Back at Ford Field, the Bills face the surging Lions | Rare Techy
DETROIT – The Buffalo Bills are back in Detroit, and this time they face the resurgent Lions on Thanksgiving.
The NFL moved Buffalo’s previous home game against Cleveland to Ford Field after a winter storm dumped several feet of snow on the Buffalo area.
The Bills dug out of their snowy home and some needed help from team employees, neighbors and strangers to get out of town before defeating the Browns to end a two-game losing streak.
Buffalo (7-3) is tied with Miami atop the AFC East and needs one more win to keep pace with the Dolphins while holding off New England and the New York Jets, teams just one game back in the division.
“These short weeks are pretty tough for scheduling and guys trying to get their bodies to play, but it’s tough for them, too,” quarterback Josh Allen said.
Detroit (4-6) has won three straight games for the first time in five years, and the latest such success came on Thanksgiving, snapping a five-game losing streak on the holiday.
“There’s been so much positivity around the building,” said forward Taylor Decker, who is in his seventh season with the franchise. “Three wins may not seem like a big deal, but it is.”
The Lions certainly aren’t used to it, as they haven’t won more than three straight games since Decker was a rookie in 2016 after going on a five-game winning streak.
Both teams are missing key players.
Bills defensive end Greg Rousseau (ankle) will miss his third straight game and defensive end Tremaine Edmunds (groin) is also out, while center Mitch Morse (elbow, ankle) is questionable.
Detroit will be without cornerback Jeff Okudah (concussion) and starting linebackers Jonah Jackson (concussion) and Evan Brown (ankle).
Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey credited the COVID-19 pandemic for helping him and his staff develop a game plan in a short week with little to no time for practice.
“We’re going to bring these things home and cut at home, so a lot of the guys were able to take their work home … and really not miss out on much,” Dorsey said.
Decker said playing the Bills, who were a popular choice before the season to contend for the Super Bowl, gives Detroit a chance to assert its recovery.
“It’s a really good barometer to see if we can repeat what we’re doing, especially on a short week,” Decker said. “It’s a huge opportunity on the national stage.”
GET TO THE ROAD
Edge rusher Von Miller designs a new T-shirt to honor someone or a group before each game. Former Chiefs star Derrick Thomas and Bills general manager Brandon Beane have appeared on his jerseys.
Last week, Miller paid tribute to Buffalo defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
“When Von showed me that jersey the night before the game, I was like, ‘Wow.’ You talk about humiliation,” said Frazier, who is in his sixth season with the Bills and 24th in the NFL.
Miller, 33, is tied for 10th in the NFL with eight sacks, six of which have come in five road games.
Decker said the line is using the “Von Miller Rule” against him. While Decker said it’s too complicated to explain, he was quick to say it’s not like the “Jordan Rules” the Pistons implemented to toughen up Michael Jordan. .
“It’s not a dirty rule,” Decker said. “It’s a defensive rule.”
If the Lions’ depleted offensive line can give Jared Goff time to throw, standout receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown to be a central player.
Buffalo’s young, short-armed center struggled the last two games against top receivers. Cleveland’s Amari Cooper had eight catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns last week, while Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson had 193 yards and 10 catches.
St. Brown had 17 total receptions for 195 yards in wins over the New York Giants and Chicago Bears, but is on a seven-game hitting streak since last season’s six-game hitting streak.
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