Special circumstances led to the special measure that the Buffalo Bills played in Detroit for the second time in five days – and won. The Lions were very close to extra time, and at 25:28 they were literally caught off guard at the last second.
Shake hands from the two Bills match winners: kicker Tyler Bass (#2) and quarterback Josh Allen (#17) before the obligatory turkey.
Because heavy snowfall in the Buffalo area made a home game for the Bills impossible last weekend, the Bills moved to Detroit without further ado – including the win against the Cleveland Browns (31:23). Just five days later, the New York State team was back on the field at Ford Field. Traditionally, the local Lions once again opened the NFL events on Thanksgiving, a holiday that is so important in the USA.
Cautious beginning, then it goes around
Both offensives took a little time to get going. An early three-and-out series by both sides ensued. Immediately afterwards, the lions marched down the field. Running back Jamaal Williams (formerly of Green Bay), who has been so strong this season, gilded his powerful drive with a two-yard run into the end zone.
Buffalo was therefore required early – and star quarterback Allen delivered. The leader himself gained 21 yards of space, and Isaiah McKenzie plucked his end zone shot from the air – equalizing to 7:7.
Oliver dominates on the line
The brawny Ed Oliver emphasized that the defense of the Bills is also feared up and down the country. The defensive tackle provoked and captured a Lions fumble, later earning his team two points with a safety by bringing down Jared Goff in his own end zone.
November 24, 202201:08:18 hours
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His opponent Allen, on the other hand, used the fumble with a short run for a touchdown after a failed snap, but the Michigan team also kept their foot on the gas pedal. The German-American Amon-Ra St. Brown caught a pass at 4&1 for the fourth touchdown of the lively game. When the clock ran out in the first half, Bills kicker Tyler Bass also made it 17:14 at halftime – not his last important kick of the day…
In the second round, a few mistakes crept in on both sides: linebacker Alex Anzalone caught an interception (already Josh Allen’s tenth of the season), the Lions had to take the aforementioned safety, the Bills quickly got stuck with their next drive and in in Detroit’s possession phase, kicker Michael Badgley missed from just 29 yards.
Lions playmaker Goff only provided the next successful action in the fourth quarter: The experienced QB found DJ Chark through the air from one yard. D’Andre Swift put his Lions ahead 22:19 with a successful two-point conversion. After three wins in a row, Detroit was back in play-off air at the latest: But was it enough for a win against the heavily favored Bills?
Bass keeps his nerve
Initially, the Lions defense held out, but then Allen directed his bills across the field and found star receiver Stefon Diggs in the end zone. Since Kicker Bass missed the extra point, a field goal was enough for the home team to equalize. Ten plays and 42 yards later, Michael Badgley made up for the miss to equalize and give often disappointed Lions fans hope of Thanksgiving overtime. But they had reckoned without Allen: With 23 seconds remaining, he made three quick passes over a total of 48 yards – putting Kicker Bass in a feasible field goal position. He kept his nerve and put the Bills’ season record at 8:3.
What can the defeated Lions take from the 25:28 loss? After three straight wins, Detroit was competitive on both sides of the ball against a top AFC team, St. Brown is still strong and the No. 1 receiver (122 yards, one TD).
More on Thanksgiving: Why are the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys allowed to play home games on the US holiday year after year?