The Buffalo Bills were on the brink of a Thanksgiving upset, but they have Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs.
The dynamic duo continued to show its dominance late, as they rallied back to a 28-25 win over the Detroit Lions in the first Thanksgiving game of the day.
Lions’ kicker Michael Badgley drilled a 51-yard field goal to tie the game at 25 apiece. But there was just one problem: Allen still had 23 seconds left on the clock, and three timeouts.
Allen’s first play of the game-winning drive: A 36-yard dart to Diggs, who had 65 of his 77 receiving yards in the fourth quarter. That play put the Bills in field goal range quickly, and after Allen ran the ball two more times to inch closer, Tyler Bass drilled a 45-yard field goal to put the Bills up 28-25 with two seconds to go.
The Lions’ lateral-filled prayer on the ensuing kickoff was unsuccessful.
The second half didn’t come that easily for the Bills, though. After taking a 17-14 lead into the half, their first four drives of the second half ended in either an interception or a punt. However, they turned it up a notch in their penultimate drive of the game, when down 22-19, amassing a 14-play, 90-yard drive, ending in a five-yard score by Diggs.
Bass’ missed PAT, though, kept it just a six-point game, which left Lions quarterback Jared Goff two minutes and 40 seconds to keep the game alive. He did enough for Badgley to tie the game with his 51-yarder, but the Lions defense simply had no answer for the high-powered Bills.
ONE PLAYER EACH NFL TEAM SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR THIS THANKSGIVING
The underdog Lions got on the board first with running back Jamaal Williams’ 13th touchdown of the season after a dozen-play drive. Buffalo answered right back though, as Allen found wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie for a 19-yard score, tying the game.
After a Williams fumble, the Bills responded with a rushing score from Allen, but after a 15-play drive, Amon-Ra St. Brown caught a one-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14. B
Bass knocked a field goal to give Buffalo a 17-14 lead into the half.
Early in the fourth, Goff found D.J. Chark for a score, and D’Andre Swift ran it in for the successful two-point conversion, putting Detroit up 22-19. That was when the Bills had had enough, scoring their final 10 points in their final two drives.
The victory did come at a cost though, as Von Miller was carted into the locker room with a knee injury in the second quarter.
Allen threw for 253 yards, two touchdowns, and a pick while completing 24 of his 42 passes – but he also ran for 78 yards on 10 carries, one of which was a score. McKenzie led Bills receivers with 98 receiving yards while catching six passes, including his touchdown.
St. Brown went off despite the losing effort, setting game-highs in receptions (nine) and receiving yards (122).
The Bills will visit New England to face the Patriots next Thursday night, while the Lions will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 13.