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10/25/15. Vikings at Lions. Week 7, FOX, 1:05pm.

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Will Stafford stay unleashed?

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Presents the following thread:

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(3-2) @ (1-5)

Your Detroit Lions

vs.

The Minnesota Vikings

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NFC Conference

Week 7

Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.

Date: October 25th, 2015

Time: 1:05pm EST

This game is a presentation of:

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Television Broadcast Provided by:

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FOX

Radio Broadcast Provided by:

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Official Lions / Bears highlights:

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Lions outlast Bears in overtime to nab first win

DETROIT - The Detroit Lions were in big trouble before Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson rekindled their connection.

It was just like old times.

Stafford threw one of four touchdown passes to Johnson and found the star receiver for a 57-yard play that set up Matt Prater's 27-yard field goal with 2:29 left in overtime, helping the Lions beat the Chicago Bears 37-34 on Sunday for their first win of the season.

"It's my job to get him the ball and I probably wasn't doing a good enough job of that over the first five games," Stafford said. The Lions (1-5) leaned on Stafford's arm and Johnson's ability to get their first win since Dec. 21 at Chicago. They were the NFL's only team without a victory this season.

It helped that Stafford bounced back from being benched for the first time in his career. "When his back is against the wall, he comes out firing," Johnson said. Johnson took advantage of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who called the game from the coaches' box for the first time this year, opting for more deep passes. "We really put some emphasis on that this week," Johnson said.

Stafford finished 27 of 42 for a season-high 405 yards and an interception. Johnson had six receptions for 166 yards - doubling his season high - and scored for the first time since Week 2. It was his 45th career game with at least 100 yards receiving, breaking a fourth-place tie with Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.

The Bears (2-4) had won consecutive games on go-ahead scores in final minute of regulation for first time since 1962, and had chances for another comeback win. They wasted a handful of opportunities inside the Detroit 20, settling for field goals and throwing an interception.

"We've got to get better in the red zone," quarterback Jay Cutler said.

Chicago's Robbie Gould kicked a 29-yard field goal as time expired in regulation. The tying score was set up by Darius Slay getting called for interference after Cutler's 25- and 24-yard passes to Alshon Jeffery. Stafford threw a go-ahead, 6-yard touchdown pass to a leaping Johnson in the end zone with 21 seconds left in the fourth following a penalty. Pernell McPhee was called for roughing the passer, hitting Stafford low when he threw an incomplete pass on third-and-12 from the Bears 12.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell decided on a 32-yard field goal with 2:46 left in regulation instead of going for it on fourth-and-4 from the Bears 13. The drive was extended with a fake punt when Isa Abdul-Quddus took a direct snap and ran for 30 yards to easily convert a fourth-and-2 from the Detroit 32.

Caldwell put faith in his defense and it delivered, holding Chicago to a three-and-out possession and getting the ball back at the Detroit 34 with 2:23 and no timeouts left. Stafford helped Detroit drive for the go-ahead score to Johnson, but its defense could not close it out in regulation.

The Lions turned the ball over for a second time in the second half on punt returns, and Cutler took advantage with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jeffery. Stafford made an ill-advised and errant pass from his 18 that was picked off by linebacker Jonathan Anderson to set up Matt Forte's 2-yard TD midway through the fourth quarter. Forte then caught a 2-point conversion to put Chicago up 31-24.

Cutler finished 26 of 41 for a season-high 353 yards with a TD and an interception. He had three of his top targets - Jeffery, Eddie Royal and Martellus Bennett - in the lineup after each of them was listed as questionable because of injuries. Jeffery, who had been out since Week 1 with a hamstring injury, caught eight passes for 147 yards and a score. "It was good to see him out there," Cutler said. "I thought he played his tail off."

Detroit had a key review go its way. Golden Tate caught a short pass over the middle from Stafford as he crossed the goal line in the final minute of the first half, Chicago's Kyle Fuller pried the ball loose and the Bears intercepted it. The play was changed to a TD after a replay review.

