Detroit will try for its third road win of the season this week in the cold confines of New Era Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. Their 17-3 victory in Arizona was nice, but the Arizona climate is closer to Detroit’s dome than the Bills’ outdoor venue near the Canadian border.
That’s what the Bills will count on as they try to win another one for the home crowd. Buffalo uses strong defense to stay in most games, but it is their wildly inconsistent offense that decides who wins or loses.
Sean McDermott’s decision to release his veteran receivers and leave the passing game in the hands of his rookie quarterback and a slew of young and inexperienced wide-outs signaled surrender to some. McDermott pointed out that any of his receivers who thought as much probably won’t be playing for the Bills in 2019.
Injuries helped doom this team to a rebuilding mode as they entered the season with an offensive line put together midway through training camp, a gimpy running back, and an unimpressive array of receiving options. Throw in a miscalculation at quarterback that forced them to put a rookie development project at the helm, and you wonder how they won four games.
Detroit’s top receiver is second-year player Kenny Golladay after a midseason trade of Golden Tate was followed by a season-ending injury to Marvin Jones Jr. Their best runner, Kerryon Johnson, might miss another week due to injury, too.
Injuries and notes
Injuries to wide receivers Bruce Ellington (hamstring) and Brandon Powell (toe), along with Kerryon Johnson’s uncertain status, could further limit Matt Stafford’s options this week.
Devon Kennard (hip), Da’Shawn Hand (knee), and Trevor Bates (ankle) are among six defensive players on the Detroit injury report.
The Bills could be without both LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and Chris Ivory (shoulder), leaving their running game to rookies.
Sean McDermott isn’t feeling pressure from ownership regarding his job status. The team surprised with a playoff appearance last year, but they are in the middle of a rebuild complicated by injuries. The quarterback fiasco might create some fodder if things don’t go better next season. For now, everyone is in an understanding mood in Buffalo.
Matt Patricia is taking the heat in Detroit for not improving on the team’s perpetual 7-9 win purgatory. But ownership realizes the Lions are in rebuilding, or at least, re-shaping mode. Those who are paying attention see there is a plan coming together. It is way too early to tell if Patricia will join the list of Bill Belichick assistants who flopped as head coaches.
How to watch the Bills-Lions game
Fox Sports will provide this game to its affiliates around the Great Lakes regions of Michigan and New York. That means a lot of cold NFL fans can keep warm by watching their favorite team on DirecTV Now.
DirecTV Now is a leader in internet television, providing an economical alternative to overpriced cable and satellite providers. They offer all the local and national networks you need to follow the NFL, and dozens of other movie and entertainment channels to watch between games.
DirecTV Now, like Fubo TV, Sling, and all the internet TV companies, don’t make you buy special equipment or sign contracts to enjoy your favorite shows.
And did we mention how economical DirecTV Now, Fubo TV, Sling, and the others are? You will pay a fraction of what you pay now for cable and satellite if you switch to internet TV.
That’s not an introductory offer or a gimmick to snag you before the price goes up, either. You can cancel any time without penalty, so there’s no sense in playing games.
Check out their websites today to see what DirecTV Now, Sling and Fubo TV offers in your neighborhood.
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Who will win the Bills-Lions game?
Matthew Stafford is not the same quarterback away from the dome, especially in the cold. Buffalo’s defense can force errors and keep the Bills in another ugly game. That’s the kind they often win.