Reeling Raiders Upended by Roaring Lions Rally; 28-27

Ndamukong Suh returned and made his presence felt.

Suh blocked a potential game-winning 65-yard field goal attempt by Sebastian Janikowski preserving Matthew Stafford’s impressive comeback to help lift the Detroit Lions in triumphing the Oakland Raiders 28-27 on Sunday.

Stafford threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson with 39 seconds remaining to cap a 98-yard scoring drive that helped the Lions (9-5) take a two-game lead in the NFC Wild Card race.

The Raiders (7-7) appeared in control of the game when Aaron Curry returned a fumble six yards for a touchdown to make it 27-14 with 7:47 remaining.

However, Stafford directed two long scoring drives in the final minutes to give the Lions their first lead of the game.

The Lion gunslinger completed 29 of 52 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns. He completed nine for 214 yards to Johnson, who ended a five-game drought with no 100-yard receiving games and only one touchdown.

Stafford and Johnson connected on a 21-yarder and a 48-yarder on the winning drive that started at the Detroit 2 with 2:14 to play and the Lions out of timeouts.

They also connected on a 51-yard scoring play in the first quarter, but they had to sweat out the closing seconds as Carson Palmer got the Raiders to the Detroit 47 with four seconds to play.

Unfortunately, Suh got his right thumb on the 65-yard attempt by Janikowski to end the game.

The Raiders (7-7) have lost three straight and will need help to end their eight-year playoff drought. Oakland trails Denver by one game in the AFC West and is also a game behind the New York Jets and Cincinnati in the Wild Card race.

“It’s probably one of the worst things that happened since I’ve been here,” third-year safety Mike Mitchell said. “To be winning like we were winning and then just not being able to close. That definitely hurts especially because we knew how important this game was.”

Carson Palmer finished 32 for 40 for 367 yards and a touchdown to Darrius Heyward-Bey, who had eight catches for a career-high 155 yards.

But Palmer also slightly overthrew Chaz Schilens on a third-down pass just before the two-minute warning after Stafford’s TD pass to Titus Young cut Oakland’s lead to 27-21.

“Very demoralizing,” Palmer said. “We had chances to close them out and a chance to put them away there and just didn’t make enough plays when it came down to it.”


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One Response to “Reeling Raiders Upended by Roaring Lions Rally; 28-27”

  1. John LoRe Oakland says:

    This was really the one that did us in.

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