"In this league, you've got to overcome everything, every week," Bears coach John Fox said.

Notes:

Megatron, Stafford power Lions to first victory - NFL.com

1. Matthew Stafford played a fantastic first half after being benched last week, throwing three touchdowns. Finally getting protection, Stafford looked comfortable and at his best playing playground football. For the first time in weeks, he didn't stare at the pass rush and made throws under pressure. The signal-caller began to crumble in the second half as the Lions reverted to their obnoxious horizontal offense, including a horrific flip pass for an interception. Stafford's big throws late in the fourth quarter and on the game-winning drive were reminiscent of his end-game magic from in 2014.

2. The Bears used three second-half turnovers to put up 18 points. Jay Cutler continues to look comfortable in Adam Gase's offense. His mobility in the pocket flashes each week. In Detroit, he alluded multiple rushes for big plays down field. Still, it was a sloppy game for Chicago's offense. Cutler threw a terrible end zone pick and long drives continually stalled in the red zone. Chicago left a ton of points on the field.

3. Lions fans wanted to see Calvin Johnson targeted deep more. They finally got their wish Sunday with Megatron seeing multiple deep shots, including a 57-yarder in overtime to set up the win. There is no excuse for Detroit not to give Johnson chances to make big plays downfield. It was Megatron's first 100-yard game of the season (six catches for 166 yards, TD)

4. Alshon Jeffery's return was huge for Cutler. The big-bodied receiver provided the quarterback a bailout option and a much-needed red zone target. Almost single-handedly, he got the Bears in field-goal range to tie the game at the end of regulation. Jeffery's leaping 11-yard touchdown snag early in the fourth quarter is what Chicago's offense has been missing without the go-to target.

5. Ameer Abdullah ran well early, but left in the second half with a stinger following a fumble. The injury kept him out of the game until overtime. Theo Riddick carried the load in the fourth quarter and overtime. Riddick was elusive out of the backfield and displays good patience setting up blocks in the ground game. He should have a bigger role moving forward, eating heavily into Abdullah's snaps. Zach Zenner left with a chest injury.

6. John Fox and Jim Caldwell played an infuriatingly insufferable game of chicken to see who could coach the most conservative game. The viewers lost. The world deserves better. The world ... deserves better.

7. We still have zero idea what constitutes a catch.

NFC North Standings:

Green Bay (6-0) 1.00

Minnesota (3-2) .600

Chicago (2-4) .333

Detroit (1-5) .167

Lions Injury News:

Jason Jones DE Neck Full Participation in Practice Probable

Brandon Pettigrew TE Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Out

Josh Bynes LB Hip Full Participation in Practice Probable

Tahir Whitehead LB Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable

Calvin Johnson WR Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Probable

Sam Martin P left Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable

James Ihedigbo S Quadricep Full Participation in Practice Probable

Haloti Ngata DT Calf Full Participation in Practice Probable

Golden Tate WR Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Probable

Joique Bell RB Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable

DeAndre Levy LB Hip Did Not Participate In Practice Out

Eric Ebron TE Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable

Theo Riddick RB Groin Limited Participation in Practice Probable

Josh Wilson CB Concussion Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Vikings Injury News:

T.J. Clemmings T Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable

Captain Munnerlyn CB Thumb Full Participation in Practice Probable

Terence Newman CB Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable

Everson Griffen DE Illness Full Participation in Practice Probable

Charles Johnson WR Rib Full Participation in Practice Probable

Matt Asiata RB Rib Full Participation in Practice Probable

Justin Trattou DE Foot Did Not Participate In Practice Out

Adrian Peterson RB Finger Full Participation in Practice Probable

Sharrif Floyd DT Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Out

Jarius Wright WR Hand Full Participation in Practice Probable

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Go Lions... I guess.

34-27 Lions.

Edited by JAYB

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Is it draft pick watch time? Do wins start to become more detrimental for the long-term health of this franchise?

