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

Johnny ManzielAug 21 08:22a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will not have a package of plays created for him to run off the bench, according to head coach Mike Pettine. Manziel has been [ More ]

Geno SmithAug 21 02:23a

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will start Week 1 versus the Oakland Raiders, barring an injury. The coaching staff has yet to officially name Smith the starter.

Geno AtkinsAug 21 12:53a

Cincinnati Bengals DE Geno Atkins (knee) will be ready for the regular season opener against the Baltimore Ravens Sept. 7, head coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday, Aug. 20. In [ More ]

Walt AikensAug 21 12:53a

Miami Dolphins CB Walt Aikens (hand) is sidelined indefinitely due to a left hand injury suffered a practice earlier this week. No timetable has been established for his return.

Tyler WilsonAug 21 12:53a

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hip), DT David King (undisclosed), CB Lavelle Westbrooks (undisclosed) and QB Tyler Wilson (head) were unable to practice Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Andre SmithAug 21 12:53a

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andre Smith (concussion) said Wednesday, Aug. 20, that he expects to get cleared to play in the preseason game Sunday, Aug. 24, against the Arizona Cardinals. [ More ]

Jalil BrownAug 21 12:53a

Miami Dolphins CB Jalil Brown, CB Don Jones, FS Jordan Kovacs and FS Michael Thomas appear to be fighting for two roster spots. Thomas has reportedly had a good [ More ]

Knowshon MorenoAug 21 12:53a

Miami Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno (knee) said Wednesday, Aug. 20, that he feels good. The team wants to see him practice Thursday, Aug. 21, before deciding if he will [ More ]

Andre JohnsonAug 20 10:43p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson has showed no signs of rust from his time away from the team this offseason. Johnson had an impressive practice during joint workouts with [ More ]

Trent RichardsonAug 20 10:33p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson is off to a slow start in training camp and the preseason, posting just 34 yards in 14 attempts. At 2.4 yards per carry, [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersAug 20 10:33p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (quadriceps) was involved in practice Wednesday, Aug. 20, but he is not working in 'live' setting yet. Head coach John Fox would not rule [ More ]

Montee BallAug 20 10:33p

Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball (appendix) continues to do more work in practice each day, but most of his work continues to be outside of the team structure. However, [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountAug 20 07:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB LeGarrette Blount and RB Le'Veon Bell were charged by Ross Township Police Wednesday, Aug. 20, with marijuana possession.

Le'Veon BellAug 20 07:43p

Pittsburgh Pirates RB Le'Veon Bell and RB LeGarrette Blount were charged by Ross Township Police Wednesday, Aug. 20, with marijuana possession. Bell was also charged with driving under the [ More ]

Ryan McBeanAug 20 05:53p

The Arizona Cardinals signed DT Ryan McBean (Ravens) Wednesday, Aug. 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Colt LyerlaAug 20 05:43p

The Green Bay Packers placed TE Colt Lyerla (knee) on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Pat DevlinAug 20 05:33p

Free-agent WR Kevin Elliott (Bills), LS Chad Rempel (Bears), QB Pat Devlin (Dolphins) and DT Jibreel Black (Buccaneers) all cleared waivers Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Vontaze BurfictAug 20 05:33p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict agreed to a multi-year contract extension Wednesday, Aug. 20. Terms of the new deal were not disclosed.

Isaac SopoagaAug 20 05:13p

The Arizona Cardinals signed DT Isaac Sopoaga (Patriots) Wednesday, Aug. 20, per a league source. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Jordan NorwoodAug 20 04:53p

Denver Broncos WR Jordan Norwood (knee) suffered a torn acute cruciate ligament in practice Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Isaiah PeadAug 20 04:33p

The St. Louis Rams waived RB Isaiah Pead (knee) with a waived/injured designation Wednesday, Aug. 20. Pead will revert back to the roster if he clears waivers.

Phillip TannerAug 20 03:43p

The Indianapolis Colts waived RB Phillip Tanner Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Dexter McDougleAug 20 03:43p

The New York Jets placed CB Dexter McDougle (knee) on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 20.

David FluellenAug 20 03:23p

The Indianapolis Colts acquired RB David Fluellen (Eagles) in exchange for PK Cody Parkey Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Desmond BryantAug 20 02:53p

Cleveland Browns DE Desmond Bryant (wrist) recently underwent wrist surgery. Head coach Mike Pettine said he is not sure if Bryant will be available to play Week 1.

S. SylvesterAug 20 02:43p

The Buffalo Bills have placed LB Stevenson Sylvester (undisclosed) on the Reserve/Injured list.

Michael CrabtreeAug 20 02:33p

San Francisco 49ers WR Michael Crabtree said he did not feel like himself when he returned from offseason Achilles' tendon surgery last season. 'I was fast enough to be [ More ]

Fendi OnobunAug 20 02:23p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have waived/injured TE Fendi Onobun (knee).

Eric KettaniAug 20 02:23p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed free-agent FB Eric Kettani (Chiefs). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Sebastian VollmerAug 20 01:13p

New England Patriots OT Sebastian Vollmer (undisclosed) was not on the field during practice Wednesday, Aug. 20. Vollmer has missed the last three practices because of an undisclosed reason.

Peyton HillisAug 20 01:03p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (groin), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), RB Peyton Hillis (ankle, foot), OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and OT James Brewer (back) are not participating in practice Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Cody WallaceAug 20 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Shaquille Richardson (knee), LB Jordan Zumwalt (hamstring), TE Eric Waters (concussion), C Cody Wallace (finger) and LS Greg Warren (knee) will not play in the third preseason game.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group