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Lions-Falcons updates: Prater's last-second FG wins it

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
  • Lions at Falcons
  • When%3A 9%3A30 a.m. Sunday
  • Where%3A Wembley Stadium%2C London %28Falcons designated as home team%29
  • TV/radio%3A Fox/97.1

The Lions are in London to face the Atlanta Falcons. Follow the action here with live updates from Rod Beard.

Prater's FG wins it for Lions, 22-21

After the Lions' frantic drive in the final two minutes, Matt Prater had a 43-yard field-goal try to win in, but missed wide right. But a delay-of-game penalty negated the kick and Prater got another try from 48 yards. He made that one and the Lions took an improbable 22-21 win over the Falcons at Wembley Stadium in London, overcoming a 21-0 first-half deficit.

Matthew Stafford engineered the winning drive in the final two minutes after the Falcons had some questionable play calls and gave the Lions a chance with a penalty and a dropped pass on third down that stopped the clock.

Starting at their 7-yard line, the Lions moved the ball quickly, on a 32-yard pass play from Stafford to Golden Tate. Then Stafford found Theo Riddick for a one-handed grab, getting to the Falcons' 41. Another completion to Jeremy Ross put the Lions in Prater's field-goal range.

Tate finished with seven catches for 151 yards and a touchdown and Stafford 24-for-47 for 325 yards and two touchdowns.

The Lions improved to 6-2 heading into the bye week; the Falcons dropped their fifth straight, falling, to 2-6.

Riddick's TD cuts deficit to 21-19

The Lions got the touchdown they needed but couldn't make the two-point conversion to tie it. Stafford found Riddick on a screen pass but on the conversion play, Tate went on an out pattern and appeared to be held but the officials didn't throw a flag. It's not clear whether Tate would have made it into the end zone had he caught it, but the score brought the Lions ever closer, needing another defensive stop to give the offense the ball back for a potential winning field goal.

Defense stepping up in second half

After giving up touchdowns on three of the first four drives in the first half, the Lions defense has stiffened, keeping the Falcons off the scoreboard since, and giving the offense a chance to come back -- with two field goals and a touchdown -- to make a game of what appeared to be a laugher.

The defense has put more pressure on Matt Ryan and kept the Falcons on their side of the field.

Vaughn's pick sets up another Lions FG

The Lions defensive pressure is starting to get to the Falcons, as the rush forced Matt Ryan to make an ill-advised pass and Cassius Vaughn intercepted the ball and returned it 43 yards to set the Lions up in scoring range inside the Atlanta 10. It's a big turn for the Lions, who caused a fumble just before on a catch by Roddy White, but White was able to recover it.

But the Lions against were stalled inside the red zone and cut the lead to 21-13 with plenty of time left. The Lions will need to continue to pressure Ryan to give more chances to score.

Stafford finds Tate for record TD, 21-10 deficit

After the Lions' field goal, the defense held the Falcons to a three-and-out and got good field position after a poor punt. But back-to-back penalties on Garrett Reynolds, who is a starting for LaAdrian Waddle, pushed the Lions back. On a third-down play, Stafford tossed a heave to Golden Tate in the end zone for a 59-yard touchdown pass, cutting the lead to 21-10.

The Lions got back into it with the desperation pass from Stafford, with an excellent throw that found Tate open for the catch. It gave the Lions a boost, but the defense will need to continue to get stops and give the offense a chance.

More than that ,it broke a record for the Lions, with Stafford's 119th career touchdown pass, breaking Bobby Layne's franchise record.

Lions settle for FG, trail, 21-3

After an impressive drive, with a couple good catches from Golden Tate and Ryan Broyles, the Lions got inside the 5-yard line but had to settle for a field goal, their first points of the game. The Falcons have dominated offensively but the defense came up with a good defensive play, with a rusher getting to Stafford and hitting his arm during a third-down throw, causing an incomplete pass.

The Lions likely will need a turnover -- much like the Rashean Mathis 103-yard interception return that was negated because of a penalty -- in order to stay in the game and stop the Falcons offense.

