A late drive from Matthew Stafford that was capped off by a Matt Prater field goal sealed the Lions’ 24-21 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Detroit moves to 7-6 on the year, with their minimal playoff hopes still barely alive.
It’s a nice win, but the Lions recorded five takeaways and still needed a late drive to win against a 4-9 team. Eric Ebron turned in arguably the best game of his career, catching 10 balls for 94 yards (both career highs) and sparking the Lions offense early. Theo Riddick ran for two touchdowns, and Golden Tate caught Stafford’s only touchdown pass on the day.
Darius Slay was huge, recording an interception and a fumble recovery. Newly-converted safety, Quandre Diggs, got an interception and nearly had a second pick that was overturned. The Lions moved the ball well on offense for most of the day.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 381 yards, but his two interceptions made the game closer than it should’ve been. Detroit’s defense gave up a ton of yardage, yet the turnovers bailed them out time and time again.
It’s a bittersweet win for Detroit. Yes, they got a much-needed victory on the road. However, if they are going to run the table and win their final three games, they will need to play a lot better. Tampa Bay is a bad team and they still had the ball late in the fourth quarter, with a chance to win the game, despite turning it over five times.
Tampa Bay Quarterback Jameis Winston was sacked on the final play by Ziggy Ansah which closed out the victory for Detroit. The Lions are still alive in the playoff hunt but got no help from the Minnesota Vikings, who lost to the Carolina Panthers which hurts Detroit’s Wildcard playoff chances.
Detroit plays the Chicago Bears next week at home. The Lions won their first meeting with Chicago a few weeks ago and must do it again to stay in the hunt. Technically, the Lions can still win the NFC North, but that would take three more losses from the Vikings, who have lost only three games all year.
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