The Detroit Lions looked like they were playing for a tie. Josh Allen had other ideas.
Allen, the Buffalo Bills superstar quarterback, drove the Bills 48 yards in three plays to set up Tyler Bass’ 45-yard game-winning field goal with two seconds left as the Bills snapped the Lions’ three-game winning streak with a thrilling 28-25 win at Ford Field.
The Lions (4-7) have lost six consecutive Thanksgiving games, but went toe-to-toe with one of the AFC’s top Super Bowl contenders Thursday.
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Jared Goff threw two touchdown passes and Jamaal Williams ran for a third score, but the Lions settled for a game-tying field goal on their final drive after Bass left the door open with a missed extra point.
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The Bills (8-3) took a 25-22 lead on Allen’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs with 2:40 to play.
The Lions showed little urgency on the ensuing drive, when they neared midfield by the 2-minute warning then let the clock tick after several plays.
Amon-Ra St. Brown converted a fourth-and-1 with a 7-yard run on a jet sweep, then caught a 14-yard pass on second-and-15. The Lions let 7 or 8 seconds tick off the clock before calling a timeout after Brown’s catch. On third-and-1, Goff threw incomplete deep for DJ Chark, and Dan Campbell sent Michael Badgley on for the game-tying 51-yard field goal with 23 seconds to play.
That was more than enough time for Allen to lead the Bills to their second consecutive win at Ford Field after beating the Cleveland Browns last week in a game that was relocated from Buffalo due to snowy conditions.
Allen threw a laser of a 36-yard pass to Diggs down the middle of the field on the first play of Buffalo’s final possession, then ran for gains of 3 and 10 yards on designed running plays the next two downs to set up Bass’ game-winning kick.
Allen, playing for the third week in a row through an elbow injury, finished 24 of 42 passing for 253 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, and ran for 78 yards and a score on 10 carries.
Goff was 23 of 37 passing for 240 yards and two touchdowns for the Lions, who remain in the NFC wild card hunt but missed going undefeated in November for the first time since 2016.
Alex Anzalone had an interception and James Houston, playing his first NFL game, had two sacks for the Lions, who opened the scoring with a 2-yard run from Jamaal Williams.
Williams now has an NFL-best 13 touchdowns on the season.
Diggs finished with eight catches for 77 yards for the Bills, and Ed Oliver sacked Goff for a safety in the third quarter.
The Bills’ victory was overshadowed by another potentially damaging Thanksgiving Day knee injury, this one suffered by star defensive end Von Miller who left the game late in the second quarter when his right leg buckled on a pass rush.
The extent of the injury is not known, but the fact that Miller was carted off the field and immediately ruled out was not a good sign. It brought back bad memories from exactly one year ago on Thanksgiving when Tre’Davious White blew out his knee.
The Bills improved to 3-0 on Thanksgiving Day in the Allen era.
Sal Maiorana of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle contributed to this story.