Buffalo Bills vs Detroit Lions Week 5 Recap

The Bills entered this game with one very big question as Coach Marrone made the change at quarterback that many like this writer felt was not in the best interest of the team. 

When a change like this occurs, I have seen it go either of two possible ways. It can go so terribly wrong where the change hurts the team and the person who made that mistake of doing this rarely ever recovers from it. It can also shake up a team that needs a wakeup call and motivates them for ultimate success. 

It was game time in Detroit.

Detroit kicked off and CJ Spiller took a knee in the end zone.



Kyle Orton would come out to be our starter for this one. This guy has not played since filling in for Tony Romo in Dallas last December. 
Fred Jackson runs on first down for five yards. Orton’s first pass is complete to Sammy Watkins for a first down. Nice start! 

Detroit came into this game with the number one defense against the run and second in the league against the pass. No matter who played quarterback, it was not going to be easy against these Lions.

Orton misses C.J. Spiller on the next play and C.J. runs straight up into the Lions awesome defense for no gain. Why the Bills choose to run him into this immovable pile is beyond understanding. Then the penalty flags would start up and the Bills Guard, Cyril Richardson would be the first one caught, which placed us in a third and 13.

Orton found Jackson but only for five yards and we had to punt.

Colton Schmidt was about to punt but another penalty for delay of game backed us up. Finally he punted and now it was time for our defense to shine without Kyle Williams due to an injury. 

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had come into this game completing 64% of his passes and on first down he handed off to Reggie Bush for two, then was forced to run out of bounds with good coverage by our secondary.

On third down, Brandon Spikes made a fantastic tackle on a passing play and this forced the Lions to go three and out.

Kyle Orton’s second series would be very memorable. The drive would start at our eight yard line because of another penalty. Coach Marrone has to take responsibility for what is going on with all these penalties. It has become even worse than preseason!
Our very conservative offense once again ran C.J. up the middle for nothing, then Kyle Orton was sacked because C.J. did not want to block and Orton was downed inside our three yard line.

Then another penalty and were backed up to inside our one. This was beyond ridiculous. Remember Marv Levy and how disciplined we were with regards to penalties? Those days are truly long gone.

A quick pass to Jackson on third and long and it gains five yards. We punt and on this punt Ron Brooks would get injured. He landed straight on his head and laid there motionless.



As he got carted off his hand was moving which was a good sign. I pray that this is nothing serious.

Our defense was not going to be outshined by the Lions and on first down Marcell Dareus would get a sack.

Then Da’Norris Searcy would get hurt on the next play and we were going down like flies now. That play had a nice gain for the Lions but still forced another third down.
Stafford would find his talented receiver Golden Tate, but Nickell Robey had good coverage that prevented the first down. Another three and out for the Lions.

But the Bills would do nothing as well and this game was as thrilling as the first lap in an Indy 500 race!

The Lions would put it in gear and score on their next drive with Stafford hitting Tate for a 9 yard touchdown pass.

The Bills would look like they had no clue on how to move the ball as their conservative offense calling would run C.J. two times for nothing. Orton would be forced to throw on third down where the Lions could just pin their ears back which they did led by one of the best, Suh, Ndamukong.  Orton would throw a very bad pass that was easily picked off by Lions CB Rashean Mathis, who ran it 41 yards for the touchdown.

It was 14-0 and Orton looked like he was worse than at any time EJ. Manuel had played!
We again receive the ball and with more penalties and more conservative play we shortly just punt it back.

No matter the outcome, Marrone needs to be called out on all these penalties and conservative play calling. Our offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is obviously working closely with Marrone and the play calling has been beyond bad.



Luckily our defense came to play today. Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz, the former coach of the Lions, really wanted to put on a show against his old team and had our guys playing greatly.

On the next Lions series, Stafford made a terrible pass that was deflected and Stephon Gilmour intercepted.
Unfortunately the Bills would continue to have penalties which added up to 7 for 45 yards at this point.

Orton would finally look ok with passes to Chris Hogan and Sammy Watkins. What was noticeable about Orton was that his passes seemed either perfect or behind, below or somewhere near the receiver. Yes, he seemed like E.J. Manuel at this point!

