Sport: 3 Lions most to blame for Thanksgiving loss to Bills

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The Detroit Lions lost another Thanksgiving Day contest against the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo entered the game as 9.5-point favorites.

  3 Lions most to blame for Thanksgiving loss to Bills © Provided by Fansided

A late 22-19 lead proved tough for the Lions to hold onto late, and the real Josh Allen showed up with just under 30 seconds remaining, setting up Bills kicker Tyler Bass for the game-winning field goal.

While CBS announcer Jim Nantz jinxed Lions kicker Michael Badgley, who missed a very makable field goal in the second half, his magic powers did not work on Bass with just seconds remaining.

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Instead, it was a late deep ball from Allen to his favorite target, Stefon Diggs, which set up Bass for his field goal with just two seconds remaining.

Detroit was not without its faults, however. Poor time management, a safety and fumble contributed to the Lions eventual demise. With that in mind, there are some obvious Lions to blame for their seventh loss of the season.

Detroit Lions to blame: Run defense

Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn was not prepared to stop the Bills rushing attack, which includes James Cook, Devin Singletary and even QB Josh Allen. Allen and Singletary combined for 150 yards rushing on their own, with several Allen runs — as reckless as they were — moving Buffalo into late field goal range.

This came one game after Detroit stifled New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, with Brian Daboll even admitting that the Lions won the battle up front on the road in the Meadowlands.

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"If the run game is not going, you're kind of tied with one hand behind your back," Barkley said at the time. "You've [then] got to pass the ball, so that's why it's important for myself to get this run game back on track and the best way to do that is moving on and getting ready for Thursday [at Dallas]."

That was far from the case on Thursday, as Buffalo's run game was anything but hungry on Thanksgiving.

Detroit Lions to blame: Lack of awareness, turnovers

Detroit's offense played well much of the game, but failing to convert drives into touchdowns — which included a missed field goal — came back to haunt them. A fumble from the usual sure-handed Jamaal Williams, as well as a safety thanks to a stumbling Jared Goff in the end zone, were essentially the difference.

Ed Oliver's third-quarter safety was the first on Thanksgiving Day in quite some time.

To defeat a team as talented as Buffalo, the Lions had to be perfect. They weren't that on Thursday afternoon, leading to another disappointing Thanksgiving game in Motown.

The Lions couldn't afford such errors, and they made plenty of them.

Detroit Lions to blame: Dan Campbell

Dan Campbell can be thanked for Detroit's rapid turnaround, as the Lions had won three games in a row entering Thursday's tilt against the Bills. But he should also receive some blame as to how his team looked in critical moments against Buffalo.

It was yet another road game for Buffalo after they were forced to play at Ford Field due to a rampant snowstorm last Sunday. Yet, the Bills looked far more comfortable with the football world watching.

With under two minutes remaining, Campbell was seemingly winding down the clock, but made some curious play-calls and flirted with borderline brutal time management. On a third-and-one, Detroit took a shot at the end zone on a long fade down the sidelines rather than a more conservative call. Goff's pass fell silently to the turf, thus forcing the Lions to kick a game-tying field goal rather than continue their drive into the red zone. He also ended the drive with two timeouts in his pocket.

Just a couple seconds later, and the Bills drove the ball onto the Detroit side of the field thanks to a long pass from Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs. If Campbell was trying to keep the ball away from Buffalo, he failed to do so. And playing for the tie as 9.5-point underdogs is not in the formula to pull off an upset.

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