(DETROIT, MI) – A 57-yard field goal by Matt Prater with just over 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, set the stage for some Detroit Lions late game heroics. However, the Lions fell 3 inches and 8 seconds short in a 30-26 defeat at Ford Field.
The Falcons opened the scoring on a 4-yard pass from Matt Ryan to Mohamed Sanu at 8:17 of the 1st quarter and continued to lead into the last five minutes of the 3rd frame. Matthew Stafford hit Golden Tate with an 11-yard TD strike and the Prater connected on a 35-yard field goal attempt to draw Detroit even at 23. However, Ryan opened the 4th quarter with a 40-yard pass to backup WR Taylor Gabriel.
“I thought we played well offensively,” said Ryan. “When you’re minus-three in the turnover differential it’s tough to overcome that. We were able to do it today, but that’s certainly something that we have to clean up moving forward.”
Despite Prater’s long kick to bring Detroit to within 4 points, a first and goal from the 1 yard line didn’t result in the winning points for the Lions. After two incomplete passes, Stafford lobbed the ball to Golden Tate for what was initially called a touchdown, with 8 seconds left on the clock.
However, upon review the call on the field was reversed as Tate was downed prior to breaking the lane of the goal. The officials then counted off 10 seconds thus ending the game with Detroit’s 4th down being left on the table.
“Since they ruled it a touchdown in that particular situation and ruled it incorrectly, then the ball was indeed short,” explained Lions head coach Jim Caldwell. “He was ruled down. So, what happens in that situation is that if you don’t have a timeout left, you’re going to get a 10-second run-off. If you have a timeout left, you can prevent that run-off at the end of the game and give up that timeout. But, without any timeouts, they ran off the time of the clock, which was eight seconds remaining, and game’s over.”
Caldwell is confident that had the call on the field been properly called by the officials, the Lions could have gotten the 4th down in play.
“Certainly, we practice it all the time,” he said.
OUA Week 5
Windsor 14 – 39 Ottawa. The Lancers are 0-5. Next game vs Queen’s Gaels at Alumni Field. September 30 at 1pm.
NCAA Big 10 Week 4
Michigan 28 – 10 Purdue. The Wolverines are 4-0. Next game vs Michigan State at Michigan Stadium. October 7 at 7:30pm.
Michigan State 18 – 38 Notre Dame. The Spartans are 2-1. Next game vs Iowa at East Lancing. September 30 at 4pm.