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

David WilsonJul 31 12:01p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) 'needs a miracle' from his surgeon's evaluation to be able to continue his playing career, according to a source.

David WilsonJul 31 11:52a

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) attended team meetings Thursday, July 31, and appeared ready to go, according to RB Rashad Jennings.

Brent UrbanJul 31 11:42a

Baltimore Ravens DE Brent Urban (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during practice Wednesday, July 30, and will miss the entire 2014 season.

Lance LouisJul 31 11:32a

Indianapolis Colts OG Jack Mewhort appears to be the leading candidate for the starting left guard job. OG Lance Louis is also considered a candidate for the job.

Donald ThomasJul 31 11:22a

Indianapolis Colts OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps) is scheduled to undergo season-ending quadriceps surgery and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Nick BarnettJul 31 11:12a

Free-agent LB Nick Barnett (Redskins) is still an option for the Atlanta Falcons depending on what happens with the team's linebackers. The Falcons worked out Barnett in June but did not sign him.

Josh GordonJul 31 10:42a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is not practicing Thursday, July 31, and presumably will miss practice Friday, Aug. 1, to attend his suspension appeal hearing.

Eric BerryJul 31 10:32a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (leg, foot) was carted off at practice Thursday, July 31, with a right leg or foot injury. SS Jerron McMillian has taken his place.

Jordan TodmanJul 31 09:52a

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart is expected to be spelled by RBs Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson and Storm Johnson so he doesn't reach the 300-carry plateau.

Morgan BurnettJul 31 09:42a

Green Bay Packers FS Morgan Burnett (ankle) and SS Tanner Miller (undisclosed) are not practicing Thursday, July 31.

Micah HydeJul 31 09:42a

Green Bay Packers FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is working with the first-team defense at strong safety beside FS Micah Hyde Thursday, July 31.

Lardarius WebbJul 31 09:23a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back), DE Brent Urban (knee), DT Timmy Jernigan (back), OG Will Rackley (concussion) and WR Jeremy Butler (undisclosed) are out of practice Thursday, July [ More ]

Terrell SuggsJul 31 09:03a

Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell Suggs, DT Haloti Ngata and LB Daryl Smith are not practicing Thursday, July 31.

Nate GarnerJul 31 08:53a

Miami Dolphins C Nate Garner is working with the first-team offense again Thursday, July 31, over C Shelley Smith.

A.J. HawkJul 31 01:53a

Green Bay Packers LB Brad Jones has been working ahead of LB A.J. Hawk as the lone linebacker in the dime defense in practice.

Matt CasselJul 31 01:53a

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater saw reps with the first-team offense in practice Wednesday, July 30. According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, QB Matt Cassel appears to lead the [ More ]

Christian PonderJul 31 01:53a

Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder's reps were cut during practice Wednesday, July 30.

Josh GordonJul 30 11:43p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage III of the NFL's substance-abuse program, and a positive test automatically triggers a one-year suspension. For Gordon, only two options exist: [ More ]

Rod StreaterJul 30 11:43p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) participated in warmups and drills Wednesday, July 30, but he sat out team sessions. Streater suffered a concussion Monday, July 28, and has [ More ]

Joique BellJul 30 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee) missed organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp while recovering from a knee injury, but he looked good cutting and accelerating with ease during [ More ]

Rob SimsJul 30 10:23p

Detroit Lions OG Rob Sims (knee) missed organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp while recovering from a knee injury, but he held his own working against DT Nick Fairley [ More ]

Allen RobinsonJul 30 10:13p

Updating a previous report, Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (and fellow rookie WR Marqise Lee) have seen plenty of opportunity at training camp with WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and [ More ]

Marqise LeeJul 30 10:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (and fellow rookie WR Allen Robinson) have seen more reps in training camp with WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and WR Ace Sanders (personal) sidelined. [ More ]

Carl NicksJul 30 08:03p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially released OG Carl Nicks (toe) Wednesday, July 30, with an injury settlement.

David WilsonJul 30 06:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) tweeted that he is fine after leaving practice early Tuesday, July 29. Wilson said he passed all physical examinations and will find out more Monday, Aug. 3.

Jim LeonhardJul 30 05:53p

The Cleveland Browns signed SS Jim Leonhard (Bills) Wednesday, July 30. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Aldon SmithJul 30 04:43p

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is not participating in practice Wednesday, July 30, as he attends a hearing at the Los Angeles City Attorney's office regarding an April [ More ]

Fred JacksonJul 30 04:13p

The Buffalo Bills have signed RB Fred Jackson to a one-year contract extension. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jason GarrettJul 30 03:23p

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence (foot) will undergo surgery for a broken foot Thursday, July 31, according to head coach Jason Garrett.

LaMichael JamesJul 30 03:03p

San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James (elbow) will wear a brace on his dislocated elbow and should be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Brent UrbanJul 30 02:23p

Baltimore Ravens DE Brent Urban (leg) and DT Timmy Jernigan (back) appear to have suffered injuries during practice Wednesday, July 30. Urban was helped off the field after suffering the injury.

Tyron SmithJul 30 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys OT Tyron Smith has agreed to terms with the team on an eight-year contract extension worth $98 million, according to a source.

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