Detroit Lions edge Falcons at the horn, even record at 3-3

Matt Prater, Detroit Lions (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Matt Prater, Detroit Lions (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

A nail-biting final drive ended in a game-winning touchdown for the Detroit Lions, who even their record at 3-3.

The last time the Detroit Lions faced the Atlanta Falcons, they came up just short of a win in the waning seconds. This time, they took care of business, evened their record, kept building momentum in 2020.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford found tight end T.J. Hockenson for an 11-yard touchdown grab as time expired and the Lions escaped with a dramatic 23-22 victory over the Falcons in Georgia on Sunday.

At 3-3, the Lions have matched their win total from 2019 and picked up their third straight win on the road. On a fourth-and-five early in the fourth quarter, the Lions were able to get a much-needed stop, as defensive end Trey Flowers batted down a short pass by Atlanta starter Matt Ryan.

Coming up short on third-and-one on the next series, the Lions caught the Falcons with 12 men on defense. It led to a 47-yard field goal attempt by kicker Matt Prater, which he missed. However, the Lions recovered a fumble by Ryan minutes later, which led to another field goal attempt.

Prater redeemed himself, giving Detroit a 16-14 lead with a 49-yard make, with just over three minutes left. The Lions could not hold the lead though, allowing the Falcons to march down the field and score a go-ahead touchdown on running back Todd Gurley’s second touchdown of the game.

Without any Lions timeouts remaining, Gurley hesitated to walk into the end zone with one minute and four seconds left on the clock. He could not stop his momentum, however, and the Falcons took a 22-16 lead. It cost the Falcons, as Stafford drove the Lions down the field, leading to Hockenson’s game-winning snag.

Detroit went into the half down 14-10, after Prater hit a last-second 50-yard field goal, his first make of 50-plus yards this season. He would add another from 51 yards to open the second half for the Lions.

Stafford finished 25/36 for a season-high 340 yards and a score. Kenny Golladay led Lions receivers with 114 yards on six receptions. Ryan finished 31/42 for 338 yards and a touchdown.

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The Detroit Lions will look for their first home win of the season next Sunday, November 1st when they host the Indianapolis Colts at 1:00 P.M. EDT.