The Detroit Lions had an early start this morning but got off to a late start offensively once again, trailing 21-0 at halftime. Fans began to pour out the “same old Lions” moniker, but Detroit wasn’t giving up. Despite struggling early, the Lions made a few adjustments defensively at the half and made plenty of key stops to get the offense kick started.
The offense surged in the second half and trailed by just two points after scoring 19 unanswered. The Falcons had a perfect chance to close the game out, but made a couple of questionable play calls to go along with a holding penalty, which ultimately gave the Lions one last chance.
The Lions wasted no time marching down the field to set up Matt Prater with a game winning field goal opportunity. Prater missed wide right on a 43-yard attempt, but fortunately for the Lions, a delay of game gave them another chance to hit from 48-yards and he nailed it.
The Lions won by a score of 22-21 and I still can’t believe it, but let’s jump into the good and bad takeaways from today’s game anyway.
Aug 15, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) and receiver Golden Tate (15) celebrate after a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
I always knew Matt Prater was a good kicker. But that didn’t stop me from nearly having a heart attack in anticipation of his game winning field goal attempt.
Prater nailed a 48-yard field goal under pressure to win in London and was 3-for-3 on the day.
I think we’ve finally found a leg we can rely on.
Golden Tate is an incredible player. There are a lot of teams he could be considered a #1 receiver on, and we’re fortunate to have him as our #2 as long as Calvin Johnson is healthy.
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Tate had another huge performance ending the game with seven catches for 151 yards and a touchdown. He has over 100 receiving yards in four of his last five games.
Great things happen when you put the ball in this man’s hands.
Riddick stepped up big time with Reggie Bush out, but most importantly, he played a full game without getting hurt. He’s always shown some flashes of greatness, but hasn’t been able to finish out a game without getting injured.
I’m at that point where I absolutely believe that this team is better with Riddick getting more looks in the passing game than Reggie Bush. He’s proven that he has much better hands and knows how to run north/south instead of dancing around in the backfield.
I just hope for the Lions’ sake that when Bush comes back that Riddick doesn’t end up getting buried down the depth chart.
The Atlanta Falcons had a pretty clear gameplan during the first half. Use Detroit’s aggressiveness against them by dumping the ball off for short passes and screens. Needless to say it worked for about a quarter and a half before the defense made a few adjustments and shut them out for the rest of the game.
There have been plenty of instances where the Lions have looked unprepared to start games over the past several years. The only difference now is that we finally have coaches that can make adjustments and provide a better chance to win.
Ryan Broyles (he caught a pass!), Corey Fuller, Jeremy Ross, DeAndre Levy, James Ihedigbo, Ndamukong Suh, second-half Stafford