When all seemed lost Sunday, the Lions rose up like a zombie on Halloween, doing enough to push their game with the Eagles to OT, and eventually pulling out a huge 26-23 win.
Jason Hanson tied the game in regulation and won it in overtime going 4-for-4 and also adding two extra points to move past John Carney into third place on the NFL’s all-time scoring list.
Matthew Stafford rallied the Lions back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, getting them to 17 points in the last 10 minutes to force overtime, throwing a TD pass and running for a score. He finished with 311 yards passing, one TD and one interception.
The comeback kept Lions (2-3) from a 1-4 start a year after opening 5-0 en route to their first playoff appearance since 1999.
”It takes lot of heart,” Stafford said. ”It would have been a lot easier to just pack it in. This team has lot of fight. We didn’t play great. We did on defense, not on offense. Every guy in that locker room didn’t stop playing and that’s what got us the win.”
Michael Vick threw for 311 yards and two TDs, but he also had two interceptions and a botched snap led to another lost fumble. The Eagles now have 17 turnovers in six games, including 13 by Vick on eight picks and five fumbles.
”This is going to hurt for a long time,” Vick said. ”We put ourselves in position to win and didn’t finish.”
Down 23-13 after Vick’s 70-yard TD pass to Jeremy Maclin with 5:18 left, the Lions answered.
The Lions had two shots from the Eagles 1 following a pass interference penalty on Colt Anderson with 13 seconds left in regulation. But Stafford misfired on both passes and Hanson kicked a 19-yard field goal to send it to overtime.
The Lions sacked Vick on the first two plays of the extra quarter, forced a punt out of the end zone and started at midfield. Stafford hit Johnson for a 17-yard gain to the Eagles 27 on first-and-20. A few plays later, Hanson nailed the winner.
It gave the Lions a win they needed in the worst of ways, as they now can look ahead to a huge matchup with the Bears next Monday night, another shot to prove that last season was no fluke.