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Lions vs Bills Pregame Week-10

The Lions go to Buffalo this weekend to face the Bills in what has now become a very important game to them. The Lions were beginning to not sell out their home games before they beat the Redskins and after blowing a lead to the Jets and seeing their franchise quarterback go down yet again, the morale of a lot of fans is at a low. If the Lions should lose to the 0-8 Bills now, they just may not sell another home game out this season without a winning streak. Simply put however, and at the risk of sounding over confident, the Detroit Lions should, in no way lose this game.

When Scott Linehan, the Lions offensive coordinator, calls even a semi-aggressive game plan, the Lions offense can stand face to face with any in the NFL. Even with Shaun Hill at the helm. The Bills defense however is not so good. They are 25th in the NFL in sacks with only 12 sacks on the year, and they are dead last in interceptions. The Bills have only one interception this season. So the Lions offensive line which is tied for 7th in allowing only 14 sacks, should have no problem protecting quarterback Shaun Hill.

Some might point to the Bills pass defense and how they rank 6th in yards allowed as a reason for the Lions to worry. This however, is a case of stats that are deceiving. The reason the Bills pass defense looks so good in yards allowed, is because of how bad they are against the run. The Bills rank last in rushing yards aloud with an astounding 178.2 yards per game against them. Quite frankly, when an offense can run at will, it will seldom bother to pass the ball, accounting for the low amount of passing yards against the Bills and the high ranking.

The Bills are 22nd in the NFL in allowing 19 sacks on the year. The Lions defense is 5th with a total of 24 sacks. So you can expect the Lions defense to get multiple sacks this week. Especially after the defensive line was mostly man handled by the Jets last week. There is nothing worse for a poor offensive line than facing a great defensive line when they are looking to prove themselves after a bad week.

My keys to this game all fall within the coaching this week. The Lions offense is talented enough to destroy the Bills defense. The Detroit defense is good enough to stop the Bills offense. The only thing that could really be a problem is the tendency of the Lions coordinators to become conservative.

Several times now the Lions have taken leads on their opponents, but only once, against the Rams, has Linehan been aggressive enough to keep putting points on the board and spread that lead. Even in the Rams game, it wasn't until the second half before that happened. Instead of putting opponents away, Linehan has continuously become conservative and allowed the Lions opponents to stay close.

Cunningham has not been much better on defense. Sure the Lions defense looks aggressive with the sacks and interceptions, but that is due more to the great defensive line than Gunther's play calling. Last week when the Lions defensive line could not generate a lot of pressure on Sanchez, Gunther did not help them out much by sending the blitz very often. For the most part, he left them to it and as the game continued on, they became absolutely exhausted. Even in overtime he refused to send the blitz to help them out and Sanchez had far too much time to find his receivers.

Another thing I have not liked in Cunningham this season is his tendency to switch to a prevent defense when they get a lead. The Lions have had too many games slip away because the opponents drove down field and scored in the last minutes when the Lions used the prevent. The Lions strength on defense is rushing the quarterback. Not covering the receivers for long periods of time. When the Lions switch to the prevent defense, they play to their weakness rather than their strength.

I am expecting to see what I have seen every week this season. Until the ugly duckling turns into the beautiful swan, it is still just an ugly duckling. The Lions need to show me they can play aggressive an entire game before I will believe the coaches will do it. The Lions will take the lead sometime in the first half but not pull away. The Bills will keep it close and make for a needlessly exciting end, but fall just short.

Lions 27 - Bills 24

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