The Bills will have their hands full on Sunday when they take on the Detroit Lions. Currently in first place in the NFC North, the Lions sit at 3-1. The team has convincing wins over the Giants and Packers and held off the Jets last week in New Jersey. Their only loss came to the Carolina Panthers in Week 2.
Here’s the history of the Buffalo Bills vs Detroit Lions:
Head-to-Head Regular Season Match-ups: 9
Bills Record: 4-4-1
Winning Percentage: .500
Points Scored: 167
Points Allowed: 179
The two teams will only be playing for the 10th time in their respective histories on Sunday. As you can see, the history is pretty much split down the middle with the Lions only outscoring the Bills by 12 points in the nine games.
Lions Look Legit
Detroit has performed well under new head coach Jim Caldwell. Offensively, the Lions are 12th in the NFL in total yards (363.2), 7th in passing yards (276) and 25th in rushing yards (87.7).
On offense, Matthew Stafford should be licking his chops as he goes against a Bills team that is 25th in the league in pass defense. Stafford has the best wide receiver in the league, Calvin Johnson, at his disposal as well as a strong second option in Golden Tate. The Lions offense also includes the likes of Eric Ebron, a talented and promising tight end, dual-threat Reggie Bush and former Bill, Joique Bell. The Lions are used to depending upon their offense to win them games. However, this year the defense has carried the offense through four games.
The Lions’ defense is one of the best in the NFL. Detroit is best in the league in yards allowed, giving up 267.2 yards per game (YPG). They’re 2nd in passing yards allowed with 186.5 YPG and 6th in rushing yards allowed with 80.8 YPG. Detroit is also 4th in the NFL in points allowed, giving up only 15.5 points on average.
Not much needs to be said here about the Lions defense. They’ve shown over the first four weeks that yards and points will be hard to come by.
Schwartz Returns to Detroit
Buffalo’s defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will be returning to Detroit after being fired as head coach by the team in 2013. He’ll be able to return with his head held high.
As previously mentioned, the only glaring weakness the Bills have shown under Schwartz is their pass defense. He’ll have his hands full this week as Detroit has a talented roster of pass catchers, but it’ll be interesting to see how he game plans against his former players.
Besides pass defense, Schwartz has been outstanding for the Bills. Buffalo ranks 3rd in rush yards allowed (71.5), 10th in yards per game (337.8) and 7th in points allowed (18.8). The Bills’ defense is also 4th in takeaways, 5th in third-down percentage and 7th in red zone efficiency.
Schwartz is likely to be without his best defensive player, Kyle Williams, but there is no doubt that the Bills will be prepared and motivated defensively on Sunday.
It’s happening; I’m finally predicting the Bills to lose. Unfortunately, I see Buffalo’s losing streak extending to three games as Matthew Stafford and the Lions’ passing offense does enough to beat the Bills. Both teams will struggle to run the ball and each quarterback will be asked to convert some 3rd and long situations. That favors Stafford. That being said, I think Kyle Orton performs respectably in his first game as Bills quarterback and keeps the game close.
Final Score – Lions 24 – Bills 17