Matthew Stafford carries Lions to a comeback victory, again


Oct 28, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) celebrates a touchdown with teammates during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field. Detroit won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

Did anyone think for a second that Matthew Stafford was NOT going to lead the Detroit Lions to a game-winning touchdown in the last minutes of the yesterday’s game? Channeling his inner Bobby Layne, Stafford calmly led the Lions on 16-play game-winning drive with a little more than five minutes left on the clock. This cat is at his best when the game is on the line. This is what he does. He should have business cards made up that say “NFL Quarterback, I specialize in come from behind victories”. Nothing fazes him when he’s in his “Gotta win this game, NOW” mode. It didn’t bother him much when Calvin Johnson let a touchdown pass slide off his hands with less than a minute on the clock. Stafford just looked the other way to Titus Young and fired a laser to him for the game winning touchdown. Just another day at the office for Mr. Stafford.

It was a fittingly wild finish to a wild football game. Both teams had long plays for touchdowns and the lead went back and forth the entire game. The defense finally woke up after the Seahawks first 17 points, and pretty much handled them the rest of the game until they let Seattle back in it with a fourth quarter drive that put them in the lead with a little more than five minutes left in the game. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Captain Comeback was still on the clock.

The silver lining in losing Nate Burleson for the season is that it hastens the development of Titus Young and Ryan Broyles. These guys were drafted to replace the vocal team leader, and their time to shine came a little earlier than anyone expected.

Titus Young finally had a game that matches his enormous ego. He did it all, from catching heat- seeking missiles for a 46-yard touchdown, to one-yard lasers for another. This is the Titus Young Martin Mayhew envisioned when he drafted him. You guys can double and triple Megatron all day if you want, but you better watch that little guy on the other side of the field flying by you.

Are there still any doubters out there about picking Ryan Broyles in the second round of the draft? While Calvin and Titus are stretching the field, Broyles is lurking underneath, finding the holes. They weren’t kidding about his ability to find the soft spots in coverage. It seemed like every time Stafford threw to him, he was wide open-just standing there waiting for the ball. He’s a perfect compliment to the burners outside.

This was the first game this year that I didn’t scream at the TV about the Lions play-calling. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is finally getting this balanced offense thing down. The Lions even scored a touchdown in the first quarter for once.

It’s great that the Lions have a quarterback that can win games at the last second, but it’s also great to see Stafford developing his ability to sustain long drives. Earlier, Stafford threw a pick to end a drive when he got impatient. He learned his lesson. When he got the ball with just over five minutes left in the game, Stafford just knew he was going to win the game and took his sweet time doing it so the Seahawks would be left with no time to come back.

Stafford now has nine career game winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in 36 starts. That’s incredible. Maybe Megatron needs a co-super hero on the team, how does Captain Comeback sound?