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Strong defensive units likely to steer game's outcome


There's a mantra that says, 'Defense wins championships.' The stakes aren't quite that high Sunday knowing it's just Week 5 of the NFL's regular season. However, the premise may very well hold true Sunday in Detroit in the outcome of the game between the Lions and the Bills. Both clubs will be fielding some stout defensive fronts as the two clubs have arguably the two best defensive lines in the league.                 

Here are some facts by the numbers:

  • Buffalo ranks in the top 10 in six different defensive categories. Detroit ranks in the top 10 in 10 different categories.
  • In his five years in the NFL, Lions' DT Ndamukong Suh has amassed the most combined sacks and tackles for a loss by any defensive tackle (52.0).
  • The Bills currently sit in third place in the league with 71.5 rushing yards per game. The Lions' are not far behind in 6th with 80.8 yards/game. 
  • In second place, over that same span is Bills' DT Kyle Williams with 47.5.
  • Detroit owns the fourth best third-down defense rating with 34 percent right ahead it of Buffalo at 36.4 percent.
  • The Bills currently own a takeaway ratio of 5, one short of the league best 6. The Lions sit alone in 19th with zero.
  • Detroit has given up three rushing touchdowns thus far in 2014. The Bills have not given up one.
  • In last year's sack numbers, you would have to pass three Bills players – Kyle Williams (10.5), DE Mario Williams (13.0), and DE Jerry Hughes (10.0) – before getting to the first Lions player – DE Ezekiel Ansah (8.0).
  • Detroit touts the fewest total yards/game in the league with 267.3. Buffalo is in 10th place with 337.8 yards/game.

These are just some numbers to keep in mind heading into Sunday's matchup.

The pieces are certainly there for this to be a defensive-minded game. Both teams have displayed their abilities to stop the offense and, more than ever, turnovers may be the deciding factor in the game – something that looks to favor the Bills.

Even in light of these numbers, however, the Bills O-line is prepared. 

Eric Wood said they have faced the Lions what seems like every year, whether it be the preseason or regular season, and he is always up for the challenge to face them.

"As long as we get our hands on them and match our power with their power, I think we'll be successful," said OT Seantrel Henderson.

Even Suh knows the challenge he is up against. He spoke highly of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, calling them 'great, great backs.'

"We know guys are going to block us to the max," said Suh. "Every team has a different challenge that they bring to us and I think we understand that going against Buffalo."

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