Lions vs. Bills final score: Detroit’s upset bid fell short, as Buffalo won on a last-second FG, 28-25


The Detroit Lions gave Buffalo bills All they can. They even scored a game-tying drive with 23 seconds left to press into overtime. However, quarterback Josh Allen was able to use those few seconds to quickly drive the Bills down with a 39-yard strike to Stefon Diggs.


A few plays later, the Bills would dash the restless Lions’ hopes with a 45-yard field goal to win the bowl game 28-25.

It was a tough fight, and the Lions even took the lead midway through the fourth quarter, but the Bills proved to be too much for Detroit. The Lions moved to a disappointing 4-7 loss and the Bills to 8-3.

Here’s how it happened.

First Quarter

The Detroit Lions got the ball first, but would quickly give it up after two incomplete passes from Jared Goff, including a deep shot to DJ Chark that didn’t have much shooting to complete. But the Lions defense quickly got a three-and-out, after a fall from Stephon Diggs and pressure forced Josh Allen out of the pocket on third and a long.

The Lions had a scare on the punt return, as Calif Raymond fouled the ball, but James Houston—playing in his first NFL game—came up big with the fumble, keeping the ball with Detroit at their own 39-yard line.

Detroit would catch the first conversion of the game with Jamal Williams running up the middle on third and one. A 16-yard rush pass to DJ Chark got the Lions inside Buffalo’s 30-yard line. Detroit turned the clutch 3rd and 9th with a mile to Amon-Ra St. Brown down to the Bills 14-yard line. Then the Lions faced fourth-and-one at their own 5-yard line, and as they caught the ball, the Bills were offside and the Lions took the penalty. On the next play, Jamaal Williams hit it from the 2-yard line to give Detroit a 7-0 Black Leadership.

The Bills offense is starting to get things moving. Josh Allen found Gabe Davis on a 16-yard strike, then Devin Singletary got a third and one. Allen caught the Lions in uncontrolled rushing passes and rushed the quarterback for a 21-yard gain all the way to the Lions’ 23-yard line. Then on third-and-6, Allen threw a perfect pass over Will Harris’ head into the waiting arms of Isaiah McKenzie for a touchdown. 7-7.

The Lions managed a third down after Goff St. Brown found Goff, who caught a big hit to collect 13 to end the first quarter.

Second Quarter

After a botched trick play, the Lions picked up first again on a nice screen pass to Justin Jackson, moving Detroit to the Bills’ side of the field. But Williams fouled the football a few plays later, and Ed Oliver recovered to give Buffalo the ball at their own 42-yard line.

After two first downs, the Bills hit a big play on the ground, as Singletary broke up a tackle for a 19-yard gain all the way to the 11-yard line. Allen then rushed for a 7, and the Bills took the lead after Allen fumbled the snap and made his way into the end zone. 14-7 bills.

The Lions got a small risk on their next possession, going 4th-and-1 from their own 33-yard line. But Williams chose it. Then Detroit caught 22 yards on a sneaky fumble to rookie tight end James Mitchell, putting the Lions in the red zone for the second time of the day. Detroit had a tying play with D’Andre Swift on third down and appeared to score, but replay officials ruled him out at the 2.5-yard line, putting the Lions up first and goal from there. It almost turned out to be a huge coup, but the Lions turned up the aggression again on fourth down and goal, and the pass play cheated the Bills and left St. Brown’s wide open to tie the score at 14-14.

On that trip, rusher Bills Von Miller suffered a severe knee injury and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

The Bills had 1:52 and two timeouts to take back the lead before halftime, starting at their own 25-yard line. Allen started the drive big with a 27-yard pass to McKenzie. A third down conversion to Diggs got them to the edge of field goal position. Another 16-yard gain from McKenzie pushed the Bills to their own 20-yard line with 20 seconds remaining. But the Lions would hold on tight thanks to a sack by rookie James Houston. Buffalo would end the half with a 47-yard field goal to take a 17-14 bills Lead to the locker room.

