Sunday, October 27, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Detroit Lions
By Michael Rothstein
DETROIT -- A few thoughts on the Detroit Lions' 31-30 win against the Dallas Cowboys.
What it means: It was a game Detroit had to have. Sixty-two seconds to go. Eighty yards. And this, well, this is no longer the Detroit Lions of old. The Lions drove 80 yards, capped off by a Matthew Stafford fake spike followed by a leap into the end zone with 12 seconds left to give the Lions a come-from-behind win.
Two underrated things on the final drive -- Stafford’s sideline pass to Kris Durham set up the last two plays. Also, going into the final play, left tackle Riley Reiff sprinted about 30 yards to make sure he was at the line of scrimmage. Play doesn’t happen if that doesn’t happen.
The Lions have had a few change-the-momentum-of-the-franchise moments this season. A win at Washington. Coming from behind against Cleveland. None, though, bigger than this. Detroit’s playoff chances are intact. So is its momentum. That might be as big of a win for Detroit than it has had in years.
Stock watch: Rising -- Returner Jeremy Ross. With Micheal Spurlock inactive, Ross took advantage of an opportunity, returning a kick 44 yards that set up a Detroit scoring drive. Receiver Calvin Johnson, who had his fifth 200-yard receiving day of his carer, tying an NFL record. Stafford. His call for the fake spike touchdown are plays that franchise quarterbacks make. They are plays that can lift a career. For Stafford, that might have happened Sunday.
Johnson's day: There really aren’t enough adjectives to adequately describe what Johnson accomplished Sunday. He caught 14 passes for 329 yards and a touchdown, including multiple catches in double coverage. The yards are a franchise record. The biggest one was a 54-yard catch over the middle despite double coverage, the second straight week he made a highlight catch.
What’s next: The Lions are off next week before a two-game road swing to Chicago and Pittsburgh.