ORCHARD PARK NY - NOVEMBER 14: Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills runs against the Detroit Lions at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 14 2010 in Orchard Park New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
1-8 never felt so good.
George Wilson recovered an onside kick with 13 seconds left. Fred Jackson had his best game of the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick did not throw any interceptions, and the Buffalo Bills' defense stepped up in a big way as the Bills notched their first win of the season against the Detroit Lions.
First of all - let's take a deep breath. The Bills will not join the 2008 Lions or the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only winless teams post-merger.
Sigh. That's better.
The Lions fought hard to the end, scoring a touchdown with 19 seconds remaining. They converted three fourth downs on the final drive, which set up a game-tying two point conversion attempt. Buffalo's defense held, though, and forced Lions QB Shaun Hill into a bad pass. Following the onside kick, the Bills took a knee to end it.
The real story of the game was the running game. When the weather changed at halftime, making conditions slick and wet, the Bills responded. Jackson reeled off a 39-yard run, then capped the drive with a 16-yard touchdown on a shovel pass. Jackson was electric, running for 133 yards on 25 carries and adding a rushing touchdown to his receiving score. With C.J. Spiller knocked out early in the game, Jackson carried the bulk of the rushing load, being spelled infrequently by newly-signed Quinton Ganther.
The Lions did their best job to win their first game on the road in 25 tries. They turned the ball over just once - on a great play by Donte Whitner tipping the ball to Dwan Edwards for the interception - but committed 11 penalties for 60 yards in key situations. Hill had 50 passing attempts, as the Bills shut down the Lions' run game, holding them to 76 yards on 26 carries. Kyle Williams was all over the field, and Chris Kelsay made several nice plays as well.
The Bills had miscues of their own - a Leodis McKelvin punt return for a touchdown was called back thanks to a holding call, Rian Lindell missed a field goal, and Jackson was stuffed on fourth and one early in the first quarter - but we'll have time to talk about that later. This evening, enjoy a win, Bills fans.