Third quarter

The Bills got out of some early trouble on their opening drive. Faced with a third down and 13, Allen found Davis for a 16-yard gain at midfield. Then on second and 21, Allen hit the hole in Detroit’s coverage area, connecting with McKenzie for 30 yards. On the play, Julian Okwara appeared to have a serious elbow injury. No longer.

The Lions seemed to have stopped to keep the Bills on a long field goal attempt, but Jerry Jacobs was called for pass interference on a ball thrown behind Diggs. That gave the Bills a first and goal from the 10-yard line. But the ball didn’t lie, as Allen’s next pass was caught by Malcolm Rodriguez and fell into the arms of fellow linebacker Alex Anzalone for an interception.

Detroit began the next drive at its own 8-yard line with a chance to retake the lead. Unfortunately for the Lions, after a big 5-yard loss to open the drive, Goff took a sack in the end zone to give the Bills a 19-14 lead.

Buffalo quickly reached midfield on the next drive thanks to Singletary’s 15-yard touchdown run. But the Detroit defense would run out thanks to another Houston ejection after Aidan Hutchinson and John Kominsky helped get Allen out of the pocket.

St. Brown’s strikes of 13 and 25 yards, Detroit quickly moved into Bills territory. Then on third-and-1, Jamaal Williams broke the ball wide for a 27-yard gain all the way to the Buffalo 11-yard line.

But Detroit’s drive stalled there and they had to settle for a field goal attempt, but kicker Michael Badgley drove 29 yards wide to keep the Bills above five with 1:57 remaining in the third quarter.

The Lions defense got three rushing touchdowns, though, and Kalif Raymond would make up for the previous special teams mistake with a massive 41-yard penalty return to Buffalo’s 35-yard line.

A pass interference catch caught 13 yards to begin the drive, and Justin Jackson closed 11 yards from the quarter, giving Detroit a first-and-goal from their own 10-yard line.

The fourth quarter

Two runs brought the Lions down to the 1-yard line, setting up a third down and a pivotal goal. Goff pinned a tight ball on DJ Chark on the play action pass and the Lions receiver was held up for the go-ahead score. Detroit went for two, Swift rushed outside to convert and 22-19 black Leadership.

On the ensuing drive, the Bills quickly picked up two first downs to reach midfield. But the Lions would force three consecutive deficits from there, leaving the Bills with 10:41 left.

The Lions started the drive with a play pass to the St. Louis Cardinals. Brown for a 19 to the 28-yard line. He found Goff St. Brown for 16 more on the next play. But consecutive incomplete passes –Including a quasi-interception disaster—Black set on third and long and were unable to convert.

The Bills took it with 8:59 left and were still down by 3 points. Early in the drive, the Lions’ Jerry Jacobs picked up an injury and went straight to the locker room. Allen responded with a sweet pass over the Lions defender to Dawson Knox to get the Bills into midfield again. Slowly, the Bills faded away, moving inside the red.

It looked as if Detroit had backed the Bills on third and 10, but on second down, Austin Bryant committed a devastating penalty, which put the Bills on first and goal. Then, Allen found Diggs on a rushing ramp for a 5-yard touchdown, but the Bills missed the extra point, making it a three-point game. 25-22 bills.

Down three, the Lions had 2:40 and all three timeouts left to tie or retake the lead. Detroit moved to their own 42-yard line on a neat touchdown pass to Swift. The Lions reached their own 46-yard line on the two-minute warning. In midfield, the Lions faced fourth and inch, which you need to snap to continue the game. An end around the St. Browns picked him up and carried him to Detroit’s 42-yard line. A catch and run by St. Brown brought Detroit to the 33-yard line to set up a third-and-1. Detroit elected to go deep, but Goff missed a engage. Badgley redeemed his early move, however, and connected on a 51-yard field goal with 23 seconds left in the game. 25-25 tie.

It turned out to be a very long time, as Allen immediately found Diggs for 39 yards.

Allen would chip in a few more yards, and that’s all the Bills needed on a 45-yard kick to win the game. 28-25 bills.

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