Lions blow lead, but Matt Prater saves the day in dramatic win

Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

Matt Prater drilled a 59-yard field goal as time expired to give the Lions their first home victory in over a year

It hasn’t been his best season, with some uncharacteristic inaccuracy and puzzling misses. But the Detroit Lions put their faith in their kicker’s powerful leg, and he kept them from suffering another brutal loss.

Matt Prater hit a 59-yard field goal as the clock hit zero, and the Lions overcame another double-digit blown lead in a 30-27 win over the Washington Football team on Sunday at Ford Field. The win snapped a seven-game home losing streak for Detroit, dating back to last October.

Rookie tailback D’Andre Swift helped the Lions build a 24-3 lead right out of halftime, taking a Matthew Stafford pass 15 yards to the end zone. However, the Lions surrendered touchdowns on three straight  drives, pulling Washington into a tie in the fourth quarter. It was the fourth time the Lions had blown a double-digit lead this year.

A Prater field goal gave the Lions a 27-24 lead with just under three minutes to go, but Washington again tied the game, as kicker Dustin Hopkins connected from 41 yards with just seconds remaining.

Stafford then got the Lions to within Prater’s range in under 20 seconds, setting up Prater’s winning kick. It tied his longest connection with the Lions and the second longest of his career.

Stafford finished 24/33 for 276 yards and three touchdowns. He took a hard hit in the second quarter and suffered a right thumb injury, which required it to be taped on the sideline. He was able to stay in the game.

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Washington starter Alex Smith continued his incredible comeback story, making his first NFL start since suffering a gruesome leg injury nearly two years ago. He finished 38 of 55 for 390 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

The Detroit Lions will travel to face the Carolina Panthers next Sunday, November 22nd at 1:00 p.m. EDT.