Detroit Lions Week 12 report card: Lions win streak snapped in Thanksgiving heartbreaker

SideLion Report

The Detroit Lions fell short against the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving Day, and here’s our report card for their performance against one of the NFL’s best teams.

Unfortunately, the  Detroit Lions’ bid for a perfect November fell just short on Thanksgiving Day. While an upset was in play down to the final moments, the Buffalo Bills were able to come up with a game-winning drive in the final 25 seconds.

It was a heartbreaker for the Lions, made worse by the fact that Detroit had plenty of chances to win the game. Ultimately, though, this game showed the Lions belong and they’ve come a long way this season.

So let’s dive into this litmus test game for the Lions, and the Thanksgiving upset that almost came true.

Detroit Lions Week 12 Report Card: Upset bid falls just short

Rushing offense: 1/5 stars 

Buffalo’s interior defensive line was dominant, shutting down the Lions’ run game for the most part. Detroit kept trying to get the ground game going, but consistency was lacking. Detroit only averaged 3.4 yards per carry, but if you remove the long run of 27 that average drops to 2.5 yards a carry.

It was just not a productive day for Detroit’s ground game at all. The Bills clearly had a game plan to shut down the run, and they executed it very effectively with the Lions starting two backup guards.

Passing offense: 3/5 stars

Because of the inefficient run game, Detroit was forced to throw more. Typically when more is put on the shoulders of Jared Goff, the game doesn’t end well for Detroit. Surprisingly though, they were able stay afloat offensively.

But there were some issues with inconsistencies throughout the game, and key moments where better execution was needed. There has been a lot of debate on the 3rd-and-1 on the final drive, in which Goff missed an open DJ Chark downfield. Additionally, there was an awful safety in the third quarter.

Best offensive player: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown

It was another strong game for St. Brown, as he broight in nine of 10 targets for 122 yards and a touchdown. It felt like every single third-down pass went his way.

The Lions did a good job of spreading the defense out. As a result, St. Brown was able to take advantage of his matchups. He delivered multiple big-time plays when the Lions needed someone to step up.

Worst offensive player(s): OGs Dan Skipper and Kayode Awosika

With the injuries at guard, the Lions’ backups were forced into action. Unfortunately, they struggled mightily against the Bills front, primarily Ed Oliver. The safety, for example, was an instance of Skipper just getting completely run over.

It was a tough assignment for a pair of guards who aren’t among the top four options at the position. However, they couldn’t even provide replacement-level play against the Bills.

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