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Week 6: Bills Give Lions First Win 20-17
Season dips lower with lackluster effort in the Motor City.
by Steve Saslow
Week 6
Bills  17
Lions  20
Gameday Grades

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse than last week, it does. The Bills put together a poor effort as the winless Lions looked more like the undefeated bears in dominating the Bills enroute to a 20-17 win over Buffalo. Of course, if the Lions were really more like the Bears this game would have been a blowout like last week's was. The Bills played nearly as poorly as they did a week ago. I bet Dick Jauron is happy to have his former teams behind him on the schedule.

The Lions absolutely dominated this game and had total control of it until the fourth quarter as the Bills made a late run that fell short. The Lions came out flying, they seemed to have Tiger fever like the rest of the Motor City and used that momentum, and the presence of Tigers coach Jimmy Leyland, to inspire them to their first victory of the season.

Detroit took the opening possession to the Bills goal line before being turned away twice in a row at the one. That was the last big play the Bills defense made as the Lions ran it well and threw at will to big days from Jon Kitna, Kevin Jones, and Roy Williams.

It was complete domination in the first half as the Lions dominated both lines of scrimmage as they held a 253-57 advantage in total yards at the intermission. They only led 10-7 early in the 2nd quarter thanks to a nice scramble and throw by J.P. Losman to Roscoe Parrish for a 44 yard touchdown. That would be the only thing the offense did right until the fourth quarter. Losman was constantly harassed, sacked, hurried, and he threw one interception along with losing a fumble.

The Lions went up 17-7 on a 28 yard touchdown pass to the always open Roy Williams. He made toast of Bills defensive backs Terrence McGee, Ko Simpson, and Nate Clements all day. He was open at will on his way to 10 catches for 161 yards. It has become increasingly obvious that the Bills corners are highly overrated.

The Bills got a field goal back just before halftime thanks to a 72 yard kickoff return by McGee. They almost screwed that up as Losman took a sack but Rian Lindell bailed him out with a 53 yard field goal.

It stayed that way until the fourth quarter, a Losman fumble thwarted a drive and led to a Lions field goal. Donte Whitner had a near interception in the end zone but the replay review called it incomplete and gave the Lions what would be the winning field goal.

The offense had their only sustained drive of the game after that, as Losman would hit Ryan Neufeld for his first career touchdown. They did nothing on their next series after an interception by Simpson.

That left the game in the hands of the defense and they failed again as they gave up a third down swing pass to convert a first down as Jones complete faked out Kiwaukee Thomas to get the game clinching first down.

We knew there would be many ups and downs during the early portion of the rebuilding process. The first month of the season went better than expected but it has all come to a crashing fall. How much lower can they go then where they are right now? A blowout loss to the powerhouse Bears can be justified, a loss against the previously winless Lions in which they were thoroughly dominated is almost too much to take for Western New Yorkers still trying to dig out of the freak fall snowstorm. There is no where left to go but up... oh wait... the Patriots are on the schedule next. Maybe it could get worse, we may be looking forward to the bye week sooner than we thought.

Here are our exclusive gameballs and goats from the Bills game against the Lions:

  • Brian Moorman - Dumped three punts inside the 11 and had a 50 yarder from his own end zone.
  • Donte Whitner - Did a better job in pass coverage than his rookie counterpart at the other safety spot. Made a great play in nearly getting an interception and led the team with eight tackles.

  • Goats
  • Terrence McGee - He was constantly beat by Roy Williams and then Mike Furrey late in the game.
  • J.P. Losman - His numbers ended up looking ok, 21-34 for 207 yards and an 86.3 QB rating. The fact is he threw an interception and fumbled the ball away as well as doing nothing at all for three quarters.
  • Peerless Price - Four ho-hum catches for 27 yards isn't what they thought they were getting from him.
  • Nate Clements - He is no lockdown corner, he wasn't burned as much as McGee but that isn't saying much.
  • The Tight Ends - I know Neufeld got a touchdown but that was one of two receptions by the unit. They didn't help in run blocking much either.
  • Larry Tripplett - What a waste of money. He has yet to make a play all season.
  • Aaron Schobel - He did have a sack, a tackle of the QB, and a few pressures but he should have had a monster game against this patch work line. He was constantly taken too wide and out of the play.
  • Mike Gandy - He gave up 3½ sacks. He has been brutal the last two weeks.

  • Player Of The Week
  • Brian Moorman - Pretty sad when the punter is your best player but Moorman appears to be the Bills best again this year. He averaged 41.3 yards on his seven punts.

  • Positional Breakdown and Grades Gamebook
    Lions Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage

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