Lions game with a knee injury. He’s the most important O-lineman to protect Allen, but we don’t know yet whether he’ll be back for the Patriots.
This puts even more on Allen, but don’t bet against him.
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