The Buffalo Bills are heading back to Western New York at 3-2, having scraped out an unlikely 17-14 road win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon. Dan Carpenter kicked a 58-yard field goal (yes, 58 yards) with four seconds remaining to seal the win for Buffalo - and that kick came after soon-to-be-ex-Lions kicker Alex Henery missed his third try of the game to keep the Bills alive.
Buffalo trailed 14-0 in the second quarter, with the offense and special teams struggling mightily en route to that early deficit. By the time the middle portion of the fourth quarter came around, however, the Bills had tied the game at 14, with the offense finally finding its rhythm and Buffalo's defense playing a tremendous game against a depleted Lions offense missing Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush.
Kyle Orton overcame an early pick-six to complete 30-of-43 passes for 308 yards, throwing a short touchdown pass to tight end Chris Gragg in the fourth quarter. (Fred Jackson then ran in a two-point conversion to tie the game.) Orton's debut was far from perfect, but he made several big throws in the second half, including a 20-yarder to Sammy Watkins to set up Carpenter's game-winning field goal. His Bills debut was made all the more impressive with the offensive line struggling, and with Buffalo's running game completely shut down by Detroit's potent defense.
On the other side of the ball, the Bills pitched a shutout after allowing a first-quarter touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Golden Tate. The defensive line, missing star Kyle Williams, was dominant, with Marcell Dareus recording three sacks, Jerry Hughes adding two more, and Mario Williams logging one as well. Indeed, the Bills allowed just 290 yards on the day; the Bills, by comparison, managed 357 yards of offense.
At 3-2, the Bills will remain atop the AFC East heading into next weekend's huge home game against the New England Patriots. But we'll get to that; for now, enjoy the Bills' second road win of the 2014 season.