Things haven’t been pretty for the Detroit Lions offense in recent weeks. The team has failed to cross the 20-point threshold since their loss to the Bears on November 11, the only time they’ve done so since Week 7. That’s not what a playoff team looks like, let alone a contender. That being said, players like Glover Quin have acknowledged that the Lions have no choice but to take care of business by winning out if they want to even talk about the playoffs. Take care of business it is then.
Bold prediction of the week: Lions offense scores 20+ in rout of the Bills
This is a complicated prediction—20+ points isn’t exactly a rout, nor is it necessarily an offensive show. Like everything else in the NFL, however, this is relative.
Buffalo’s defense ranks No. 1 in yards allowed per game as well as passing yards per game. Neither I nor most others trust offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter to get creative enough with the passing game to outsmart the Bills defense, which means the Lions will likely have to reach the threshold with the ground game.
Before we even get to that, though, this whole bold prediction starts with the defense. The Lions defense ranks third best in the league over the last five weeks in both rush yards allowed per game as well as yards per carry. Against a team with Josh Allen at quarterback, that is essential.
If Matt Patricia whips out the same quarterback-contain magic he has shown against the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Mitchell Trubisky, then the defense should have no troubles with the Bills offense. When you eliminate the legs of Josh Allen and LeSean McCoy, all that’s left is Josh Allen’s arm. In the NFL, that’s like bringing a shotgun to a long-range gunfight.
With that being the case, the Lions defense should have no trouble getting off the field, and that leaves it up to the offense to take care of business. It has been a few weeks since the Lions had a truly stellar performance on the ground with Kerryon Johnson gone, but LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick have filled in admirably in recent weeks and seem to be finding their grooves.
If they can continue those performances, the Lions should be able to set the tone of the game and force the Bills to let Josh Allen’s cannon loose in the rare occasions in which they get the chance. Put it all together, and it’s a recipe for success and, more importantly, another week of playoff scenario teases.