The Detroit Lions will look back at Thursday's 28-25 Thanksgiving Day loss to the Buffalo Bills and think to themselves they let a great opportunity for an upset slip through their grasp.
In the end, Detroit fell short of their fourth-straight win.
After tying the game with a Michael Badgley 51-yard field goal with 23 seconds left in the contest, Bills quarterback Josh Allen hit wide receiver Stefon Diggs for a 36-yard gain down the middle of the field to the Lions' 39-yard line. Allen would maneuver the Bills to the Lions' 27-yard line from there with five seconds left to set up a game-winning Tyler Bass 45-yard field goal with two seconds left.
The Lions certainly had their chances but will look to that 36-yard Allen to Diggs pass, a Jamaal Williams fumble earlier in the contest, a safety allowed to the Bills' defense and a missed field goal as key moments throughout the game that proved to be the difference.
After both teams traded three and outs to start the game, the Lions kicked off the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run by Williams, his 13th of the season. The run capped off a 12-play drive by Detroit.
Buffalo countered on their second possession of the game, going 75 yards in 10 plays with wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie beating Lions nickel cornerback Will Harris on a 19-yard scoring strike from Allen.
A Williams fumble on Detroit's next possession gave Buffalo good field position at their own 42-yard line. Allen would navigate Buffalo's offense into the end zone from there, capped off with his 3-yard run to give the Bills a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Lions' offense came right back putting together a 15-play drive to tie the game on a 1-yard pass from quarterback Jared Goff to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. The Lions converted two 4th and 1 attempts on the drive, including the St. Brown touchdown on 4th and goal from the 1-yard line.
Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone came up with an interception on a ball tipped by fellow linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez at the Lions' 4-yard line on the Bills first possession of the second half.
But on 3rd and 15 at the Lions' 3-yard line on their subsequent possession, backup guard Dan Skipper, starting in place of the injured Jonah Jackson, was beat by Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Oliver sacked Goff in the end zone for a safety to give the Bills a 19-14 lead.
The Lions battled back and took a 20-19 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Goff to wide receiver DJ Chark. Running back D’Andre Swift made it 22-19 running it in for the two-point conversion.
Allen then led a 14-play, 90-yard drive that culminated with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Diggs with two minutes and 40 seconds left in the game.
The Badgley field goal tied the game, but Bass was able to win it in the final seconds to drop Detroit's record to 4-7 on the year.
QB comparison: Goff completed 23 of his 37 passes for 240 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 98.9.
Allen was 24-of-42 passing for 253 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and a 80.8 passer rating. He also led Buffalo in rushing with 78 yards on 10 attempts with another touchdown.
Key moment: Allen and the Bills' offense took over at their own 25-yard line with 23 seconds left in the game needing to find a way to give Bass a chance at a field goal. On the very first snap of the possession, Allen found Diggs streaking down the seam in between two Lions defenders and put the ball perfectly into his hands at the Lions' 39-yard line. It was a dagger for the Lions' defense, and set up the game-winning field goal.
Injury report: Linebacker Julian Okwara was dragged down in the third quarter during a pass rush and injured his elbow. He was down on the field for several minutes and then got up and was taken straight to the locker room by trainers. He did not return.
Cornerback Jerry Jacobs was injured late in the fourth quarter and did not return. The Lions were already playing without starting cornerback Jeff Okudah (concussion).
Next up: vs. Jacksonville (3-7)