If you’ve been keeping up with the Detroit Lions, then you knew the Buffalo Bills weren’t playing your grandpa’s Lions on Thanksgiving.

Sure enough, outside of an opening three-and-out, the Lions came out swinging. They were first to draw blood at 7-0 and kept pace with the Bills throughout the first half, evidenced by the fact Buffalo held just a three-point lead at the midway point.

There were some concerns about the Lions offense because both starting guards were out of the starting lineup and obviously, the Bills have a solid interior defensive line.

But, it was the piece missing in the middle of the Bills defense that had the biggest impact through the first 30 minutes of play: two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.

Edmunds is a solid linebacker and it’s because he can defend/play both the run and the pass. It’s hard to find those types of players and it’s even harder to replace what they do on the field. Especially considering Edmunds’ wears the green dot. Meaning, he communicates the play call from the coaching staff to the rest of the defense.

The Lions sliced and diced the middle of the Bills defense all throughout the first half. There were big runs by running backs and even though the Bills had just 38 rushing yards on 17 running back carries, the play-action game over the middle was absolutely lethal.

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Edmunds was ruled out the Lions matchup on Friday. He’s trying to recover from what’s been described/established as groin and heel injuries.

Fortunately, the Bills still have one of the NFL’s best linebackers in Matt Milano on the field, who made a couple plays of his own during the first half.

But the coaching staff is definitely going to get something figured out if they want to slow down the Lions offense in the third and fourth quarters.

Featured image via David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

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