Final/OT

Lions 23

(4-10, 1-6 away)

Buccaneers 20

(8-6, 3-4 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 19, 2010

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL 

1 2 3 4 OT T
DET 7 3 7 3 323
TB 0 14 0 6 020

Top Performers

Passing: D. Stanton (DET) - 252 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: L. Blount (TB) - 15 CAR, 110 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: C. Johnson (DET) - 10 REC, 152 YDS

Lions beat Bucs in overtime to end 26-game road losing streak

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Detroit Lions erased some painful memories by ending the longest road losing streak in NFL history.

Dave Rayner's third field goal, a 34-yarder with 9:51 left in overtime, gave Detroit a 23-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and stopped a three-year skid at 26 games on Sunday.

"It's really not a relief, but it's important for this team to win on the road," second-year coach Jim Schwartz said.

"What's happened two years ago, what happened last year, three years ago, whatever it was, isn't important to this football team right now," Schwartz added. "Winning is important to this football team right now. Winning on the road is a step that we needed to take."

Rayner kicked a 28-yarder as time expired in regulation to force the extra period. The Lions took the overtime kickoff and drove 63 yards -- covering most of the distance on two big runs and a 12-yard reception by Calvin Johnson on third-and-8 -- to set up the game-winner.

The Lions (4-10) triumphed on the road for the first time since Oct. 28, 2007, when they won 16-7 at Chicago.

"It feels great to be on the road, get a win and go back on the plane and have a good week," Johnson said. "It's definitely good to bury that."

At the same time, Detroit dealt a blow to Tampa Bay's playoffs hopes.

The Bucs, who had been 5-0 in games decided by three points or fewer, failed to take advantage of a loss by the New York Giants -- one of the teams they're chasing in the wild-card race -- by losing for the first time in nine tries against an opponent with a losing record.

"It hurts just to know what we had in front of us," Tampa Bay running Cadillac Williams said. "We need a lot of help, but I've seen a lot of weird things in this league."

The Bucs (8-6) kicked the second of two fourth-quarter field goals to go ahead 20-17 with 1:39 remaining left in regulation.

"Are they still in the playoffs?" said Lions center Dominic Raiola, whose younger brother, Donovan, is a backup center with Tampa Bay. "Are they getting ready, making vacation plans now, like us? I hope so."

Drew Stanton completed 23 of 37 passes for 252 yards, one touchdown for the Lions. Johnson finished with 10 receptions for 152 yards, becoming the first Detroit player with two seasons with at least 1,000 yards and 12 or more TD receptions.

Maurice Morris rushed for 109 yards, including a 26-yard burst on the first play of overtime. Jahvid Best ran for 14 on the next play for a first down at the Bucs 39.

Three plays later, Johnson reached high to make his last catch of the day, barely keeping his feet inbound on the sideline at 25.

"I can't help but think that this is a game that we maybe don't win early in the season," Schwartz said. "We're becoming a battle-hardened team. This is a franchise that hasn't been used to playing a lot of close games, and this year we have. We've learned from a lot of those."

Stanton threw a 10-yard TD pass to Nate Burleson in the first quarter and Morris scored on a 10-yard run early in the third quarter to give Detroit a 17-14 lead that held until Josh Freeman brought Tampa Bay back with what seemed like would be another successful fourth-quarter rally.

The Lions forced the Bucs to settle for a field goal that made it 17-17 after Freeman led his team to a first-and-goal at the 1.

Tampa Bay hurt itself with Kellen Winslow drawing an offensive pass interference penalty that nullified what would have been a go-ahead 2-yard TD reception by the tight end.

Undeterred, Freeman led the Bucs to another field goal on their next possession, handing a 20-17 lead to a defense that suddenly was unable to slow down Stanton, who was making his third start in place of the injured Matthew Stafford.

Johnson also figured prominently in both of Detroit's first-half scoring drives with receptions of 20 and 16 yards to set up Stanton's TD pass to Burleson.

Johnson also had receptions of 30 yards and 17 yards to help the Lions get into position for Rayner's 41-yard field goal that trimmed Tampa Bay's lead to 14-10.

At 6-foot-6 and nearly 250 pounds, Freeman is one of the biggest and strongest quarterbacks in the NFL. The Lions sacked him three times, but the second-year pro also used his strength and mobility to turn potential negative plays into positive ones.

Tampa Bay's LeGarrette Blount broke a tackle and rambled for 39 yards for a second-quarter touchdown, one play after Freeman somehow managed to get off a pass with Lions rookie Ndamukong Suh draped around him and fullback Earnest Graham turned it into a 14-yard gain into Detroit territory.

Freeman, who has led an NFL-leading five fourth-quarter comebacks this season, completed 21 of 32 passes for 251 yards and one touchdown -- a 24-yard throw to Mike Williams, who set a franchise record for rookies with his eighth TD.

Blount finished with 110 yards rushing on 15 attempts.

"It's rough to lose a close game like that, to lose a game that we felt like we definitely should have won," Freeman said. "But it's not a death blow, I guess, from a mathematical standpoint."

Game notes


Neither team had a turnover. ... The Lions averaged 6.5 yards per carry on the way to rushing for 181 yards ... Williams, who leads NFL rookies in reception yardage, finished with six catches for 96 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DET
TB
1st Downs2622
Passing 1st downs
1614
Rushing 1st downs
105
1st downs from Penalties
03
3rd down efficiency
6-125-12
4th down efficiency
0-02-2
Total Plays6664
Total Yards433403
Yards per play6.66.3
Total Drives98
Passing252227
Comp - Att
23-3822-33
Yards per pass
6.66.9
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks - Yards Lost
0-03-25
Rushing181176
Rushing Attempts
2828
Yards per rush
6.56.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-50-2
Penalties7-579-65
Turnovers00
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
00
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession33:0532:04

Passing Leaders

DETC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Stanton23/372526.8100-0
Logan0/100.0000-0
TBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Freeman21/322517.8103-25
Johnson1/111.0000-0

Rushing Leaders

DETCARYDSAVGTDLG
Morris151097.3126
Burleson12525.0025
TBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Blount151107.3139
Williams7385.4010

Receiving Leaders

DETRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Johnson1015215.203012
Burleson4287.01116
TBRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Williams69616.012611
Winslow44611.50156

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERDETTB
detTD02:06Nate Burleson 10 Yd Pass From Drew Stanton (Dave Rayner Kick) 70
SECOND QUARTERDETTB
tbTD12:29Mike Williams 24 Yd Pass From Josh Freeman (Connor Barth Kick) 77
tbTD03:41LeGarrette Blount 39 Yd Run (Connor Barth Kick) 714
detFG00:55Dave Rayner 41 Yd 1014
THIRD QUARTERDETTB
detTD10:16Maurice Morris 10 Yd Run (Dave Rayner Kick) 1714
FOURTH QUARTERDETTB
tbFG08:51Connor Barth 30 Yd 1717
tbFG01:39Connor Barth 26 Yd 1720
detFG00:00Dave Rayner 28 Yd 2020
OVERTIMEDETTB
detFG09:51Dave Rayner 34 Yd 2320

Research Notes

The last time the Lions won on the road was October 28, 2007 at the Bears. The Red Sox won the 2007 World Series on that day. Also, the quarterback for the Lions was Jon Kitna. Kitna won vs the Redskins today vs the Redskins. The Redskins were QB'd by Rex Grossman today, who was a QB on the Bears team that Kitna beat that day.

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