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S2 W2: Lions vs Panthers

Discussion in 'Game Summaries' started by Anthrax78, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Anthrax78

    Anthrax78 Walk On

    Aug 7, 2012
    Lions Win Classic Over Panthers In Dramatic Last Second Field Goal By Rayner, 39-38
    "This is a game that both teams should get a W for" coach Westcott said immediately following the last second field goal by Dave Rayner to seal the Lions first victory of the season. "This turned into a dogfight and flat-out luck trumped skill for us today and we're damn lucky to have this win!"

    The Lions started off shaky once again as Cam Newton and Steve Smith started tearing up the suspect Lions secondary with pass after pass. Fortunately, Matt Stafford looked sharp after mumbling in the local press that he might not be the "guy" to get this team to the next level after a terrible 2012 campaign and a bad start against the Raiders in week 1. He hit Calvin Johnson 6 times for 216 yards and 2 touchdowns for the game with deep passes down field. Detroit seized a 27-21 lead at halftime after rookie Mario Brown had a pair of interceptions in the second quarter. It looked as though it was shaping up to be a shootout but both coaches had different intentions for the second half.

    The Panthers came out and ran an effective cover 2 press that kept Johnson and Stream at bay while Cam Newton and the Panthers started beating the Lions with their legs. Newton ran in a goal-line touchdown to give the Panthers a 28-27 lead and after a pair of field goals it was 31-30 Panthers halfway into the fourth.

    Then the drama started!

    The Panthers were desperate to put the Lions away by controlling a ground game with Newton and Stewart. Newton ran a QB off-tackle play in for 28 yards to give Carolina a 38-30 lead with 3 minutes left. Detroit's chances were bleak and 0-2 looked certain. "This is what makes average teams into good teams. Finding ways to win these kind of games." coach Westcott said during the press conference.

    Stafford completed a couple of key 3 and long passes during the drive and hit Brandon Pettigrew in the end zone for a 38-36 score. The Lions had no choice but to go for 2 and failed in a flat pass to Pettigrew again that was well defended. The Lions had to go for an onsides kick and it was picked up by Carolina for a certain victory but coach Westcott wisely held on to all three of the Lions timeouts. "The front line stepped up on that set" coach Westcott concluded "So many factors played into this win, so it was a team effort and give the Panthers credit for really pushing us to the edge." The Lions stopped the Panthers on three hand-offs that were all nearly fumbled and the Pathers kicked it deep into the Lions territory, the 8 yard line with 43 seconds left and no timeouts. Then the bad luck that has followed this franchise for years were seeming wiped away.

    Stafford led a sideline passing attack taking shots at the sideline and driving Detroit to the 43 yard line with 4 seconds left. It looked as though they would have to settle for a hail mary pass but coach Westcott instructed Stafford to look for one more quick pass play to get close into Rayner's field goal range, which would be approximately 8 more yards. Stafford put Mikel Leshoure in motion after the Panthers backed off and hit him for an eight yard sideline flat route that ended with 1 second on the clock.

    Dave Rayner stepped on the field and with the wind at his back, nailed a 52 yard field goal with a foot spare over the crossbar, his third 50-plus yard field goal of the day. Detroit walking away with a 39-38 victory. Coach Westcott didn't celebrate much unlike the players. "We still have a lot of work to do, it's one win and we play the Super Bowl champions next week. We can't count on luck to win every game, it takes talent and hard work!" After questioned about his emotionless response to the field goal, coach Westcott said "Out of respect for coach Carl Flemming and the Panthers staff I couldn't bring myself to do it. I would of rather won this game in the third quarter but it just didn't work out that way. Talent trumps luck on most occasions."

    Stafford 18/28 371 yards 3 TD 1 INT
    Newton 16/28 293 yards 3 TD 3 INT

    Stephens-Howling 5 att 45 yards 1 fumble
    L Mitchell 6 att 17 yards 1TD
    Newton 6 att 55 yards 2TD
    Stewart 10 att 43 yards

    Johnson Jr 6 rec 218 yards 2 TD
    Stream 7 rec 118 yards
    S Smith 5 rec 94 yards 1 TD
    Olsen 6 rec 161 yards 2 TD
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
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