Falcons lead, 21-0, at halftime

The Lions were knocking on the door and looking to get on the scoreboard, but Matthew Stafford t

Fairley hurts right kneehrew an interception and ended their most promising drive. The offense that is missing so many of its skill players is having trouble clicking with Golden Tate and Theo Riddick getting most of the looks. But Stafford is not sharp in his passing, putting balls either too low or too high and the running game has just 18 yards, with Stafford leading the charge with 10 yards.

Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley is out for the remainder of the game after suffering a knee injury in the second quarter. On a third-down play, Fairley hurt his right knee while rushing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Fairley collided with Ndamukong Suh, who was coming from the other side, and the contact pushed Fairley back, twisting his right knee awkwardly. Fairley was on the ground for a couple minutes while he was examined by medical staff. He got up and walked back to the sidelines with some assistance.

Fairley was later ruled out for the rest of the game after he was on the sideline with a towel over his head after the knee had further examination. It's a big blow for the Lions, who already are without C.J. Mosley, who was suspended and sent home from London after violating team rules.

Fairley was carted off the sidelines with the right knee iced and wrapped. Rookie Caraun Reid is likely to see considerable more time with both Fairley and Mosley out.

Atlantakeeps rolling behind Jackson

The Falcons offense continued to dominate, getting its third touchdown in four drives, taking a 21-0 lead in the second quarter. Steven Jackson crossed the 11,000-yard mark -- the 19th runner to reach that feat -- and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run on third down. The Lions defense has been unable to stop the passing game and the Falcons are doing a good job with their running backs out of the backfield, as Matt Ryan has found seven different receivers in the first couple drives to keep the Lions off balance.

Falcons add another score behind Ryan

On their second possession, the Falcons pushed the lead to 14-0, with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Bear Pascoe. The Lions are biting on play-action fakes and giving Ryan lots of time to throw. Their run game isn't great, but they have been able to get screen passes for big gains. A pass-interference penalty helped the Falcons get down to the goal line and they scored their second touchdown of the first quarter, after the Lions hadn't allowed a first-quarter TD this season.

First drive comes up empty

The Lions were unable to get anything going on their first drive, pushed back after a holding penalty and punting to the Falcons' Devin Hester, who gave them a nice return to the 44. Without their full complement of offensive targets, the Lions looked to have a tough time m

oving the ball.

Falcons drive, take early 7-0 lead

The Falcons offense didn't have any trouble driving down the field on the opening drive and getting into the end zone, with a pass by Devonta Freeeman from Matt Ryan. They were able to run and pass effectively, with not much pressure getting to Ryan. The Lions have one of the best defenses in terms of scoring and yards, but didn't get close to Ryan or cause to make a bad throw. That's a bad sign, given that was one perceived advantage the Lions had, with the Falcons' offensive line not looking like it could measure up. On that first drive, they did.

Morning coffee and kickoff

A friend joked that church attendance in the Detroit area would be down this week unless Lions fans went to early services. While many football fans have been looking forward to this Lions-Falcons matchup since the schedule was released, it doesn't have the same appeal as the beginning of the season, because the Lions offense isn't quite what anyone expected. Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush both are out because of ankle injuries and the starting tight end is former MSU player Kellen Davis, who was signed on Monday.

The Lions running game has been one of the worst in the league through seven games and Matthew Stafford hasn't had a big game yet. But still, the Lions are 5-2 and the Falcons are 2-5. The Falcons were seen as a contender in the NFC, while the Lions were billed to be an also-ran. The roles have switched, but it's a big game for both teams going into their bye weeks.

The Fox NFL broadcast noted that this is the earliest NFL kickoff ever, at 9:30 Eastern Time. This makes a unique experience with NFL fans eating breakfast while watching a game -- if they're not at church.

Lions receiver Golden Tate, left, celebrates scoring a touchdown in the third quarter with receiver Jeremy Ross on Sunday.