Detroit Lions edge the Atlanta Falcons in dramatic fashion

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Don’t look now, but the Detroit Lions have clawed their way back to a 3-3 record after a heart-throbbing comeback victory Sunday in Atlanta.

It was the franchise leader, Matthew Stafford, guiding the Detroit Lions offense down the football field with no time-outs, having just over a minute remaining down by six.  The odds were stacked against Detroit, but vintage Stafford delivered again for the Lions.

Leading up to the game-winning touchdown drive that ended with a touchdown pass to tight end T.J. Hockenson, Stafford hit star receiver Kenny Golladay with an absolute seed to gain 29-yards.  Golladay secured the complex catch at the 11-yard line.  The Lions offense needed to hustle up to the line of scrimmage and clock the football they successfully did, leaving time for just one play remaining, with the game’s outcome hanging in the balance.

Stafford was forced to slide around in the pocket on the game-winning play, buying himself some time before stepping up and delivering a strike to a wide-open Hockenson.  In the most Lion way possible, Detroit managed to add some unnecessary drama to the pending game-winning extra point.  During their touchdown celebration, the Lions were flagged, forcing Matt Prater to drill a walk-off 48-yard extra point, which he did.

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Before all this excitement, the Detroit Lions wisely allowed running back Todd Gurley to score a touchdown with over a minute left in the ball game having no timeouts remaining.  At that point, the Detroit Lions had been up 16-14.

If Gurley just went down before reaching the goal line, the Falcons could have simply bled the clock and kicked a game-winning, chip-shot field goal.  Gurley did try to fall short of the endzone but realized the Lions defense had been trying to allow him to score too late, leaving Stafford with a chance to march the offense down six.

The Detroit Lions defense played exceptionally well, preventing Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley from reaching the 100-yard receiving mark.  The pair of talented Falcons pass-catchers had me losing sleep entering the game, holding them both under 100, and just one touchdown between them was a significant feat.

Gurley only mustered a mere 63 rushing yards on 23 carries.  Another huge success for the Detroit Lions defensive front who has struggled most of the year.  Romeo Okwara led the way up front with two sacks, one of which created a turnover with a forced fumble that Trey Flowers would successfully secure.

Stafford finished with 340 passing yards and one touchdown.  Golladay added 114 yards on six catches, Marvin Jones came alive, adding 80 yards on five grabs.  Adrian Peterson carried the ball 11 times for 29 yards while D’Andre Swift compiled 27 yards and a score on nine carries.

Next. Running back rotation needs to be tweaked moving forward. dark

It’s a win that not only starts a streak after beating Jacksonville last week it also all but secures head coach Matt Patricia’s job for the remainder of the season.  Detroit will square off with Indianapolis next week.