Lions-Bills Preview: 2 Underrated Players Hold Key to a Detroit Win

Jerry Jacobs

Getty Jerry Jacobs blasts Daniel Jones with a big hit in 2022.

The Detroit Lions are getting ready for a big game in the wake of three straight wins, and the task isn’t easy for Week 12 with the Buffalo Bills coming to town.

Buffalo, at 7-3, is in good shape to remain a force down the stretch in the AFC. The Lions are simply trying to keep the momentum going and stay in the discussion in the NFC with a major home game.

What players will be the most important in determining this matchup? Here’s a look at the guys who will determine this game from the Detroit side this week.

Jerry Jacobs, Cornerback

The Lions are going to be without Jeff Okudah, who got dinged-up with a friendly fire concussion in Week 11. The short turnaround means that his ability to play was long called into question

Detroit’s backfield has to step up in a big way no matter who will be in or out. All season long, they’ve managed to do just that, so don’t expect the mission to change at all minus Okudah. This simply means the Lions have to step up and play a little tougher and Jacobs will be a key player for this.

Detroit will have a tough task stopping Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis, but if they have any hope, it will be Jacobs and his attitude that have to lead the way for the cornerback room.

Justin Jackson, Running Back

It might be laughable to some that Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift aren’t included here. However, everybody knows the importance of these two to what the Lions do on the ground already.

Justin Jackson has been sneaky good for the Lions, going for an important 107 yards on the ground in the three game win streak. While he hasn’t scored a touchdown, he’s helped the Lions move the ball and has taken the pressure off both Williams and Swift in the meantime.

With the Lions needing to control the clock to win again, Jackson is going to be important. If he could give the Lions another 40-60 yards on the ground, the offense might be in very good shape to win another game.

Aidan Hutchinson, Defensive Line

There’s been no rookie as impactful as Aidan Hutchinson this season in the NFL. He’s pressuring the pocket, getting sacks, piling up tackles, picking off passes and recovering fumbles.

This week, the Lions need to keep the turnover magic going. Wherever Hutchinson seems to go, the ball follows, and it’s usually great news for the Detroit defense. The Lions need to lock in again and generate more big plays to win the game. Hutchison is probably their best hope toward getting this done with his knack for forcing mistakes.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Wide Receiver

To win a game against another quality offense, the Lions are going to have to survive a shootout in all likelihood. If they want to thrive in that atmosphere, they will need some big plays of their own.

Amon-Ra St. Brown is perhaps their best chance of getting this done, so St. Brown needs to get loose down field and make some major plays with his legs and deft route running ability. If St. Brown goes for over 100 yards and manages a touchdown, that would have to be seen as a fantastic sign for the Lions.

Jared Goff, Quarterback

In this game, Jared Goff probably isn’t going to be able to out-duel Josh Allen in terms of his ability to create magical plays. Allen has the market cornered on that, but it doesn’t mean Goff isn’t still a huge key.

Detroit’s quarterback needs to be as in control as he was during the 31-18 win in Week 11 against New York. Goff didn’t make the big mistake, throw an interception or make any ill-advised mistakes. He hit the passes he needed to and played in control.

If Goff can do that again without having to pass too much, the Lions will likely be in good shape to win the game.

Prediction: Lions 33, Bills 30
It’s not going to be easy for the Lions to win this game given all the injuries and the short week. Interestingly enough, though, Buffalo has had to travel more than the Lions lately, so that will help Detroit in edging out a close win in this game. The Lions are boosted by a late field goal in a shootout.

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