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Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions Week 12 preview

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© Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

 

It feels like we just got done watching the Buffalo Bills sneak out a victory over the Cleveland Browns in Week 11. But we're not ones to complain about some good old-fashioned Thanksgiving football. Especially when Bills Mafia gets involved.

 

The good news, for some, is if you decided to flee the massive snowstorm the Buffalo area received a week ago to go take in a Bills game at an indoor stadium for once, the location remains the same this week.

 

But the opponent is not. 

 

Don't fret, as the Detroit Lions actually stink worse than the Browns, and their defense should allow for plenty of fireworks if you can stay awake until the end. That probably depends on Turkey Time in your household, though. 

 

Yet, anyone expecting the Bills to enter Detroit and just steamroll Dan Campbell's squad has another thing coming for them. Sure, there will be time between touchdowns to steal another dinner roll, but the Lions will fight until the very end.

Buffalo Bills vs. Lions game details, where to watch

  • Thursday, November 24, 2022
  • Start time: 12:30 PM ET
  • TV channel - CBS
  • Location - Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

 

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© JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK

Matchups to watch

  • Lions running game vs. Bills' non-existent rushing attack

 

Similar to last week, we're getting a matchup between two teams with vastly different offensive styles. The Lions may be the team with the former No. 1 overall pick, but Jared Goff doesn't play like one. 

 

Instead, they're forced to rely on their ground game, which has actually scored just as many touchdowns (15) as their passing attack this season. It's a rare feat, but once the Lions get in the red zone, they do their best to keep the ball out of the air. This is likely due to Goff's propensity to make mistakes, whether it's a fumble or an errant throw. 

 

The Lions want to beat the Bills with a ground-and-pound approach using a stable of backs, whereas the Bills would prefer to drop back and throw 60 times per game if they could get away with it. 

 

Expect the Lions to top 100 yards on the ground with ease. They've done so in eight of their ten games this season. Meanwhile, the Bills, if they want to try something new this week, Detroit would be the team to try it on.

 

The Lions not only allow the most points per game in the NFL, but they also have allowed the most rushing touchdowns, give up the second-most yards per carry, and have allowed the third-most rushing yards per game.

 

Why not see if James Cook can keep up his recent success in Detroit running on turf?

 

  • Buffalo Bills' high-powered offense vs. A horrible defense

 

While the Bills may be able to actually find more consistent success on the ground, they also shouldn't be afraid to let those turkeys fly through the air, either. As we see nearly every week, teams just don't have the defensive backs to hang with the likes of Stefon Diggs, especially when Josh Allen can just outthrow the coverage

 

The Lions have tried to bring in defensive playmakers, but arguably their best one, Jeff Okudah, is expected to miss Thursday's contest with a concussion. Basically, it's open season for Allen and Co. 

 

  • Buffalo pass rush vs. Surprisingly stout Lions offensive line

 

Thanks to several injuries in the secondary as well as in the front seven, the Bills have struggled to generate as much pressure as they did a season ago. Facing off against Goff, who will give the defense chances to create turnovers, the Bills may have to get creative. 

 

The Lions arguably have a top-10 offensive line. Three of their five starters are former first-round selections. Not only do they road grade well, opening up holes in the running game, but they've also held their own in pass protection. All five of their linemen grade positively, in the green (70 grade or better), according to Pro Football Focus. 

 

Compare that to Buffalo's line, who has just Dion Dawkins with a grade north of 70, with two starters in the 60s and two more in the 50s, and there's a stark contrast. Winning in the trenches could be the difference between a blowout and another sweaty ending. 

 

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© Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills vs. Lions game prediction

  • This season's record: Buffalo Bills 6-3, 2nd in AFC East
  • Detroit Lions: 4-6, 2nd in NFC North

 

We're expecting a high-scoring affair in the clean conditions of an indoor stadium with two top-10 scoring teams in action. Buffalo has the capability of hanging 40 points in a hurry, and now that they're more comfortable at Ford Field, it can't be ruled out. 

 

Favored by 9.5 points still seems generous. The Lions may have been a laughingstock for the better part of at least the past three seasons, but they've at least won three in a row as of late. They're building confidence, and they'll be at home, but they also will be running into a rumbling herd that is trying to get back to the top. 

 

Game prediction: Bills 37, Lions 27 - Bills victory

 

Go Bills!!

 

Related:

Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns Week 11 Preview

Buffalo Bills vs. Minnesota Vikings Week 10 preview

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets Week 9 preview

Buffalo Bills vs. Green Bay Packers Week 8 preview

 

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