Detroit, Mich. (WGR 550) - The Buffalo Bills head back to Detroit for the second time in less than a week, this time to take on the Lions in a Thanksgiving Day matchup at Ford Field.
Here are my three keys to the game for the Bills to get the win, plus notes and stats:
1.) Take care of the football!
Yes, it’s an age-old football cliché, and every single coach says it, but for the Bills, it’s absolutely true.
The only thing that’s really stopped their offense this season has been themselves, and especially with turnovers. The Bills lead the NFL in percentage of drives that end in scores (48.1%), but also lead in percentage of drives that end in turnovers (17%).
That's a wild stat and has to be pretty unique.
It means on 65% of their drives, they either score points or turn the ball over. They’ve punted a league-low 20 times.
Now they face a Lions defense that’s allowed opponents to score on 43.3% of their defensive possessions, fifth-most in the league, but has also taken the ball away 13 times. The Bills need to take advantage of the Detroit defense, and not let the Lions have those extra chances by giving them the ball.
2.) Red Zone Thursday
You know about Black Friday. Well, the Bills need to make it a successful Red Zone Thursday in Detroit.
Buffalo is second in the NFL in points per-game (28.1), yet, being held back by only converting touchdowns on 51.28% of their drives that get inside their opponent’s 20-yard line.
The Lions do not have a good red zone defense. They are 26th in the league, allowing touchdowns on 66.67% of drives against them once inside the 20-yard line.
The Bills have to be better at converting those chances and getting six points instead of three.
3.) Keep plugging the run
The Bills defense did a great job last week against one of the best running games and backs in the NFL. They held Nick Chubb to just 19 yards on the ground, and the Browns offense to just 80 yards rushing.
Buffalo will need to be just as good this week against a Lions team that’s 10th in the NFL in rushing yards per-game (132.8) and 11th in rushing yards per-play (4.71).
Detroit has rushed for six touchdowns over their last two games, and Jamaal Williams has 12 rushing touchdowns of his own to lead the NFL.
The Lions would love to keep the ball out of Josh Allen and the Bills offense’s hands and control the game on the ground. The Bills can’t let them do that.
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