An ugly game all around. The defense was equally bad against the run and the pass, as both Kevin Jones (23 carries-127 yards) and Roy Williams (10 catches-161 yards) notched their season highs in the Lions’ first win of the year.
By the time the Bills finally made it past midfield on the final play of the first quarter, the hometown team had taken advantage of drive-starts at their own 49 and the Buffalo 24 to build a 10-0 lead. J.P. Losman’s 44-yard strike to Roscoe Parrish cut the lead to three; the two teams spent most of the rest of the quarter trading punts before Detroit quarterback Jon Kitna capped off an efficient two-minute drill by finding Williams for a 28-yard touchdown with 0:40 remaining in the half. Terrence McGee found a seam on the ensuing kickoff, taking the ball all the way to the Detroit 23 and setting up Rian Lindell’s 53-yard field goal to make the score 17-10 at the break.
Following another Jason Hanson field goal early in the fourth quarter, the Bills countered with Losman’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Neufeld. A Ko Simpson interception gave the offense one more shot, but they couldn’t get past their own 40-yard line before the drive stalled. Detroit burned most of the remaining time off the clock before giving the ball back, and any hopes for a last-play miracle ended with the ball cradled in Lions defensive end Kalimba Edwards’ arms as time ran out.
Losman finished 21-for-34 for 207 yards and two touchdowns, but also took five sacks and turned the ball over twice while running for his life most of the afternoon. This game, and the beatdown by New England the following week, provided more than enough reason for the Buffalo coaching staff to overhaul the offensive line during the bye week.