DETROIT. Maybe the Buffalo Bills want to play Thanksgiving every season. They improved to 3-0 in Thanksgiving games over the past four seasons, the last thriller 28-25 over the Detroit Lions.

After a late equalizer by the Lions, the Bills took over with 23 seconds left. Quarterback Josh Allen led four games for 48 yards to set up kicker Tyler Bass for a game-winning 45-yard field goal with seconds left.

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The Lions haven’t won on Thanksgiving since 2016, and they’ve only had six wins since 2000.

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The Bills’ victory was marred by a knee injury to pass rusher von Miller, who did not return from injury in the first half.

Buffalo Bills

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After Allen and wide receiver Stephon Diggs struggled to get along for much of the game, they hit it off when the team needed them the most.

In the first eight hits of the game, Diggs caught three of nine targets from just 12 yards. Allen’s only interception of the game also came when he took aim at Diggs. But on the last two runs, Allen and Diggs hit all five targets for 65 yards and scored. Allen finished the game 24-of-42 for 253 yards with two passing touchdowns and another rush.

With this victory, the Bills went against their recent history. The team was 1-9, trailing in the fourth quarter over the past two seasons.

Describe the game in two words: Impact injury. The Bills entered the game without center Mitch Morse and lost a left tackle to Dion Dawkins (ankle), allowing 15 pushes on Allen. With Miller out of the game, the defense lost the lead in the first half.

Buy breakthrough performance: Yes, Ed Oliver’s defensive tackle flared up a long time ago, but it was his best performance of the season to date when the Bills needed him due to injuries on the defensive line. Oliver forced the fumble, regained the fumble, fired Lions quarterback Jared Goff on safety, and rolled for a loss twice. His fifth year option has already been chosen, and Oliver continues to demonstrate that he is a key part of that defense.

An alarming trend: Allen throws too many interceptions in the red zone. He has now thrown red-zone steals in four of his last five games and has the most red-zone picks in the league with four. Prior to this segment, he scored twice in his career (the first 67 games). No quarterback has thrown that many in an entire season since 2019 (Mitch Trubisky and Sam Darnold each had four). This trend started before Allen suffered a right elbow injury, but he needs to find a way to be more careful with football. — Alena Getzenberg

Underestimated stats you need to know: Josh Allen now has 23 career games with passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns, the fifth most in NFL history.

Next game: at the Patriots (8:15 pm ET, December 1)


Detroit Lions

Detroit were underdogs with 9.5 points and were on the verge of snapping their five-game losing streak on Thanksgiving, but despite facing Buffalo, one of the best teams in the league, the Lions couldn’t win. critical stop at the end of the game.

Buy breakthrough performance: Have the Lions found another hidden gem in James Huston? The rookie midfielder was transferred from the practice squad the day before the game and made the most of his chance, sacking two and recovering on a fumble. He became the first player in team history to record a multi-sack game in his NFL debut. Before the game, linebacker coach Calvin Sheppard said “there’s room for James Huston in the future” once he can grasp the team’s schematic concept through his work ethic.

Bold forecast for next week: The Lions will use rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams ahead of their next home game against Jacksonville. Selected 12th overall in the 2022 draft, Williams ran the circuits at Ford Field before the game and if all goes according to plan in practice this week, he could make his NFL debut next week. Williams revealed that he first practiced before the Buffalo game, but the team did little in the short week. The Alabama alum told reporters that he was “very, very, very excited to put on the cleats and be able to put on the jersey.” — Eric Woodyard

Underestimated stats you need to know: Since the start of last season with Goff, the Lions have scored 4-10 first, as they did on Thursday, the worst record in the NFL in that period.

Next game: vs. Jaguars (1:00 pm ET, Dec. 4)