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Lions hold off Bills, give Marinelli first NFL victory

DETROIT (AP) -- Roy Williams and Kevin Jones ended Rod
Marinelli's long wait for a win.

Williams had 10 receptions for 161 yards -- both career highs --
and scored a touchdown while Jones ran for a season-high 127 yards
and a score to lead the Detroit Lions to a 20-17 win over the
Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

"I'm glad we got this because the coaching staff has really
been under the microscope and they don't deserve that," Jones
said.

Instead of the late mistakes that have cost the Lions in four of
five opening losses, they made clutch plays on both sides of the
ball to give Marinelli victory No. 1 as an NFL head coach.
Marinelli had to bide his time for more than three decades to be a
head coach at any level, and the Lions made him wait just a little
longer for his first victory.

When the former Tampa Bay defensive line coach saw the final
seconds tick off the clock, he smiled and walked across the field
to shake Dick Jauron's hand, the Buffalo coach, who ended last
season as the interim coach in Detroit.

"It's been a long time coming for him, but it's the first of
many," Williams said.

Marinelli wouldn't even acknowledge that he enjoyed the moment
for a fleeting second.

"It's the process," he said.

The Vietnam veteran, whose passion has been well received by his
team, said he would probably put his first game ball in his locker.

"Those things are nice, but it's not why I'm in it," Marinelli
said.

The Lions led 17-10 at halftime, wishing they had a bigger lead
after outgaining Buffalo by nearly 200 yards. Detroit (1-5)
outscored the Bills (2-4) by four points in the fourth quarter
after being outscored 47-14 in the final quarter of their previous
five games.

"These things are big because every week it comes down to
this," Marinelli said.

Jason Hanson's 29-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter
put the Lions ahead by 10. Detroit had to cling to the slim lead
after J.P. Losman's 4-yard TD pass to Ryan Neufeld made it 20-17 on
the next drive.

Jones helped seal the victory with a shifty move on a third-down
reception, which helped Detroit hold onto the ball long enough to
punt it with 22 seconds left.

"Really with the way the stats were in the first half, it was
hard to believe we were in the game right until the end," Jauron
said. "So I guess if there's one good thing it's for our guys
finding a way to stay in it and have a chance."

Detroit's Jon Kitna was 24-of-36 for 278 yards with a TD and an
interception.

Losman was 21-of-34 for 207 yards with two TDs and an
interception. He lost one of his top targets, Roscoe Parrish, to a
hamstring injury after he scored a second-quarter TD.

Willis McGahee, who began the day with an AFC-high 439 yards
rushing, was held to 66 yards on 17 carries.

By stunting Buffalo's running game, the Lions put pressure on
Losman when he had to throw in third-and-long situations. They had
five sacks, including James Hall's career-high 3½.

"They did a good job of mixing it up," Losman said. "They
gave us multiple looks -- taking away the run, taking away the
pass."

The Lions had four chances to score in the first -- gaining 117
yards to the Bills' minus-4 -- only to come away with 10 points.
Detroit was impressive on the opening drive until Jones was stopped
on two straight runs from the 1 on third and fourth down.

Hanson's field goal and Jones' TD run on the third drive put the
Lions ahead 10-0.

After Losman's pass was intercepted by Terrence Holt and
returned to Detroit's 30, Hanson was just short on a 56-yard field
goal.

The Bills took advantage of having good field position for the
first time. Losman scrambled and threw a perfect pass on the run, a
44-yard connection with Parrish that made it 10-7.

The Lions went ahead 17-7 on Kitna's 28-yard pass to Williams
with 1:52 left in the half.

Terrence McGee's 72-yard return on the ensuing kickoff set up
Rian Lindell's 53-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

Game notes
Parrish did not play in the second half and C Melvin Fowler
(quadriceps) was injured. ... Detroit FB Shawn Bryson (knee) was
hurt enough to make Marinelli worried while LB Ernie Sims (elbow)
left the game, but said he was OK. ... A day after the Tigers won
the AL pennant next door at Comerica Park, manager Jim Leyland was
at the game, as were players Brandon Inge and Craig Monroe, who drew
loud cheers when shown on the videoboards.