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The Lions have shown glimpses of progress in having already matched their win total from last season.

They feature an emerging star in No. 2 draft pick, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who leads all rookies and is tied for 11th overall with 6 1/2 sacks. Running back Jahvid Best, another rookie, has provided the offense some balance with 345 yards rushing and four touchdowns, along with 356 yards receiving and a score.

What’s missing is a road victory.

“I’ve said this before, you don’t win on the road because you know how to pack a suitcase or you know how to check into a hotel,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “You win on the road by having good players that are well-coached and used to playing on the road and respond well to doing that.”

The difficulty has been at quarterback, and Matthew Stafford’s inability to stay healthy. He’ll miss his sixth game this season after hurting his shoulder against the Jets.

That means veteran backup Shaun Hill will start against Buffalo a month after he broke his left arm in a 28-20 loss at the New York Giants.

The Bills, at least, have the benefit of finally playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium and before their loud and raucous contingent of home fans. Including playing at Toronto, where nearly half the fans were rooting for the Bears, Buffalo’s not played at Orchard Park since a 36-26 loss to Jacksonville on Oct. 10.

And it doesn’t matter if this game’s not a sellout.

“We haven’t deserved a whole lot of praise this season, but we’re going to continue to bust our humps and try to get that first ‘W’,” linebacker Chris Kelsay said. “And to do it in front of our home fans _ our HOME fans here in Buffalo _ would be a great feeling.”

It won’t be easy. The Bills lost linebacker Andra Davis (shoulder) and receiver Roscoe Parrish (broken wrist) to season-ending injuries this week. And linebacker Shawne Merriman’s debut is on indefinite hold. Merriman aggravated an injury to his right Achilles’ tendon in his first practice Wednesday, a week after the Bills claimed him off waivers.

Adversity is nothing new to the Bills.

“Man, we can’t catch a break, but what are you going to do but keep going?” linebacker Paul Posluszny said. “We’ll continue to press on.”