What We Saw: Week 12

The What We Saw team recaps everything you missed from Week 12

Bills @ Lions

Final Score: Bills 28, Lions 25

Senior Writer: Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)


Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills were back in Detroit after the snow-out last week forced them to play at Ford Field for their Week 11 win. The team donated $20k to the Lions’ foundation and provided a meal for the roster to say thank you. There was little genuine hospitality this week, however, as Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions looked to eat up their fourth straight win as their renaissance under Dan Campbell continues. The perfect to starter to a day of Thanksgiving football was served up.

Both teams traded blows in the first quarter as these two potent offenses hit stride early – Goff engineering an incisive 12-play, 61-yard drive that was polished off by Jamaal Williams, who ran in for a league-leading 13th rushing score of the season.


The Bills wasted no time in answering back as Allen connected with Gabe Davis for a big gain after Devin Singletary ran hard to move the chains. Allen then found Isaiah McKenzie with a beautifully weighted pass to draw Buffalo level.


The momentum shifted quickly as Ed Oliver, the Bills’ former first-round selection who was phenomenal all game, forced the ball out of Williams’ hands at midfield to hand the ball back to the Bills. Singletary ran deep into the red zone before Allen took a fumbled snap all the way in for his second score involvement of the day.


Give credit to this battling Lions offense though, who immediately exposed the Bills’ weaknesses in the secondary to march right back down the field on an impressive 15-play, 76-yard drive which acted as a highlight reel for Goff, who connected with five different players to reach the red zone. A fourth-down grab by young Amon-Ra St.Brown drawing the Lions level with little time left in the second quarter.


The Bills did not rest on the opportunity before the half, however, with Allen making no mistake on two perfect throws to Stefon Diggs and McKenzie to give Buffalo another red zone opportunity with 20 seconds left on the clock. The Lions defense held strong on three straight passing plays meaning the Bills settled for a field goal to take a 17-14 lead into the half.

The third quarter was a messy smorgasbord of errors, penalties and poor football from both teams as Allen once again threw a red zone interception. The Lions could only bumble their way to a third and long setting up a sack of Goff in the Lions’ own end zone, stretching the Bills’ lead to five after the safety.


The Lions then missed a field goal on their next drive before Allen once again misfired and nearly threw another pick as the Bills offense went missing again with the opportunity to extend their lead. This time, the Lions did not let them escape unharmed – Khalif Raymond returned a punt 41 yards to setup his offense at the Bills’ 35-yard line. Goff took advantage of good protection at the goal line to execute a brilliant throw up the middle for DJ Chark to haul in and give Detroit a fourth-quarter lead. Game on!


The Bills suddenly found a rhythm with the ball in Allen’s hands, his unique connection with Diggs causing numerous problems for Detroit on a near-perfect 14-play, 90-yard drive that was essentially a highlight reel of what their offense does so well. Diggs hauled in a bullet from Allen on a slant route to sway the advantage back to Buffalo.


Don’t count out this Lions team, however, who converted on fourth down after a gutsy call by Campbell and a great play call by Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson. It had to be St. Brown in a situation this big.


After Michael Badgley nailed a 51-yard field goal the Lions thought they had forced overtime but a big time throw from Allen gave the Bills a chance to win the game with just 23 seconds remaining in the game. It was that man Diggs again with the grab. Just marvel in this arm strength.


Allen ran for another 12 yards to setup a comfortable distance and Tyler Bass hit the 41-yard field goal to win it. The Bills escape with a crucial win. Eat happy Buffalo!


Buffalo Bills




Josh Allen: 24/42, 253 Yards, 2 TD, INT, 3 Sacks | 10 Carries, 78 Yards, TD, 1 Fumble (Recovered)


Falling agonizingly short of reaching 30 fantasy points for the fourth time this season, Josh Allen delivered on Thanksgiving for his fantasy managers by throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for 78 yards and another score in a match-winning performance in which he had to claw his team over the line in the fourth quarter. Allen was a dual-threat all game, getting going early with a big gain on the opening scoring drive.


However, the unwelcome tradition of red zone turnovers continued with a forced throw on first down being tipped and picked by a Lions defense that came into the contest giving up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Allen premeditates this pass and fails to see the pressure.


All is forgiven though if the best fantasy quarterback in the league can pull a throw like this out of the bag to salvage his day and a win for his team. This unreal sling to Diggs is what it is all about. Gotta love football.


Allen now has at least 78 yards rushing in three of his last four games and this is only a good sign going into the business end of the fantasy season. He remains the elite option at quarterback to roster in fantasy.


Running Back


Devin Singletary: 14 Carries, 72 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 8 Yards

James Cook: 2 Carries, 4 Yards | 5 Targets, 2 Receptions, 14 Yards

Nyheim Hines: 1 Carry, 3 Yards


Logging his third straight game with over a dozen carries, Devin Singletary once again led the Bills backfield but could not add a touchdown despite three over his past two weeks. Singletary had two carries inside the Lions’ seven-yard line, including one from the four which was quickly stuffed. Despite his 88% carry share, Singletary remains a touchdown-dependant rusher for fantasy managers. His lack of touches out of the backfield is also a reason to be cautious, he hasn’t seen more than two targets for three straight weeks.

