Wed, 25 Nov 2020

RECAP: Lions at Falcons

Detroit Lions
26 Oct 2020, 19:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had one minute and four seconds to travel 75 yards with no timeouts to try and beat the Atlanta Falcons Sunday.

Stafford got the opportunity to go down and win it after Falcons running back Todd Gurley scored a touchdown with the Falcons trailing 16-14 and easily in field goal range to win the game in the final minute. The only thing the Falcons had to do was not run into the end zone for a chance to run the clock out and kick a short field goal to win it. The Lions let Gurley score even though it looked like Gurley tried to hold himself out of the end zone at the 1-yard line, but he fell in.

The mistake gave the Lions a chance to drive the field and win the game trailing 22-16.

Stafford hit tight end T.J. Hockenson for 13 yards, wide receiver Danny Amendola for 22 yards and wide receiver Kenny Golladay for 29 yards down to the Falcons' 11-yard line with two seconds on the clock after a spike. Stafford then avoided the rush, escaped left and found Hockenson in the end zone with no time left to tie the game.

"Stafford just made a hell of a play," Hockenson said after the game. "Extended that play and I just kept rolling on my route and he found me open. Worked out."

Amendola was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the touchdown, which pushed Matt Prater's game-winning extra point back to 48 yards. Prater stepped up and drilled the extra point right down the middle, and the Lions leave Atlanta with a 23-22 win that improves their record to 3-3 on the season.

It was Stafford's 30th career fourth quarter comeback and his 36th game-winning drive.

Running back D'Andre Swift scored a touchdown to open the scoring for Detroit and Prater hit three field goals.

QB comparison: Stafford finished the game completing 25-of-36 passes for 340 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions for a passer rating of 108.6.

Matt Ryan completed 31 of his 42 passes for 338 yards with one touchdown and a 105.1 passer rating.

Promising trend: The Lions were good again this week on defense stopping the run. After allowing 170.4 yards per game on average to opponents on the ground the first four weeks of the season, Detroit's defense allowed just 44 yards rushing to Jacksonville last week and only 66 Sunday in Atlanta.

Another promising trend for the Lions is that Sunday marked Golladay's second straight 100-yard performance (114), and Hockenson caught a touchdown in his third straight game.

Worrisome trend: The Lions entered this game with a plan to run the football and control tempo. They might have stuck with the run too much when it wasn't as effective. Detroit ran it 21 times for only 64 yards.

Atlanta entered the game with the league's second worst pass defense, and the Lions were making plays in the passing game all day long. Detroit was a little stubborn with their run game, I thought.

Injury report: No major injuries to report for the Lions Sunday.

Next week: vs. Indianapolis (4-2)

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