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Week 8: Bills vs. Lions Preview Detroit Lions
The Bills head back home after winning two straight games on the road to vault them into second place one game behind division leading Miami. The Bills face a rare opponent as they meet the Detroit Lions for only the seventh time in their history. The Lions are coming off a dramatic come from behind win over the Bears in overtime. A Bills win pulls them within a 1/2 game of idle Miami. The team must guard against looking past the Lions towards next week's big matchup with the Patriots. The Lions have won 2 of their last 3 despite being near the bottom of the league in total offense and total defense.

Facts and Figures
Matchup: Detroit (2-4) at Buffalo (4-3)
Date: Sunday October 27, 2002
Place: Ralph Wilson Stadium
Time: 1:00pm
Television: FOX
Announcers: Ron Pitts and Tim Green
Spread: Bills by 7
Series: Lions leads 3-2-1
Last Meeting: Bills 22-13 in Buffalo (1997)
Lions Offense: Rush (26th); Pass (23rd); overall (29th)
Lions Defense: Rush (16th); Pass (29th); overall (28th)
Bills Offense: Rush (21st); Pass (2nd); overall (3rd)
Bills Defense: Rush (25th); Pass (16th); overall (23rd)

Injury Update

The Bills have three big injuries going into this game. Antoine Winfield will most likely miss his second straight game following arthroscopic knee surgery to repair torn cartilage. Dave Moore continues to be hampered by his broken left hand but hopes to play with the help of a softer cast. Mike Williams is improving with a hamstring strain and has a shot at playing if he can practice this week. Shawn Bryson is out for the year with torn ligaments in his knee.

The Lions are banged up at the receiving positions. TE Mikhael Ricks missed last week's game with a groin injury. WR Bill Schroder has been out with a hamstring injury while Eddie Drummond missed the Bears game with an ankle injury. The team did get Germaine Crowell back last week however.

For complete injury news throughout the week and the Official NFL Injury Report go to our Injury Page.

Key Matchups

DT Pat Williams vs. RB James Stewart: Stewart is coming off the best game of his career and Williams is playing very well for the Bills. If he wins this battle, the Bills can force rookie QB Joey Harrington to the air.

DE Aaron Schobel vs. LT Jeff Backus: Schobel has put pressure on the quarterback consistently but hasn't been getting sacks regularly. Look for him to go after Backus and try to disrupt Harrington's game.

CB Chris Watson vs. WR Az-Zahir Hakim: The Lions will probably try to get the speedster Hakim against the weak link of the Bills secondary. Watson played well for the injured Winfield last week but he wasn't tested. Look for the Lions to remedy that mistake by the Dolphins.

RB Travis Henry vs. MLB Chris Claiborne: This is a marquee matchup. Henry is playing as good as any back in the league right now. Claiborne is the Lions leading tackler. If Henry continues to succeed this week, the Bills should win.

RT Marcus Price vs. LE Robert Porcher: If Mike Williams does not return Price gets matched up with the veteran Porcher. Price has played very well in subbing for Williams and should be able to hold his own in this battle.

Game Plan

When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills should be able to attack the Lions on the ground and through the air. Look for them to try and strike a balance between the running and passing game like they have the past two weeks.

When The Lions Have The Ball: The Lions will try to run the ball behind Stewart to take pressure off of their young QB. Harrington isn't afraid to put the ball up however and he has shown marked improvement over the last few weeks.

Bills Daily Prediction

The Bills now believe they are a good team and they must make sure they don't letdown against an inferior opponent especially with the Patriots looming on the horizon. This game has the potential to be like the Texans game two weeks ago. The Bills will probably play down to the level of the competition but pull it out in the end: Bills 27, Lions 24

Season Prediction Record: (6-1)
Season Record Against The Spread: (5-2)

Complete Statistical Matchup
Game Analysis and Review - Coming Sunday Night!
Positional Breakdown and Grades - Coming Sunday Night!
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