TIM AND MIKE: Week 15 observations

Penalty punishment: The Lions had only four Sunday, but they gave the Bills 81 yards and made a major negative impact on the Lions. A 43-yard interference call on Mike Ford gave the Bills first and goal and set up their first TD in the second quarter. There were three costly flags in the fourth quarter: 23 yards on Darius Slay for interference two plays before what stood up as the game-winning TD pass; holding that wiped out Quandre Diggs’ punt return to midfield; and offside on Jarrad Davis that led to the Bills running out the clock. – Mike O’Hara

Further examination: The Lawson penalty that wiped out Diggs’ punt return was a particular stinger. Diggs returned a punt 23 yards to the Buffalo 49-yard line with 13:25 left in the quarter. The Lions held a 13-7 lead at the time and were in a great spot to make it a two-score game. But the return was called back and the Lions were forced to start the drive at their 18-yard line. A run for minus three, an incomplete pass and a 5-yard pass – on 3rd and 13 – forced a punt. Buffalo started on their 39-yard line and went down to score the winning touchdown. – Tim Twentyman

Sack stat, Sunday: The Lions did not give up a sack for the second time this season, but that didn’t mean Matthew Stafford was unscathed. He came up limping when he was hit on the Lions’ second play – a pass to Kenny Golladay for a 20-yard gain. He walked it off, and it didn’t seem to bother him the rest of the game. – Mike O’Hara

Sack stat, coming up: The Lions gave up a season-high of 10 sacks in a 24-9 road loss to the Vikings in Week 10. On Sunday the Lions play their final home game against the Vikings, who had nine sacks in Sunday’s 41-17 win over the Dolphins. Beware. – Mike O’Hara

CB comparison: Darius Slay hasn’t had the same season this year as he did last year when he was All Pro, but he’s still been playing at a really high level. The Bills threw at him seven times Sunday and completed one pass for 11 yards. Slay defended three passes. He did have a questionable PI penalty, but Josh Allen had a 39.6 passer rating when throwing at him. When Allen targeted Nevin Lawson and Mike Ford, Detroit’s next two cornerbacks, his success rate when up dramatically. He was 7-of-9 for 130 yards (plus a 43-yard PI penalty on Ford) for 130 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 155.8. – Tim Twentyman

Starting debut: Tyrell Crosby made his first career start at right tackle. He didn’t come out of the performance too bad, especially considering it was up against the No. 1 defense in the NFL. He allowed three hurries and one quarterback hit, but no sacks. The Lions averaged 6.0 yards per rush running off right tackle. No too bad for the rookie. – Tim Twentyman

View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions Week 15 game against the Buffalo BIlls.

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