 The Bills would settle for a Dan Carpenter field goal and the score was now 14-3.
The Lions would move the ball but not far enough as the Bills defense continued to play well.

Nothing more in the next two series and at halftime it was 14-3.

Kyle Orton was 12 of 17 for 113 with 1 interception at halftime. Those stats seemed ok but we were going nowhere with him and it was painful to watch.
But after halftime things would change.

The Bills opened it up, which is something they did not do with EJ and being down by 11 points, they would with our veteran quarterback Kyle Orton.

It started with a pass to woods for a first down, followed shortly by a screen pass to Jackson for another first down. The Bills seemed like a different team! Only because of a non-call against us, that was obvious, would cause the Bills to be stalled and have to settle for a field goal. This one would hit the upright and be missed. The non-call had Sammy Watkins being held, which the referee first called it and then stated it was not a penalty. It was a joke! With all the penalties against the Bills, to see this obvious one, was hard to take!


The Lions would do enough to get in field goal range and their struggling kicker Alex Henry would miss from 47 yards and the game was still 14-3.

Kyle Orton seemed more confident and the Bills were moving the ball down the field again. They would settle for a field goal and it was now 14-6.

Penalties were a major problem throughout and at the end of the third quarter, the Bills had 10 penalties.

In the fourth quarter, our defense continued to play hard. An example of this was when Jerry Hughes made a tackle where he lost his helmet in the scrum. It became a fumble and Jerry got up without a helmet and was trying to get to the loose ball! What an effort and this was how our defense played all day!

The Bills would be on the move. Orton would throw some great passes, none better than a bomb to speedster Marquise Goodwin. This set up a nice short pass to TE Chris Gragg that resulted in an easy touchdown and the Bills were back in business! They would go for a two point conversion to tie the game and Fred Jackson would not be denied.



14 – 14. What a comeback!

The Defense would continue to shine with players like Stefan Charles and Corbin Bryant who stepped in at times for injured Kyle Williams. Marcell Dareus, though, would have his best game by far.

Both teams would have a shot at going up but the defenses continued to play very well.

With one minute to go Matthew Stafford would hit Tate and this was a huge play for the Lions that placed them on the Bills 45 yard line. It would be a shame if that play would result in the Bills losing, as the defense had played so good for so long in this one.

But the Bills held them which resulted in Detroit attempting a 50 yard field goal with just 32 seconds left to play. Henry would once again miss this so badly it actually looked like a child first learning how to kick!


The Bills would have the ball with less than 30 seconds to go.

Orton throws to Watkins and…WHAT A CATCH!!!!



Sammy stops his momentum to deflect an underthrown ball going straight into the defenders hands, and he finds a way to catch it! Sammy is worth everything! Stars shine in big moments and that’s what Sammy did here. The ball was not a great pass but thanks to Sammy we were close to being in position to win.

At the Lions 40 yard line the next three plays resulted in only moving forward a few yards. 

With 9 seconds left, Dan Carpenter would come out to attempt a 58 yard field goal for the win.

 Dan carpenter

Dan carpenter

He looks beyond confident as he blasts it as hard as he can and…IT WENT IN!!!

WE WON!!!!!

How many of us saw the ball going towards the posts and thought of Scott Norwood’s Super Bowl Kick, wishing we could replace that wide right one...with this! 

WE WON!! I had to write it again!!!

This became a great game. Kyle Orton went 30 of 43 for 308 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception. The second half, when they allowed him to open it up, enabled him to look more confident. I wrote prior to this story that I felt he could be successful with the talent he has on our team, if he could manage the game and throw good passes. He did that very well in the second half and with our awesome defense, we come out with a win. Yes, their kicker missed field goals, but you have to have a little luck at time too!

Marrone needs to address the penalties which are really out of control right now. 

I am a Bills fan and as much as I disagreed about benching EJ, this game showed me that Kyle Orton has heart as he not only looked like a leader out there, he played like one too…when we needed him to.

I cannot wait for next week…bring on the Patriots!!