Description – 16 seconds.
Matthew Stafford has had a lot of game-winning drives in his career. In fact, the boy had more game-winning drives than every other quarterback except Drew Breeze since entering the league in 2009. But with just 16 seconds left, his throwing hand was wrapped in tape and two of his early receivers were sidelined with hip injuries staring at him. Some spots have been hit harder than, well, under the barrel of the league’s No. 1 passing defense.
does not make sense.
Stafford threw for 34 yards in those 16 seconds, two for quick completion and perhaps a short acting pass due to a passer penalty, and Matt Prater beat Washington 30-27 on Sunday at Ford Field. .
“If you know anything about the guy, No. 9, he can make literally any throw,” receiver Marvin Jones said.
Stafford gave touchdown passes to Jones, Marvin Hall and D’Andre Swift in the first 40 minutes of the game. That tied him for 17th on the NFL’s all-time touchdown pass list with Joe Montana, and helped Detroit build a 24-3 lead midway through the third quarter.
But this defense has never been particularly good at holding anything under Matt Patricia, and Washington – a bottom-five offense with backup quarterbacks under center – scored 21 unanswered points and tied the game. Requires just 17 minutes.
Stafford countered with a drive going late in the fourth quarter, an 11-play-affair that covered 56 yards, set Prater up for a go-forward field goal and devoured all but Last 2:37 of regulation. But Washington had more than enough time to punch back, converting three third-and-long and fourth-of-4-4 en route to another game-tying field goal with just 16 seconds left.
It seemed that we are headed for overtime.
But then Washington made a strategic error, choosing to send the kickoff from behind the final zone. Those precious few seconds were preserved, and Stafford went on to work with all three time remaining.
He connected with injured Rocky Quintez Cephas, a quick 10-yard pass to the left seam, to the injured Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola. Detroit took its first timeout, then decided to take shots coming from the break. Stafford threw a bomb to Seifus, causing the left to flee, and the pass also looked like money, but the rogue flared up and shortened as the ball progressed.
Stafford slipped to his knees, clearly disappointed he didn’t connect.
“Almost hit it,” Stafford said, “a little walk-off touchdown pass.”
There was just 6 seconds left, and there was still a lot of grass between him and the target.
But, a flag.
Chase Young finished second in this year’s draft, hitting Stafford in the back well after a pass. The contact was not high, but still the contact was not, and was certainly late. Stafford also sold it by falling to the ground and the authorities bought it.
“He hit him very hard, I think,” said Washington coach Ron Rivera, who hit our guy and slammed him to the ground. We did not receive a fine. So, you know, just a little inconsistent. “
Sure, but the Lions were happy to take 15 free yards anyway, and suddenly they were 50 with 6 seconds left. Stafford then gave a quick pass to Marvin Jones on the following play, and Jones immediately dived to 41 to call a Detroit timeout.
Clock: 3 seconds left.
“Finally great situational football,” said Patricia. Stafford, (Darrell Bevell), and just organizing all of that – it was kind of ridiculous how we were going to play. There were some plays that we dialed in and did. Then used their timeout and were able to progress all the way through there. Outstanding performance. “
Of course, the Lions still had to make a 59-yard field goal to end it. Then, the Lions still have Matt Prater, the longest-lived performer in the franchise’s history. Prater already held the record for the longest goalscoring goal in club history, a 59-yard return in 2015. He also lured 59-yarders through it, ending Washington in buzzer-beating fashion.
“We got pretty close to being the most clutch kicker in football and came in and did our work,” Stafford said. Therefore, I was very happy for Matt Prater and that operation and through the bulge. I mean, 59-yard to win it, that’s what the guy loves to do and we love him for it. He is a special man in those moments and I am proud of him today. “
Stafford has been beaten for the past few weeks, including last week’s game to evaluate a brain injury, then beat his throwing hand so hard that he was finding it difficult to catch the ball. He remained in the game, but needed a tape job to do it.
He then delivered his 37th game-winning drive, crossing only trees (39) since entering the league in 2009. He passed 24 of 27 carries for 27 yards, three touchdowns, no picks and a season-high passer rating of 127.8.
Not bad for a banged-up quarterback playing against the No. 1 defense in the league.
“There are definitely some things we can do better,” Stafford said, “but I’m proud of my people for the fight. A win is a win. Winning in this league is hard, I’m never going to apologize.” No. Could we have played better? Yes. But we did a good job, the ball was not over, the defense did a good job, got a few stops, our special teams were nails as it always has been. So, that’s great. Was. “