Here are three things we learned from the Buffalo Bills’ 28-25 win over the Detroit Lions in Week 12:
They can win games in crunch time
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
This season, the Bills have steadily put to bed the narrative they can’t win close games. They’ve managed some clutch performances in the second half and fourth quarter,
They have only had a few wins that could be considered blowouts (Rams, Titans, Steelers) while averaging 28.1 points per contest versus opponents’ 18.1 average on the year against a Bills defense that has dealt with injuries.
Much like where they left off in the playoffs against the Chiefs, the offense is finding ways to put points on the board when it matters most.
Not only that, but Thursday’s game against Detroit became the most-watched and the most-streamed early Thanksgiving Day game ever with 31.627 million viewers.
The offense is more diverse
Stefon Diggs #14 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Speaking of Diggs, the WR pointed out how the offense has been different during his postgame press conference. Things have changed on the offensive side of the ball.
“You know we’re running the ball so efficiently that we’re probably not passing as much as we used to,” the receiver said about the balance of the offense, as well as the challenges that sharing the ball with the run game has presented to rhythm in the passing game.
The running back group has had a more active role, allowing Allen and the offense to spread the ball around.
Questions have started to be raised after some losses and close games whether the change from Brian Daboll to Ken Dorsey at OC has been a factor in the Bills few losses.
Yet that may remain to be seen. Fans might be looking for electric passing plays, but may have to be patient, the goal is to win and to do so as a team.
Ed Oliver is underrated
Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver (91) Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo’s 2019 first-round draft pick at the ninth overall selection, Oliver has been a success story in terms of the organization’s focus on player development. He took a step forward last season and has continued to do so in 2022.
As Buffalo has spent much of its season without defensive staples like Micah Hyde and Tre White, who only just returned in the Detroit game a year after an injury sidelined him… And dealt with occasional injuries to DEs Greg Rousseau, AJ Epenesa, LB, and defensive leader Tremaine Edmunds among others… Oliver’s presence has made an impact.
In the team’s 28-25 win over the Lions alone, he forced and recovered a fumble, a safety, two tackles for loss, and six tackles.