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Struggling Bills vs. Browns: Halftime Thoughts From Detroit

Despite taking a late lead, the Buffalo Bills have struggled to gain offensive traction as they sublet Ford Field from the Detroit Lions.

The Buffalo Bills had trouble driving to a neutral site game in Detroit thanks to relentless snows that plagued the Western New York area. Driving on the turf of Ford Field against the Cleveland Browns has proven equally difficult.

Though the Bills are holding a 13-10 lead at the end of the first half in their early arrival to Detroit, a 78-yard scoring drive at the end of the half accounted for most of their 134 tallies against Cleveland. Their fellow visitors from Cleveland struck first on a 25-yard scoring grab for Amari Cooper. 

What can we gather from that first half?

Offensive Foul

As the Bills fled their home, it appears that, in their haste, they forgot to pack the offensive momentum. 

Scoring only six points over the majority of the first half seems downright bizarre to anyone who has watched even a mere down of Bills football over the past two years, but it's the team's unfortunate reality. Perhaps trapped in his own head after last week's turnover-marred effort, Josh Allen looks uncannily inaccurate. Whether that's a lingering nag of his elbow injury or something indeed psychological, it's something the Bills need to figure out during the extended downtime after the Thanksgiving festivities on Thursday. Allen's final drive, where he completed 6-of-7 passes for 63 yards (the one misfire being a throwaway in the back of the end zone) was certainly encouraging, but he'll have to bottle the second wind found on that drive to keep things rolling. 

Super Fun Hines

The Bills' most potent offensive weapon might not even have an offensive touch yet.

Nyheim Hines has at least ensured that the Bills' ultimately futile offensive possessions start on the right note. Three returns (two kicks, one punt) have yielded 83 yards. Though Hines' Buffalo snaps since coming over from Indianapolis have primarily been limited to special teams, the Bills may have to turn to whatever source they can for offensive firepower. With Allen's woes, perhaps a shift to a rushing attack (with Hines potentially working with James Cook) would help move things in the right direction.

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Jordan Rules

He was one of the Bills' many questions as they had to relocate from Orchard Park to Detroit, but Jordan Poyer is helping the Bills survive as they try to fight their way to the mini-bye.

Poyer hasn't lost a step in the early going, picking up four tackles, a pair of pass breakups, and a tackle for a loss so far (the latter-most stat being part of a strong run defense effort that has shut down Nick Chubb to the tune of 12 yards on 10 carries) Buffalo is 5-0 when Poyer dresses. He'll have to take on a starring role if that streak's going to continue, especially in an increasingly high-octane AFC East where everyone could be multiple games over. 500 depending on what happens in Foxboro today.

Stat Leaders

Bills (13)

PASSING: Josh Allen (9-of-16, 84 yards, 1 TD)
RUSHING: Devin Singletary (8 carries, 27 yards)
RECEIVING: Gabriel Davis (3 rec., 44 yards)

Browns (10)

PASSING: Jacoby Brissett (13-of-18, 156 yards, 1 TD)
RUSHING: Jacoby Brissett (2 carries, 22 yards)
RECEIVING: Amari Cooper (6 rec., 91 yards, 1 TD)


Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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