Bills 17

(2-4, 1-3 away)

Lions 20

(1-5, 1-2 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, October 15, 2006

Ford Field, Detroit, MI 

1 2 3 4 T
BUF 0 10 0 717
DET 10 7 0 320

Top Performers

Passing: J. Kitna (DET) - 278 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: K. Jones (DET) - 23 CAR, 127 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: R. Williams (DET) - 10 REC, 161 YDS, 1 TD

Lions hold off Bills, give Marinelli first NFL victory

DETROIT (AP) -- Roy Williams and Kevin Jones ended Rod Marinelli's long wait for a win.

Williams had 10 receptions for 161 yards -- both career highs -- and scored a touchdown while Jones ran for a season-high 127 yards and a score to lead the Detroit Lions to a 20-17 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Scouts Inc.'s take ...
Detroit played inspired football, breaking its habit of giving away games in the fourth quarter. QB Jon Kitna made some late mistakes again, but an aggressive defensive unit as well as excellent offensive performances by Kevin Jones and Roy Williams closed the game out, getting Rod Marinelli his first NFL win as a head coach. A commitment to the run game made the difference for Detroit. With injuries forcing constant shuffling of the offensive line it was smart for Mike Martz to call more runs, allowing the line to fire off the ball against a smaller, quicker Buffalo defensive front. It is much more difficult to coordinate pass protection schemes for linemen who haven't worked together very much. Martz also called more runs late in the game with the lead to avoid letting Kitna make mistakes down the stretch.

Buffalo quarterback J.P. Losman faced a fierce pass rush from the Lions. Losman did a good job using his legs or he would have been sacked a lot more than three times. Losman continues to be inconsistent in his decision making, and the Bills offense struggled to convert on third downs.

"I'm glad we got this because the coaching staff has really been under the microscope and they don't deserve that," Jones said.

Instead of the late mistakes that have cost the Lions in four of five opening losses, they made clutch plays on both sides of the ball to give Marinelli victory No. 1 as an NFL head coach. Marinelli had to bide his time for more than three decades to be a head coach at any level, and the Lions made him wait just a little longer for his first victory.

When the former Tampa Bay defensive line coach saw the final seconds tick off the clock, he smiled and walked across the field to shake Dick Jauron's hand, the Buffalo coach, who ended last season as the interim coach in Detroit.

"It's been a long time coming for him, but it's the first of many," Williams said.

Marinelli wouldn't even acknowledge that he enjoyed the moment for a fleeting second.

"It's the process," he said.

The Vietnam veteran, whose passion has been well received by his team, said he would probably put his first game ball in his locker.

"Those things are nice, but it's not why I'm in it," Marinelli said.

The Lions led 17-10 at halftime, wishing they had a bigger lead after outgaining Buffalo by nearly 200 yards. Detroit (1-5) outscored the Bills (2-4) by four points in the fourth quarter after being outscored 47-14 in the final quarter of their previous five games.

"These things are big because every week it comes down to this," Marinelli said.

Jason Hanson's 29-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter put the Lions ahead by 10. Detroit had to cling to the slim lead after J.P. Losman's 4-yard TD pass to Ryan Neufeld made it 20-17 on the next drive.

Jones helped seal the victory with a shifty move on a third-down reception, which helped Detroit hold onto the ball long enough to punt it with 22 seconds left.

"Really with the way the stats were in the first half, it was hard to believe we were in the game right until the end," Jauron said. "So I guess if there's one good thing it's for our guys finding a way to stay in it and have a chance."

Detroit's Jon Kitna was 24-of-36 for 278 yards with a TD and an interception.

Losman was 21-of-34 for 207 yards with two TDs and an interception. He lost one of his top targets, Roscoe Parrish, to a hamstring injury after he scored a second-quarter TD.

Willis McGahee, who began the day with an AFC-high 439 yards rushing, was held to 66 yards on 17 carries.

By stunting Buffalo's running game, the Lions put pressure on Losman when he had to throw in third-and-long situations. They had five sacks, including James Hall's career-high 3½.

"They did a good job of mixing it up," Losman said. "They gave us multiple looks -- taking away the run, taking away the pass."

The Lions had four chances to score in the first -- gaining 117 yards to the Bills' minus-4 -- only to come away with 10 points. Detroit was impressive on the opening drive until Jones was stopped on two straight runs from the 1 on third and fourth down.

Hanson's field goal and Jones' TD run on the third drive put the Lions ahead 10-0.

After Losman's pass was intercepted by Terrence Holt and returned to Detroit's 30, Hanson was just short on a 56-yard field goal.

The Bills took advantage of having good field position for the first time. Losman scrambled and threw a perfect pass on the run, a 44-yard connection with Parrish that made it 10-7.

The Lions went ahead 17-7 on Kitna's 28-yard pass to Williams with 1:52 left in the half.

Terrence McGee's 72-yard return on the ensuing kickoff set up Rian Lindell's 53-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

Game notes

Parrish did not play in the second half and C Melvin Fowler (quadriceps) was injured. ... Detroit FB Shawn Bryson (knee) was hurt enough to make Marinelli worried while LB Ernie Sims (elbow) left the game, but said he was OK. ... A day after the Tigers won the AL pennant next door at Comerica Park, manager Jim Leyland was at the game, as were players Brandon Inge and Craig Monroe, who drew loud cheers when shown on the videoboards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1621
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6066
Total Yards242397
Yards per play4.06.0
Total Drives1412
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-11-3
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

detFG7:10Jason Hanson 43 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 26 yds, 2:39
detTD3:26Kevin Jones, 7 yd run (Jason Hanson kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 24 yds, 1:12
bufTD14:24Roscoe Parrish, 44 yd pass from J.P. Losman (Rian Lindell kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 54 yds, 1:50
detTD0:45Roy Williams, 28 yd pass from Jon Kitna (Jason Hanson kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 89 yds, 1:52
bufFG0:05Rian Lindell 53 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 3 plays, -12 yds, 0:40
detFG14:13Jason Hanson 29 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 51 yds, 3:43
bufTD9:28Ryan Neufeld, 4 yd pass from J.P. Losman (Rian Lindell kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 74 yds, 4:47