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Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills: 3 burning questions ahead of Thanksgiving

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DETROIT -- The Detroit Lions (4-6) are searching for their fourth straight win, with their toughest challenge of the season coming in the form of the Buffalo Bills (7-3) on Thanksgiving.

We'll try and answer three burning questions ahead of kickoff below:

Can Detroit's defense keep those takeaways coming?

Last week, the Lions forced three turnovers against the usually efficient New York Giants. And they've actually created nine takeaways through their five games since the bye week. They'll need more of that and then some against the powerful Bills and quarterback Josh Allen. The quarterback is known for taking a chance or two, and he'll need to watch that with Lions rookie Aidan Hutchinson and Kerby Joseph proving to have a nose for the ball on the other side. And speaking of Allen, he's thrown six interceptions and lost a fumble in the last four games, with an uncharacteristically sloppy stretch, playing through an elbow injury.

"It's huge. It's huge, we will -- we desperately will need them," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said. "We're going to need them and look, that's been part of the secret sauce for us. We are getting them and that's -- and that means we're turning a corner because we are getting them out. And so, we've got to continue that trend and if we can put him in a position to where he feels like he needs to get rid of the ball and we get our hands on it. We have to capitalize, so it's going to be big for us. It's been big for us."

What version of Bills QB Josh Allen shows up?

Josh Allen's accuracy has dipped during his recent turnover-heavy stretch, too. But it's important to remember what this quarterback can do because it would be unwise to sleep on his ability. Allen has been working through a recent elbow injury, with his accuracy dropping to about 60% through those four rough outings. Allen has continued to get after it on the ground, with 226 yards and two touchdowns during that span. He threw for 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last season. He was the runner-up MVP in 2021 after completing 69.2% of his passes with 37 scores and only 10 picks. Allen is pushing the ball downfield more and taking chances this season. There have been bumps in the road. But he still has five games with more than 300 passing yards, including a pair of 400-plus yard days.

Where would a fourth consecutive win put the Lions in the NFC postseason picture?

Can you believe we're talking about the Lions and the playoff this late in the season, no matter how long those odds are? They've climbed out of the NFC North's cellar after winning three straight, including two inside the division, now sitting in second place.

The NFC looks mediocre in the middle, and there's a chance to climb the ladder. The Lions are the third team out of the playoffs, trailing the Commanders (6-5) and Falcons (5-6), with the Cowboys (7-3), Giants (7-3) and Seahawks (6-4) holding down the wild-card spots. And even with an upset win against one of the powerhouses of the NFL. Only one team has made the postseason after starting the year 1-6. And that was the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals.

Column: Yes, the Detroit Lions are in the playoff race

"No. Nope. Nope, I'm not. I mean, that's -- because there again it was, man, we got to enjoy that game on the flight last night, and it was done," Campbell answered when asked if he's checked the standings. "When I got back here at the office, it was already Buffalo, so that would've been nice to have a long week to enjoy, at least maybe a few hours longer. But that's the nature of it, man, we're rolling, we're going -- and none of it matters, in my opinion, if we don't win this next one. So, we're in a good place. The guys understand what -- the things that we're doing that are allowing us to win. And we've got to continue to do that, and I know we can't start thinking other things and get ourselves out of the mold of what we've been the last three weeks, how we've been. We've got to stay the course just like we have."

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