2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Lions collapse late, fall to Steelers 37-27

By WILL GRAVES - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-17 18:12

PITTSBURGH (AP) - His explosive offense sputtering, Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz didn't give the ball to Matthew Stafford or Calvin Johnson or Reggie Bush.

Instead, Schwartz put it in the hands of a 205-pound rookie punter on a soggy field with 11 guys dressed up like swarming bees running at him.

The calculated risk led to an unmitigated disaster.

Sam Martin fumbled while trying to convert a fake field goal early in the fourth quarter and the Pittsburgh Steelers responded to the reprieve by scoring two touchdowns in the final 5 minutes to stun the ever erratic Lions 37-27 on Sunday.

''I don't regret anything that happens in the game,'' Schwartz said. ''We're going to do our very best to win the football game. We didn't make enough plays to win this one, including that one.''

The Lions were nursing a four-point lead when kicker David Akers ran out to attempt a 27-yard field goal. Martin took the snap then tried to find room over the right side for the 5 yards necessary for a first down. He didn't quite get there, and the ball came rolling out after Martin was slammed by Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon.

''I got hit by a 350-pound man,'' Martin said. ''I don't think I had the first down, but regardless that guy made a great play. You have to give them credit. When you looked at it initially, it was a big hole.''

Instead of getting a first down or going up by seven, the Lions gave the Steelers the ball with momentum. Pittsburgh responded with a 97-yard touchdown drive that helped keep Detroit (6-4) winless in the Steel City 58 years and counting.

Matthew Stafford passed for 362 yards and two touchdowns but also threw a late interception during a bumbling second half. Calvin Johnson added six receptions for 179 yards and both scores but didn't touch the ball once after halftime.

''I missed some guys,'' Stafford said. ''We had drops. We had miscues. We had all sorts of stuff that we can't do on the road against a good team.''

One that played like it against a contender for the first time this season.

Roethlisberger passed for 367 yards and four touchdowns. Antonio Brown caught seven passes for 147 yards and two scores and Pittsburgh's defense forced three turnovers while keeping Stafford in check over the final 30 minutes.

Stafford completed just 3 of 16 passes after halftime.

''We knew they'd make plays and get yards,'' Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark said. ''We just wanted to make plays and stop them when it counted and we were able to do that.''

Just not until letting the Lions rip off 27 points during a dazzling second quarter in which Detroit seemed to toy with one of the most venerable defenses in the league.

Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor said last week he couldn't wait for the chance to go ''mano-a-mano'' with Johnson, the NFL's best receiver. Like nearly every player who has lined up across the line of scrimmage from Johnson over last three years, the matchup looked like a mismatch.

At least, for a while.

Taylor landed a blow early, knocking down the first pass Stafford threw Johnson's way. The 11-year veteran and his befuddled teammates couldn't get a hand on the second. Or the third. Or pretty much anything else the Lions and their superstar wide receiver felt like doing.

The Lions spotted the Steelers a 14-0 first-quarter lead as Roethlisberger hit Brown for touchdowns of 34 and 47 yards, an avalanche of points for Pittsburgh's sputtering offense but barely a blip for one of the league's most explosive offenses.

Detroit needed to hold the ball for 6:37 to set a franchise record for points in the second quarter. Johnson, as he tends to be, was right in the middle of it. He started the onslaught with an impossibly easy 79-yard touchdown, taking a heave from Stafford at the Pittsburgh 40 and then practically jogging into the end zone to make it 14-10.

Johnson was at it again the next time the Lions had the ball, beating the coverage to the inside for a 19-yard score to tie the game at 17.

As quickly as Detroit's eruption started, it ended. The Lions could do little in the second half and rather take another step toward the team's first division title in 20 years, Detroit continued a flabbergasting pattern of inconsistent play.

''We will come back,'' linebacker Stephen Tulloch said. ''We will go back to the drawing board and continue to play ball.''

NOTES: Stafford now has 16,005 career passing yards to blow past Layne's club record of 15,710. Stafford's first touchdown pass to Johnson was the 100th of his career. He reached the plateau in his 55th career game, the fourth-fastest in NFL history. ... Johnson has gone over 1,000 yards in four straight seasons, tying Herman Moore's club record. ... Detroit RB Joique Bell left in the third quarter with a foot injury. He was cleared to return, but watched the fourth quarter from the sideline.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be an option to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Peterson is from Palestine, Texas, which is between Dallas and Houston, and he's [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 27 02:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman could be the full-time back in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme next season, according tot general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 'My first impression of [ More ]

Robert GeathersFeb 27 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals DE Robert Geathers was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Greg LittleFeb 27 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Greg Little was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Chris CantyFeb 27 11:32a

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty was released Friday, Feb. 27. The move saved the team around $2.7 million on the salary cap.

Brian HartlineFeb 27 10:32a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Harry DouglasFeb 27 10:32a

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Matt HasselbeckFeb 26 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steven JacksonFeb 26 07:32p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, [ More ]

Travis KelceFeb 26 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the [ More ]

Kendall LangfordFeb 26 04:12p

St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford was released Thursday, Feb. 26, saving the team $6 million in salary cap space.

Greg HardyFeb 26 02:32p

Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement after a judge overturned Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension, according to a source.

Theo RiddickFeb 26 02:22p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 12:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension.

Michael RoosFeb 26 12:02p

Free-agent OT Michael Roos (Titans) has announced his retirement from professional football.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group