Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lions rally late, top Eagles in OT

by Eric Redner
Special to the Phanatic

Philadelphia, PA -- Jason Hanson tied the game in regulation and won it in overtime as the Detroit Lions took a 26-23 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, the club's first over the Birds since 1986.

Hanson, who has held the position since 1992, went 4-for-4 and also added two extra points to move past John Carney into third place on the NFL's all-time scoring list.

Matthew Stafford was off for much of the game, but he led the team on three scoring drives in the fourth quarter and the game-winner in overtime. He finished the game 22-for-45 with 311 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Lions (2-3), who won for the first time since opening the season with a win over St. Louis. Stafford also ran in a score.

"It's huge because we really needed this," said Detroit defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch. "We just needed to play well and get back on track."

Calvin Johnson was also quiet for much of the game, but he finished the contest with six catches for 135 yards while Nate Burleson caught a score for Detroit, which snapped a six-game losing streak to Philadelphia.

Michael Vick was picked off twice, sacked three times and hit hard on several other plays, but did throw two touchdown passes and finished the game 28-for-46 with 311 yards. He also had a team-high 59 yards on nine carries, but it wasn't enough to stop the Eagles (3-3) from losing their second straight game going into their bye week.

Hanson tied the game with a 19-yard field goal with just three seconds left, but Philadelphia began the extra session with the ball.

Vick, though, was sacked on consecutive plays to force the team into a 3rd- and-31 and the Eagles wound up having to punt from their own 4-yard line.

Stefan Logan fielded the ball at his own 39 and ran it to the midfield mark. He was stripped of the ball, but it took a lucky bounce back into his arms while he was on the ground and the Detroit offense went to work.

Stafford hit Tony Scheffler for 16 yards on the first play, but a 10-yard holding penalty pushed the team back. Johnson, though, caught a 17-yard pass on the next play to get the Lions in field goal range. After a pair of runs, Hanson booted the ball in from 45 yards out for the win.

"Every guy in that locker room never stops fighting and that's what got us the win today," said Stafford. "We can't make it this hard on ourselves every week. We understand that. But at the same time, a win is a win in the NFL and they don't always come easy."

Philadelphia started the second half with the ball and a one-point lead, which the team built on as a 15-play, 72-yard drive was capped on a 26-yard field goal from Alex Henery for a 10-6 advantage with 8:23 to play in the third.

Detroit went three-and-out and had to punt, with the Eagles getting the ball back at their own 36. The team got down to the Detroit 3 and appeared to have a score when Brent Celek caught a pass in the end zone, but he was called for pass interference and the Eagles ultimately had to settle for a 32-yard field goal from Henery for a 13-6 lead with 3:39 to play in the third.

Following another three-and-out from Detroit, the Eagles again added to their advantage as a 49-yard field goal from Henery made it a 16-6 game early in the fourth quarter.

The Lions finally got their offense on track on their ensuing touch as Stafford capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive with a scramble into the end zone around the left side to make it a 16-13 game with 10:30 to play.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Vick was picked off by Chris Houston, but the Lions were unable to take advantage of the gift and ultimately had to punt.

Philly struck quickly, as on the third play Vick found Jeremy Maclin wide open over the middle and he took it 70 yards into the end zone for a 23-13 lead with 5:18 to play in the game.

Detroit answered less than two minutes later on a 17-yard touchdown catch by Burleson from Stafford. The play was set up on a 57-yard catch by Scheffler on a long bomb down the right sideline.

A three-and-out from Philly saw the Lions get the ball back at their own 32 and a 17-yard catch by Johnson moved the ball across midfield. Another Johnson catch of 16 yards was initially ruled out of bounds, but a replay reversed the call. Detroit got down to the 1-yard line, but was unable to punch it in and a 19-yard field goal from Hanson sent the game to overtime.

"We've got to find a way to close the game," said Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy. "I felt we had the game in control. To lose like this is a sick feeling."

The first points of the game went to the Lions on a 46-yard make from their sure-footed veteran, who then converted 34-yard field goal for a 6-0 lead with 3:58 left in the first.

Philadelphia put together a drive on its next touch and got down to the Detroit 29. Vick was in the shotgun on a 2nd-and-7, but he wasn't even looking at the center as the ball was snapped and the Lions' Stephen Tulloch fell on the ball at the Detroit 45.

The Lions were unable to take advantage, though, as a deep pass into the end zone for Johnson was picked off by Nnamdi Asomugha and the Eagles got the ball back at their own 20.

Following another exchange of punts, Philly got near midfield, but Louis Delmas, playing his first game of the season, picked off a deep Vick pass. The Lions converted a couple of first downs, but were unable to get close to scoring position and the Eagles got the ball back at their own 21.

Philadelphia was finally able to put together a scoring drive as the team got into the end zone when Vick hit McCoy near the line and he took it in from two yards out for a 7-6 lead with 1:16 to play in the half. Two plays before, a pass interference call on Detroit had moved the ball to the 3-yard line.

Notes: Detroit committed 10 penalties in the first half and finished the game with an NFL season high 16 for 132 yards ... Philadelphia defensive tackle Fletcher Cox was thrown out of the game for throwing a punch at a player on the extra point attempt after Detroit's first touchdown ... Hanson now has 2,074 points in his career. He needed just three coming into the game to pass Carney ... Detroit plays in Chicago next Monday night ... Philadelphia will host Atlanta two weeks from Sunday ... Mikel Leshoure led the Detroit running game with 70 yards on 15 carries ... Philadelphia safety Nate Allen left the game with a hamstring injury ... Detroit cornerbacks Jacob Lacey (concussion) and Bill Bentley (shoulder) left the game.

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