I guess a high draft pick would be nice. I'm more in the mood for a miracle type run.

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I don't root for draft picks.Maybe in week 17

In the new rookie cap era, with teams willing and looking to trade up and get into the top tier of the draft, I am beginning to adopt that mentality. Is it really worth it to see this team finish the season 6-10 or 7-9 and end up picking 10th-13th when they could pick top 5? Picking in the top 5 could give a new GM greater flexibility to trade back and stockpile more picks. The last time they went on a "nice little run" at the end of 2010 they took themselves completely out of the Patrick Petersen race and ended up with Fairley.

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So they aren't dressing Gabe Wright ?...if it isn't an injury situation then I am always dubious of this move ...play him , correct the mistakes and improve , seems their hiding ANOTHER poor draft choice on occasion.

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In the new rookie cap era, with teams willing and looking to trade up and get into the top tier of the draft, I am beginning to adopt that mentality. Is it really worth it to see this team finish the season 6-10 or 7-9 and end up picking 10th-13th when they could pick top 5? Picking in the top 5 could give a new GM greater flexibility to trade back and stockpile more picks. The last time they went on a "nice little run" at the end of 2010 they took themselves completely out of the Patrick Petersen race and ended up with Fairley.

Yes. The Patriots really better take their foot off the gas, too, or they will end up picking at the end of the first round again. There's no way they can stay competitive picking low like that.

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Yes. The Patriots really better take their foot off the gas, too, or they will end up picking at the end of the first round again. There's no way they can stay competitive picking low like that.

Really you're gonna compare the Lions to the Patriots?

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Yes. The Patriots really better take their foot off the gas, too, or they will end up picking at the end of the first round again. There's no way they can stay competitive picking low like that.

Oranges and apples. One is a franchise in-line for another Super Bowl shot and one is a franchise in complete disarray, playing about as bad as you can. Do you really want to see us "go on a run", finish 6-10 or 7-9 and draft 13th?

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Oranges and apples. One is a franchise in-line for another Super Bowl shot and one is a franchise in complete disarray, playing about as bad as you can. Do you really want to see us "go on a run", finish 6-10 or 7-9 and draft 13th?

Yes, I want this team, with these players (especially the young ones on the offensive line) to continue to compete and improve. If this team, with these players, does not continue to compete and improve, it is not going to help them to drop down in the draft from the top 15 to the top five.

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Oranges and apples. One is a franchise in-line for another Super Bowl shot and one is a franchise in complete disarray, playing about as bad as you can. Do you really want to see us "go on a run", finish 6-10 or 7-9 and draft 13th?

The way I read it is that it doesn't matter. Give this front office the top 5 picks for 3 straight seasons and they would be lucky to get 3 All-Pro type players.

Even if by some miracle they picked the proper talent, you would still need someone to develop that talent. It's asking too much from this Bozo organization.

I believe the mention of the Patriots was in jest. Sort of "look, they have poor draft slots every year and they're a contender". Sort of like, it doesn't matter where you pick if you know what you are doing?

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I was yelling at Stafford for not hitting Lance Moore in the flat for the first down, but then he hits CJ for the big gain.

And Theo Riddick finding the open hole!

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Yes, I want this team, with these players (especially the young ones on the offensive line) to continue to compete and improve. If this team, with these players, does not continue to compete and improve, it is not going to help them to drop down in the draft from the top 15 to the top five.

My belief is that a new GM is likely to turn over 50% or more of this roster anyways. Do I want our young guys to show improvements, of course. But those guys showing improvements and the collective team finishing 7-9 are different ballgames.

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My belief is that a new GM is likely to turn over 50% or more of this roster anyways. Do I want our young guys to show improvements, of course. But those guys showing improvements and the collective team finishing 7-9 are different ballgames.

So 50% of the roster stays the same. That part of the roster needs to compete and improve, not to lay down and die, for the hope of getting a slightly higher position in the crap shoot of the draft.

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