Detroit Lions can’t tie with last-second surge, fall to Oakland Raiders
The Detroit Lions came close to forcing overtime but were unable to convert a game-tying touchdown, losing to the Oakland Raiders 31-24.
They were that close. Their veteran quarterback has done it before, countless times. But the ball hit the ground, and the Detroit Lions will now need a monumental second half of the season to remain in the NFC playoff race.
Matthew Stafford‘s pass to backup tight end Logan Thomas in the end zone fell incomplete on fourth down, and the Lions were unable to tie the game in the waning moments, falling to the Oakland Raiders 31-24 on Sunday.
The Lions dropped to 3-4-1 and were unable to gain any ground in their division, as all three of their NFC North opponents also lost in Week 9. The Lions can likely only afford one or two losses at the most in the second half of the season to have a chance at making the playoffs.
The Lions moved the ball well on their first drive of the game before Stafford fumbled a hand-off to running back J.D. McKissic, giving the Raiders the ball deep in their own territory. Oakland took advantage, as rookie running back Josh Jacobs scored on a 2-yard touchdown run giving the Raiders an early 7-0 advantage.
The Lions responded quickly on their next series, converting on a fourth-down, 2-yard touchdown pass to wideout Marvin Jones. Jones also hauled in a contested 47-yard bomb earlier in the drive to get the Lions into the red zone.
The Lions’ explosive aerial attack flexed its muscle again, as great pass protection allowed Stafford to find wideout Kenny Golladay for a beautiful 59-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. Golladay continued to add to his career-high touchdown mark, with his seventh score coming on his 26th birthday.
The Lions went back to Golladay in the end zone on the next drive, but Stafford was picked off by cornerback Daryl Worley. The Raiders used a clock-churning, 100-yard drive to get Jacobs another score, giving them a 17-14 halftime lead.
The Lions would tie the game late in the fourth quarter on a 26-yard scoring catch by McKissic. Raiders rookie receiver Hunter Renfrow then capped another dominant drive by Oakland, grabbing a 9-yard touchdown toss from Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, which proved to be the winning score.
Stafford finished 26/41 for 401 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception for the Lions. Carr threw for 289 yards on 20/31 with two touchdowns for Oakland.
The Lions again struggled to stop the run, being outgained by Oakland 171-90 on the ground. Golladay and Jones totaled 258 yards through the air for Detroit with two scores.
The Lions return to action next Sunday, November 10th at 1:00 P.M. EST, when they travel to Soldier Field to face the Chicago Bears.