Lions' Theo Riddick makes up for early gaffe
London — Lions running back Theo Riddick told Matthew Stafford he'd make up for a second-quarter drop that would've been an easy first down. In the fourth quarter, Riddick made good on his promise, helping carry the Lions to a 22-21 comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
In a game with several highlight plays, Riddick's one-handed catch on the game-winning drive was the most impressive. On an angle route, Riddick juked past linebacker Paul Worrilow and made a one-handed catch with his left arm fully extended.
The play gained 20 yards and moved the Lions to the Atlanta 41 with just less than a minute remaining. The Lions won the game on a 48-yard field goal by Matt Prater eight plays later.
"Before that, he came up to me and was like, 'Hey, I'm going to give the guy a little extra something at the top," Stafford said. "I'm like, all right, here we go, and he made a great play."
Riddick finished the game with a career-high eight catches for 74 yards and three carries for five yards. He also scored on a 5-yard catch with 3:56 left in the fourth quarter that cut the deficit to 21-19, but the Lions missed the two-point try.
Riddick has missed two games with a hamstring injury, but in the two games with Reggie Bush sidelined, he's filled Bush's role well. In a Week 6 win over Minnesota, Riddick had five catches for 75 yards and a touchdown before missing the second half after aggravating his hamstring.
Joique Bell, who had 14 carries for 39 yards and two catches for 22 yards, is the Lions' primary runner, but when Bush returns, the team will likely look for a way to keep Riddick involved on offense.
"You haven't had a chance to see a whole lot of him because he's been sort of injured here and there, but he has got some talent," coach Jim Caldwell said of Riddick. "He is a threat in the pass game, I think as you can see, and also a real threat just in terms of running the ball. He can make you miss."
Tate makes history
In his first season with the Lions, Golden Tate already has done something Calvin Johnson has not. With seven catches Sunday, Tate became just the second player in franchise history with 50-plus catches in the first eight games of a season, joining Herman Moore.
Tate was dynamite again Sunday with seven catches for 151 yards and a touchdown. He already has four 100-yard games this season, more than he had in four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks (three).
"He's just a competitive son of a gun," Stafford said. "And you just trust him. You want to throw him the ball. You feel good about it when you throw it to him."
On the season, Tate has 55 catches for 800 yards, making him nine catches and 98 yards shy of his career highs.
Mum on Mosley
Caldwell declined to provide an explanation for defensive tackle C.J. Mosley's suspension, which the team announced Saturday.
"Violation of team rules," he said. "That's about all I want to go into with that one."
Mosley's suspension is for two weeks, including Sunday's game and the upcoming idle week, meaning he'll be available for Week 10 against the Miami Dolphins.
Multiple players dismissed the possibility that Mosley did something in practice Friday worthy of a suspension.
"We released a statement on it, and it's out there," Caldwell said. "That's what it is, and we're going to leave it at that."
… Johnson, running back Reggie Bush, offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle, quarterback Kellen Moore and tight ends Brandon Pettigrew, Eric Ebron and Joseph Fauria were all inactive.
… Garrett Reynolds started at right tackle for Waddle, and Kellen Davis at tight end for Pettigrew, though the Lions used fullback Jed Collins at the spot, too.
… For the Falcons, starting defensive end Jonathan Babineaux, cornerback Javier Arenas, wide receiver Freddie Martino, linebacker Tyler Starr and offensive tackles Jonathan Scott and Cameron Bradfield were inactive.