Josh Allen avoided mistakes, the Buffalo Bills defense clamped down in the second half, and the Bills won a low-scoring battle over the Detroit Lions, 14-13. Explosive plays were hard to come by for Buffalo, who had a few potential bombs fall out of receivers’ fingertips, but rookie Robert Foster came through in a big way. The rookie led the Bills in receiving with four catches for 108 yards and a touchdown, and drew a long pass interference penalty to set up Buffalo’s first touchdown.
Allen played well within Brian Daboll’s structure, especially considering the team’s lack of available running backs and the decision to mix in Ike Boettger and Conor McDermott on the offensive line. He only took a single sack and avoided any turnovers, finishing 13-of-26 passing for 204 yards, a passing touchdown, and 17 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground.
The difference in this game was a pair of special teams miscues by the Lions. A botched snap meant that Detroit failed to convert an extra point in the first half, and Matt Prater hooked a 48 yard field goal right of the posts in the second half. Either of those events could’ve kept the Lions in the driver’s seat.
Buffalo had trouble with Detroit’s playmaking receiver Kenny Golladay in the first half, but found ways to pressure Matthew Stafford and keep him from connecting with his receiver in the second half. Detroit had five punts and a missed field goal after halftime, with three three-and-outs.
- Marcus Murphy suffered an arm injury that took him out of the game.
Isaiah McKenzie was carted off the field with a non-contact injury in the second half, but returned to the game no worse for the wear.Hopefully LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory are feeling better next week. Both Keith Ford and Patrick DiMarco needed to sit out some plays with small injuries in this one. The Bills had essentially no healthy runners at the end of the game.
- Robert Foster caught four passes for a career-high 108 yards and a touchdown. It was his second consecutive 100-yard receiving game.
- Since returning to the active roster, Foster’s been the perfect match for Josh Allen. He has 22 catches for 438 yards and two touchdowns in the last five weeks.
- Allen ran in his sixth touchdown of the season, which leads the league for quarterbacks. Cam Newton set the record for rookies (and all quarterbacks) in 2011 with 14.
- In place of Matt Milano was undrafted rookie Corey Thompson making his first start of the season. He had four tackles.
- Jordan Poyer had a strong day, leading the league in tackles and single-handedly ending Detroit’s drive late in the fourth quarter with some great tackling.
- The Bills failed to record any sacks, but Lorenzo Alexander hit Stafford twice, and had two TFLs.