Oakland, CA – The Detroit Lions might have shocked themselves, quarterback Matthew Stafford orchestrated two scoring drives that gave them their first lead of the game. It’s another page out of the Raiders story book on losing in the final seconds.
The Lions 28-27 victory over Oakland was a crushing defeat, Ndamukong Suh’s right arm blocked a game winning field goal attempt. As he celebrated throwing his helmet into the air, the chilling silence left many in disbelief as fans left the stadium.
“The disappointing part is their best player, he won the game for them,” Raiders coach Hue Jackson said. “Between the quarterback and the wide receiver, 214 yards and two touchdowns, that’s how you lose. It’s very frustrating.”
Stafford’s final touchdown gave Detroit a 28-27 lead with 43 seconds left in the fourth quarter. A hail mary throw to Calvin Johnson for 48-yards between two defenders who were left speechless. Then Matthew found Johnson again for a 6-yard touchdown. Oakland fans rose to their feet in disbelief.
“Very demoralizing,” said Palmer. “We had chances to close them out and put them away but just didn’t make enough plays when it came down to it.”
Carson moved the offense as quickly as he could confident his kicker would seal the victory especially after the spectacular season he’s had thus far. Sebastian Janikowski tied the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal but failed to get past the line when Suh blocked it.
Things didn’t start off great for the Raiders, two back-to-back first downs put them in good position. On fourth down Oakland went for it with a spectacular play that put Denarius Moore alone in the end zone. But Palmer over threw the ball ending all hopes to score first with a touchdown.
Back on defense Richard Seymour who has apologized for penalties in recent weeks, returned back to his old self. One tackle and a block forced the Lions to punt. The ball goes back to the Raiders for their second opportunity. Marcel Reece rushed for 56 yards and got the first down but the play was challenged by Detroit for stepping out of bounds.
Oakland leads the league in penalties but today the Lions took over with two horse collar tackles. That put the Raiders back in position to score, Palmer found Louis Murphy on the reverse, scoring his first touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
“A tough loss, we thought we had the game in our hands,” Kamerion Wimbley said. “They came back to win, everyone played with great effort but we just didn’t get it done.”
Darius Heyward-Bey dominated the second quarter when he connected with Carson for a 39-yard pass. Then he caught what looked like the nicest, smoothest touchdown pass this season breaking through two tackles. Oakland took a 14-7 lead with 7:24 remaining in the quarter.
The Lions didn’t take long to respond, Nate Burleson’s 39-yard pass from Stafford tied the game 14-14. With time running out the Raiders offense set up Janikowski’s 46-yard field goal to take the lead before the half ended.
“It’s probably one of the worst things that happened since I’ve been here,” said Mike Mitchell. “To be winning like we were and then just not being able to close. That definitely hurts especially because we knew how important this game was.”
Oakland has lost three in a row and needed this game to tie the division. They trail the Denver Broncos by one game in the AFC West and one game behind the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals in the wild-card race. With two weeks left they’ll need more help to end their eight-year playoff drought.
Written by: Malaika Bobino