1:00 p.m. ET
Key Coaching Decision #1: (DET ball, leading 12-7 / PAT attempt / 3:46 Q2)
• Detroit missed a PAT on its first score of the game when a bad snap resulted in a botched kick. Rather than chase the points after a Zach Zenner TD run by attempting a two-point conversion, the Lions decided to kick a PAT to take a 13-7 advantage. They would not have an opportunity to make that point up again as they did not score another point, much less a touchdown.
Key Coaching Decision #2: (BUF ball, leading 14-13 / second-and-9, BUF 25 / 2:46 Q4)
• The Lions had already used two timeouts to this point in the game.
Rather than run the ball and force the Lions to use their third and final timeout, Buffalo decided to throw the ball. Josh Allen found rookie tight end Jason Croom for a 25-yard gain and a first down. This was a big play as it gave the Bills a new set of downs.
• An incompletion here would have stopped the clock and saved the Lions from having to use their third and final timeout. They could have used it had they stopped the Bills on third down and had plenty of time with relatively decent field position and the two-minute warning.
Key Coaching Decision #3: (BUF ball, leading 14-13 / fourth-and-1 / DET 41 / 1:50 Q4)
• The Bills locked up the victory when Josh Allen plunged ahead for a 2-yard gain on fourth down. The Lions were out of timeouts and the Bills ended the game by lining up in victory formation to finish out the game. Buffalo had the option to punt and pin the Lions back with no timeouts remaining. However, going for a fourth down conversion made sense considering Allen’s height as well as success in running the football.
• The Lions were eliminated from the playoffs with the loss to the Bills.
• What made the victory somewhat surprising is that the Bills offense was without its two starting running backs, LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory, for the entirety of the game due to injury. They would later lose third-string running back Marcus Murphy in the first half.
• Josh Allen threw for 204 yards on 13 of 26 passing attempts, as well as a touchdown. He did not turn the ball over. His hard count on third-and-7 on the Detroit 47-yard line with 2:00 left forced Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis to jump offsides and make it third-and-short.
• Bills wide receiver Robert Foster has emerged as one of Allen’s favorite targets. He had four catches for 108 yards and a touchdown.
• Not to be outdone, Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay had 146 yards receiving. He was the main target for Matthew Stafford, who finished with 208 passing yards.