OPINION: Bills get, what felt like, must-win game

The Buffalo offense was late arriving, but played a turnover-free game and did enough in a neutral site win over the Browns

Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - Was it a work of art? No, but it was a win the Buffalo Bills badly needed.

The Bills needed to stop the bleeding that came from a two-game losing streak, and take advantage of back-to-back games against the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions before the all-important three-game stretch against the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.

Half of that mission was accomplished on Sunday in Detroit.

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The game didn't start well for the Bills, as the defense gave up a 75-yard touchdown drive on the Browns' opening possession. The Bills offense looked like it was stuck in a snow bank back in Orchard Park, going three-and-out on their first three drives.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen continued to look rattled, as he was 4-of-10 passing for just 27 yards to start the game.

However, Allen and the passing game came alive on a critical touchdown drive just before halftime. Allen had his nicest pass of the game on this drive, a perfect 28-yard throw over a cornerback to Gabe Davis. Allen later zipped a short touchdown pass to a wide-open Stefon Diggs, giving the Bills a 13-10 lead.

They would lead for the remainder of the game.

There were a few other positives for the Bills offense in this win, beginning with no turnovers on the day. The Bills played a clean game for the first time since Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans.

It was a good day for the running backs, as Devin Singletary and James Cook combined for 172 yards and a touchdown.

Meanwhile, tight end Dawson Knox had his best game of the season, equaling his career-high with seven catches.

But the offense still didn't look right, though. It doesn't look like the offense we've come to know and love.

The Bills couldn't finish drives, as evidenced by their 2-of-5 showing in the red zone. Thankfully, Tyler Bass came up big with a 6-for-6 day on field goals, including three in the red zone.

Buffalo was one of the best teams on third down through the first two months of the season, but converted just 27% (3-of-11) in this victory.

Overall, the offense managed just two touchdowns out of 10 drives, so there's still plenty of work to be done for an offense that hasn't been crushed by injuries.

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Special teams deserves a game ball for their performance.

Bass equaled the Bills' franchise record for most field goals in a game. Nyheim Hines had two punt returns for 37 yards and three kick returns for 76 yards. They even blocked a Browns field goal attempt.

Give the Bills credit for overcoming adversity with the storm, a disrupted week of practice, not being able to play at home, and still managing with a less than full strength defense.

They found a way to get a win they had to have.

Photo credit Losi and Gangi
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