Matt Prater’s 39-yard field goal as time expired snaps the Detroit Lions’ 11-game losing streak
It wasn’t easy or pretty. And it wasn’t a sure thing. But a little of that long-lost late-game magic sprung up, and the Detroit Lions used it to avoid an insurmountable climb.
Kicker Matt Prater drilled a 39-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Lions a hard-fought 26-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Detroit’s first win of the year also snapped an 11-game losing streak dating back to October of 2019.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford engineered the game-winning drive starting at the Lions’ 9-yard line with less than five minutes to go. Once well-known for his last-minute heroics, there have been few opportunities for such moments for Stafford under head coach Matt Patricia.
After not forcing a turnover in their first two games, safety Duron Harmon gave the Lions their first takeaway of the year with an interception of quarterback Kyler Murray on the Cardinals’ first offensive series. The Lions could do nothing with the ensuing possession though, punting after a three-and-out.
Linebacker Jamie Collins also picked off Murray midway through the second quarter, giving the Lions the ball inside of the Arizona 30-yard line. Going for it on a fourth it on a fourth-and-one, Stafford connected with tight end Jesse James on a five-yard touchdown toss to put the Lions up 10-3.
Largely a forgotten man on offense since signing as a free agent in 2019, it was James’ first score as a Lion. A short touchdown run by Murray gave the Cardinals a 13-10 lead after a missed extra point by kicker Zane Gonzalez. The Lions had an answer.
A 75-yard drive ended with a 15-yard touchdown strike to wideout Kenny Golladay, making his first appearance of the season after missing the Lions’ first two games with a hamstring injury. Golladay’s 20th career score gave Detroit a 17-13 lead at the half.
Murray’s third pick of the contest – this time by rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah, his first – brought the Lions right into the red zone. Missed throws though to James and Danny Amendola forced another Prater kick, giving the Lions a four-point advantage.
Another long drive led by Murray resulted in Isabella’s second scoring grab, giving the Cardinals a 23-20 lead. Prater would tie it on the Lions’ next possession before they wrapped it up with the game-winning drive.
Stafford finished 22/31 for 270 yards and two scores. Prater was a perfect 4/4 on field-goal attempts. Murray finished 22/35 for 270 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
The Detroit Lions return home next Sunday, Oct. 4 to face the New Orleans Saints at 1:00 P.M. EDT in Ford Field.