Detroit Lions 34, Dallas Cowboys 30 (box score)
How does a team follow a game in which they set a franchise record for biggest road comeback victory? We know how the Detroit Lions follow up something like that; by setting a new mark for biggest road comeback and matching the franchise’s biggest comeback win of all time.
It was a 20-point comeback win over the Vikings last week and the Lions found themselves down 27-3 this week after the Cowboys took the opening drive of the second half in for a touchdown. They had put themselves in a significant hole for a second straight week, this time the hole was four points bigger and the opponent much tougher.
A funny thing happened once the Cowboys got that 24-point lead. Tony Romo kept throwing touchdown passes, just to the Lions this time. Bobby Carpenter stretched for an interception and showed some nice running skills as he cut across the field and eventually found the end zone for the Lions’ first touchdown of the game. Less than five minutes later it was Chris Houston intercepting Tony Romo and outrunning the Dallas offensive line along the sideline for a touchdown of his own. It was a new game at 27-17 and the Lions offense still hadn’t found the end zone themselves.
The Lions couldn’t pick-six their way to a win and needed the offense to start putting up some points of their own. Big players need to make big plays in big spots and that is exactly what they got following a Cowboys field goal that extended their lead to 30-17. Matthew Stafford threw a deep pass to a triple covered Calvin Johnson in the end zone for a touchdown in the early stages of the fourth quarter to bring the Lions within one score.
The Lions looked to have a golden opportunity to punch in the go ahead score later in the fourth but four penalties stalled a drive and forced a 51-yard field goal from the steady Jason Hanson with 4:22 left to play. The Lions defense didn’t just hold the lead, they put the offense in perfect position to win the game when linebacker Stephen Tulloch dropped deep into coverage and intercepted an under thrown ball that gave the Lions possession in Cowboys territory.
Needing just a field goal to tie the game, the Lions offense drove inside the Cowboys five yard line and managed to run the Cowboys dry of time outs. A third down pass went incomplete in the end zone but a defensive holding call gave the Lions a new set of downs on the one yard line. Matthew Stafford wasted little time in getting the go ahead score. Calvin Johnson made a leaping catch in the corner of the end zone and held on as he landed hard on his back. Deficit deleted comeback complete.
Same old Lions? If you weren’t convinced this is a different team after last week’s game you should be convinced now.