It’s been a few days since the Buffalo Bills beat the Cleveland Browns and it’s still hard to believe they held Nick Chubb to a grand total of 19 rushing yards in 14 attempts.

That’s right, Chubb, who entered the game averaging 5.7 yards per rush attempt didn’t even gain two yards per carry against the Bills. It was an interesting development considering the team was down Tremaine Edmunds, who’s co-led one of the best LB duos in the NFL.

Not to mention the absence of Gregory Rousseau on the edges.

It was a resounding message to the rest of the league that the Bills still have one of the best, deepest defenses in the league despite being 1-2 in their last three games. And it was a morale boost needed before facing the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving.

After all, Dan Campbell’s team has won three straight and should be taken seriously despite an overall losing record. Make no mistake about it, they’re a tough out. Especially when they’re playing at home in a short week.

And the biggest reason why? The running game.

Buffalo will be facing a team that runs, runs, and runs some more. But they do so with a wide variety of concepts. Whereas some teams will use traps, counters, and pulling linemen as their changeup, Detroit uses them as their fastball.

If the Bills want to win this one, they’ll have to rely heavily on their defensive tackles who had a great game against the Browns last Sunday. It will be a game about maintaining gap integrity and keeping their rival from moving too much upfront.

In the edges, Von Miller and the team’s defensive ends will have to sacrifice pass rush opportunities in exchange for setting the edges. At least until they force the Lions into passing situations.

The Lions have a fine offensive line that’s earned the 9th most yards before contact in the NFL, per Pro Football Reference.

But the Bills have done their part when it comes to stopping the run. They rank 10th in the league in yards allowed per attempt but advanced metrics are even bigger on Leslie Frazier’s defense. Consider the following numbers:

  • Rush defense DVOA: 4th best in the NFL
  • Rush defense EPA/play: 5th

Even still, there are areas for improvement. The Bills rank 18th in success rate against the run. That means although they might not allow explosives, they can get run on somewhat consistently.

The story of the game on Thursday could fall on Buffalo’s DaQuan Jones, Ed Oliver, and Tim Settle among other key players.

Featured image via Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Bills win the AFC East?