There are no moral victories in the NFL, but the Detroit Lions' loss to the Buffalo Bills was as close to one as you can get. The Lions tied the game with 23 seconds left to play, before Josh Allen and Co. drove down the field to set the stage for a Tyler Bass walk-off field goal. The Lions lost 28-25, but surprised everyone by keeping up with one of the best teams in the league.
After the game, left tackle Taylor Decker wanted to make it clear that the Lions are not the team they have been in the past.
"This isn't the (bleeping) same old Lions anymore," Decker said, via Dave Birkett. "We're going to go out there, and we're going to get our respect, and we're going to earn that respect. We came up short today, but week in and week out, we know we're going to go out there, and we're going to bring it. And we're not going to get down, we're going to keep fighting. And those will turn into wins against those sorts of teams, those high-caliber teams. And I think we're still trending up, I really do."
Head coach Dan Campbell agrees that the Lions are on the rise, saying the team did put itself in position to win.
"We belong and they should know that, and they do know that," Campbell said, via NFL.com. "And they knew we had an opportunity, which they earned that opportunity. We just didn't close it out. And those guys made the plays and it's a credit to them over there. But I do feel growth from our team and I feel us getting better."
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Detroit, coming off wins against the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and New York Giants.
The Lions' season has turned around thanks in part to running back Jamaal Williams, who has 13 rushing touchdowns this season and Amon-Ra St. Brown, who leads the team in receiving yards with 716 yards. On Thanksgiving, the Lions were able to sack Allen three times and intercept the QB, but when it came down to it they just gave the Bills too much time left with the game on the line.
The Lions are currently out of a playoff spot, but their schedule is manageable down the stretch. They have six games remaining to keep proving they are not the same old Lions.