Rookie James Cook and veteran Nyheim Hines remain irrelevant in this offense for fantasy purposes. Hines took the first carry of the game then was never seen again. Odd.


Wide Receiver


Isaiah McKenzie: 2 Carries, 7 Yards | 10 Targets, 6 Receptions, 96 Yards, TD

Stefon Diggs: 15 Targets, 8 Receptions, 77 Yards, TD

Gabe Davis: 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 38 Yards

Dawson Knox: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 17 Yards

Quintin Morris: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 3 Yards, 1 Fumble (Recovered)


Benefitting from a season-high target share, Isaiah McKenzie led the Bills in total scrimmage yards thanks to a couple of big plays, the first being the touchdown grab from Allen to to draw the Bills level in the first quarter. Excellent route running and speed gave the unheralded wideout the opportunity to find space against a poor Lions secondary.


McKenzie was pushed out of the spotlight by Stefon Diggs, however, who scored his ninth receiving touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter to give him team the advantage. Diggs had only two catches for 15 yards at half time but there was a considered approach from Ken Dorsey to get Diggs the ball in the second half for the second straight week. As always, Diggs can beat defenders at all levels and sits comfortably in the top 5 of receivers in fantasy in 2022.


Gabe Davis and Dawson Knox took a backseat in this game mainly due to an ineffective effort in include them in the first half. Davis did have a catch broken up at the goal line for what would have been a 28-yard score but Knox’s two targets were his fewest since Week 1. A tough night for the two young men.


Detroit Lions




Jared Goff: 23/37, 240 Yards, 2 TD, 2 Sacks


Under the national limelight, Jared Goff performed admirably against a strong Bills defensive front, throwing for 240 yards and two scores in a turnover-free performance to keep his team in the contest. Given time to throw by his offensive line, Goff was efficient and peppered his main receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown to the tune of 10 targets for nine catches, 122 yards and a score. Outside of St. Brown, Goff threw plenty of short-to-intermediate passes to his running backs and secondary receivers.


His 17.60 fantasy points, his best return since Week 8 would have satisfied fantasy managers who took the punt on hum as a streaming option.


Running Back


Jamaal Williams: 18 Carries, 66 Yards, TD, 1 Fumble (Lost)

D’Andre Swift: 5 Carries, 19 Yards, 2PT | 8 Targets, 4 Receptions, 24 Yards

Justin Jackson: 4 Carries, 4 Yards | 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 15 Yards


In probably the most surprising development of the season, Jamaal Williams has taken over the lead back status on this offense. Seeing more opportunities on early downs, Williams has shown more desire and pop than DeAndre Swift so far in 2022. This game was no different. Williams significantly out-carried Swift despite a costly first-half fumble that gave the Bills the advantage.


Williams showed good toughness between tackles and was always given first go in the red zone. His early score establishing his dominance in the run game. The second half saw Williams make up for his early blunder by punishing the Bills’ early turnover with a big run into Buffalo territory.


Swift, in comparison, was a rare sight on the field in the first half although he was unlucky to have a nice run into pay dirt called back for a penalty before St. Brown’s touchdown. He certainly showed his determination on this effort.


Swift finally remerged late in the contest with a number of targets in the check down game. He also ran in to convert a two-point conversion for the go-ahead score at the start of the fourth quarter. Still, it’s a long way from what fantasy managers hoped for from Swift in 2022. There is no reason to think this balance in Williams’ favor will change anytime soon.


Wide Receiver


Amon-Ra St. Brown: 1 Carry, 7 Yards | 10 Targets, 9 Receptions, 122 Yards, TD

Kalif Raymond: 6 Targets, 4 Receptions, 35 Yards, 1 Fumble (Recovered)

James Mitchell: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 22 Yards

DJ Chark: 5 Targets, 2 Receptions, 16 Yards, TD

Brock Wright: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 6 Yards


What a night for Amon-Ra St. Brown, who caught nine-of-ten targets for a season-high 122 yards receiving to go along with his fourth touchdown of the season. St. Brown was certainly given a large slice of the pie to feed off in this game, making the most of soft coverage and finding pockets of space in-between the linebackers in coverage and the defensive backs. The exciting young receiver had not scored a touchdown since Week 2 so it was a timely reminder of what he is capable of. He made sure he shared the love.


Outside of St. Brown, nobody in this offense has established themselves as a viable fantasy option. There are promising signs from DJ Chark, however, who caught a contest ball for a strong score. The free agent addition from Jacksonville had hoped to be a big play player for the Lions but missing six games due to injury has hurt his ability to transition to a new offense. This grab provides hope for the rest of the season and he could push himself into a fantasy flex option.

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