Bills ride roller-coaster finish to win over Lions

DETROIT — In the biggest moments, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs said while wearing a dogbone necklace is where he felt most comfortable.

And that paid off in big measure for the Bills in the team’s 28-25 Thanksgiving Day win over the Detroit Lions. After giving up a five-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Bills’ offense responded with back-to-back scoring drives, including a 21-second drive that won the game and a 45-yard field goal from kicker Tyler bass ended.

Bass made the kick after missing an extra point try on the previous drive that allowed the Lions to tie the score.

“I don’t think you understand how important it is for a man to do that in this league,” quarterback Josh Allen said. “To the [Bass] just to feel this rollercoaster of emotions to level up and build for our team and make it.

Bass made the kick with seven seconds to go. He made all six of his field goal attempts in the past week and went 2-for-2 with two kicks for 45 yards in the win over the Lions. It was the first time he missed an extra point attempt in the regular season since 2020.

“I just knew that given our offense, we were going to get another chance,” Bass said. “I just knew that another opportunity was going to come up and I had to be prepared for it. And I just did a quick reset and just got to my next process.”

The Bills initially took the lead thanks to a solid drive from Allen, who covered 90 yards in 14 games and lasted over six minutes. On this ride, everything the Bills struggled with seemed to disappear. Allen went 7-of-8 for 49 yards and a score and was pressured only once on eight dropbacks after being pressured 36% of the time before the drive. The Bills were without starting center Mitch Morse, and left tackle Dion Dawkins missed the second half with an ankle injury.

Diggs and Allen bonded in a way they didn’t have the whole game (4-of-4 for 29 yards and a 5-yard touchdown pass), and the team didn’t need a single third down.

“You don’t have to tell Diggs much. You can see it in his eyes,” right hand guard Ryan Bates said of the receiver on the last two trips. “He’s getting pushed, he’s locked in, he’s ready to go. So there’s not much you need to say to him. You look at him, ‘Hey lovelies, let’s do it.’ But when he sees that look in his eyes, you can’t tell him anything. He goes out there, he’ll do his thing.”

Allen’s scoring pass to Diggs was his fourth career go-ahead touchdown in the last three minutes of regular time, tying him with Kirk Cousins ​​and Justin Herbert for most quarterbacks in the last three seasons. Allen finished 24 of 42 for 253 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 10 carries for 78 yards and one score.

After the Lions scored the field goal in a 42-yard, 10-play drive that lasted 2:17, Allen reacted quickly. The first play from the Bills’ 25-yard line was a 36-yard pass to Diggs that was the longest play from scrimmage for either team.

“I was expecting not to get behind them, but maybe get a one-on-one,” Diggs said of the play. “If I got a one-on-one I was like Josh was going to take it I felt. He trusts me, backs the defense, or sees the same thing. When they play top-down coverage, I slow down a bit, like, damn, maybe the ball will come, and it did. He threw another rocket. You remember last week he threw it and almost fell. I think that was a similar ball, that was coming [at] the same speed. So no heightened anxiety at the moment.”

Allen said the game was something they had in mind due to a similar look in a previous game.

“They played like a little two-man concept and me and [offensive coordinator Ken] Dorsey was talking about it a few days ago,” Allen said. “When I saw the same look in a previous game and just said, ‘Hey, let’s play this piece just in case we need it.’ We found it and Stef ran a damn good route and just gave it a chance and he made a damn good game.

This was followed by two runs from Allen and then the game-winning kick from Bass. The Bills became the first team to start a drive at their own 25-yard line or deeper in the last 25 seconds of regulation to score a goal since the Kansas City Chiefs posted a 13th overall against the Bills in the 2021 Divisional Playoffs -Second gate drive performed to force overtime.

Buffalo is now 22-1 as Allen has a quick and passing touchdown in the regular season. Diggs hit all five of his targets on the last two drives for 65 yards after catching just three of nine targets for the rest of the game.

“That’s what great players do — they come out in those big moments,” said coach Sean McDermott. “And they make big games in big moments of games like this.”

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35100871/bills-ride-roller-coaster-finish-win-lions Bills ride roller-coaster finish to win over Lions

Emma Bowman

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