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admin 17.11.2014

DETROIT (AP) For the second straight game, Matthew Stafford smoothly guided the Detroit Lions down the field, with Calvin Johnson again on the other end of some of the game's biggest passes. This may be a soft stretch of the schedule, but so far Detroit is handling it as a playoff team should. Stafford threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns - including one off a fluky deflection late in the game - and the Lions kept the pressure on in the NFC North race with a 34-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The Lions (9-4) trail first-place Green Bay by a half-game, with the Packers hosting Atlanta on Monday night. Johnson had eight catches for 158 yards and a touchdown for Detroit, which snapped a nine-game losing streak in December. Mike Evans caught two touchdown passes for the Bucs, but quarterback Josh McCown was under pressure all day, and Tampa Bay managed only 26 yards rushing against Detroit's stout defensive front.


The Detroit quarterback was a bit fortunate on his fourth-quarter scoring pass to Joique Bell. Detroit opened the scoring on Stafford's 6-yard touchdown pass to Johnson, and Patrick Murray answered with a 54-yard field goal for the Bucs.
A fumble on a snap gave the Lions the ball at the Tampa Bay 32 moments later, and Detroit managed a field goal off that turnover. The Bucs took over at the Detroit 10 and scored a touchdown with 5 seconds left on McCown's 5-yard pass to Evans. The call led to a 26-21 loss, eliminating Dallas from the playoffs, one week after an official's controversial decision to pick up a flag for an interference penalty had gone in the Cowboys' favor and helped end the LIons' season. The tweet included a link to the replay of Lions receiver Calvin Johnson's apparent touchdown catch in 2010 against the Chicago Bears.


The Lions beat Chicago on Thanksgiving, and they end this three-game stretch of home games next weekend against Minnesota. The Lions are trying to avoid a repeat of last season's late collapse that cost them a playoff spot. In Detroit's previous game against Chicago, Stafford went 34 of 45 for 390 yards, including two touchdown passes to Johnson. The Detroit safety tried to run the ball out, but he ended up fumbling it back to Tampa Bay.



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