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Lions win third straight game, beat Eagles, 45-14

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News

Lions win third straight game, beat Eagles, 45-14

 On a day when Matthew Stafford and Ziggy Ansah celebrated with particularly exceptional performances, the Lions won their yearly Thanksgiving contest, destroying the Eagles, 45-14, at Ford Field.

Stafford had five touchdown passes and threw for 337 yards. Three of his TD passes were grabbed by Calvin Johnson.

Ansah had a sack-happy day against the Eagles and quarterback Mark Sanchez. The Eagles scored early and late, but the Lions had six consecutive scoring possessions that put away Thursday's game and socked the Eagles with their second consecutive game in which they allowed 45 points.

Eagles not quite finished -- late TD makes it 45-14

A day with few pleasing moments at least gave way to a late touchdown for the beleaguered Eagles in their Thanksgiving sit-down with the Lions at Ford Field.

Mark Sanchez threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Matthews, with 2:56 to play, which cut Detroit's lead over Philadelphia to a still-lopsided 45-14.

Matthew Stafford has had a remarkable day for the Lions, throwing for 337 yards and five touchdowns. His passer rating for the day: 137.8.

No mercy -- Lions lead Eagles, 45-7, early in fourth

No one seemed to know what the Eagles did to turn the Lions into a vengeful, merciless group, but the punishment continued at Ford Field as the Lions took a 45-7 lead over Philadelphia with 10:42 to play.

As has been their habit on a merry Thanksgiving day for the Lions, they scored in a blur, going 75 yards on six plays for their latest touchdown, which came on a 1-yard dive by Joique Bell. Matthew Stafford's 39-yard screen pass to Bell had come within a yard of the TD Bell scored on the next play.

Lions lead, 38-7, heading into fourth -- after finally being stopped

Sam Martin was feeling all but ignored. And then the Lions, after scoring on six consecutive drives, bogged down in the waning seconds of the third quarter, necessitating Martin's second punt of the day, and first since Detroit's opening drive.

The Lions danced into the final quarter with a 38-7 lead behind five touchdown passes from Matthew Stafford.

Ziggy Ansah continued with an amazing day, stringing together a series of sacks against Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Calvin Johnson caught three of Stafford's five TD passes.

Ngata sack, Ziggy Ansah fumble recovery, sets up 38-7 Lions lead

The Lions threatened to make greater Philadelphia's Thanksgiving anything but pleasant as they added another Matthew Stafford touchdown pass to Thursday's drubbing at Ford Field, good for a 38-7 Lions lead with 5:05 to play in the third quarter.

Stafford threw his fifth scoring pass of the day, and third to Calvin Johnson, a three-yarder that followed a turnover spurred by Lions defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

Ngata sacked Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez, stripping the ball in the process for a fumble that was snagged by Ziggy Ansah at the Eagles 14.

Stafford missed on a pass to Johnson the Lions thought should have been interference in the end zone. But he followed up with another strike to Johnson, this one a bullet that added more luster to Detroit's Thanksgiving virtuoso and threatened to turn the Eagles' day into a disgrace.

Stafford and Calvin Johnson make it 24-7, Lions, at the half

Thanksgiving threatened to become Thankstaking from the Eagles after the Lions stormed to a 24-7 lead when Matthew Stafford floated a lovely 17-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson with 12 seconds to play in the first half.

The play came on third-and-17 from Philadelphia's 25.

Johnson had been dealing with too much Eagles defensive congestion early, but Stafford found him four times on an 88-yard drive that required only 11 plays.

The Lions had started from their own 12, with nearly five minutes to play in the half. But with Stafford hitting Johnson, Eric Ebron (twice), and with Theo Riddick helping out, Stafford pushed the Lions quickly downfield. The only mishap was a sack that left him and the Lions with their third-and-17. But after a timeout, Stafford was able to lift a jewel of a pass that Johnson caught over his shoulder in the end zone's left corner.

Matt Prater good from 48 yards, Lions pump lead over Eagles to 17-7

Although it didn't overly console Golden Tate, who dropped a first-down pass along the way, the Lions zoomed to a 17-7 lead over the Eagles with 4:59 to play in the second quarter of their Thanksgiving tussle at Ford Field.

Matt Prater drilled a 48-yard field goal to put the lid on a short drive that had begun after the Eagles, punting deep in their end, set up the Lions at Detroit's 45.

On the drive, Stafford finally was able to slip a pass to Calvin Johnson, a 19-yard hook-up for Johnson's first reception of the day.

Stafford shines and Lions back on top, 14-7, on TD pass to Golden Tate

Matthew Stafford's scrambling first down from Detroit's 29 got the Lions all the push needed for an 80-yard drive and a lead in Thursday's Thanksgiving game at Ford Field.

Detroit's drive was wrapped when Stafford hit Golden Tate on a 2-yard touchdown pass that put the Lions back on top, 14-7, lead with 7:53 to play.

An 80-yard drive was helped by an 18-yard pass from Stafford to Joique Bell, and a 14-yard pass to Lance Moore. Theo Riddick also chipped in with an 11-yard run.

Eagles tie it, 7-7, on first play of second quarter, Sanchez to Celek 

The Eagles and Mark Sanchez decided Detroit's early lead Thursday would be a brief one.

On the ensuing series after Matthew Stafford had thrown a touchdown pass to Theo Riddick, Sanchez helped stitch together a wickedly quick, seven-play, 80-yard drive ending on a two-yard TD pass to former Michigan State tight end Brent Celek.

The tying touchdown came on the second play of the second quarter at Ford Field.

Stafford to Riddick gives Lions early 7-0 lead

Ameer Abdullah got it going with a 23-yard run, and Theo Riddick finished a 65-yard Lions drive with a nifty out-in pattern that set up an 8-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford as the Lions took a 7-0 lead over the Eagles with 2:10 to play in the first quarter at Ford Field.

Riddick also caught a 27-yard pass from Stafford on the Lions' second possession of the day. Riddick's grabs, as well as three from Golden Tate, helped offset a badly dropped pass by Brandon Pettigrew that wrecked an even more rapid TD drive.

Lions hold, earn missed field goal attempt by Eagles on opening drive

Just when it looked as if the Eagles would take a quick lead in Thursday's Thanksgiving duel at Ford Field, Caleb Sturgis' 50-yard field goal attempt kicked safely from the right upright and ended what had been a steady Eagles drive following Thursday's kickoff.

The Eagles had strung together a series of third-down passes from Philadelphia quarterback Mark Sanchez to move to the Lions 24. But a face-mask penalty dropped them to the 39, and on third-and-22, the best Sanchez could do was flip a pass to Darren Sproles for a small gain.

The Lions got the ball at their 25 for their opening shot against the Eagles defense, but it was a fast three-and-out for Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense.

Fans blend parade and game in downtown Detroit

It was an interesting, if hardly unprecedented, set of logistics in the heart of Detroit today, all because of two traditions unique to Detroit:

The Lions and the Thanksgiving Parade made for a whirl of pedestrian traffic in the blocks alongside and surrounding Woodward Avenue and Ford Field.

The Lions play the Eagles at 12:30 p.m. in the latest rendition of a NFL habit that's nearly 80 years old.

Fans crossing Woodward to arrive at Ford Field tended to enjoy the delays as bands and floats passed, giving way at designated interludes, to mass scurrying across Woodward and to Ford Field for a game the Lions and their followers hoped would become Detroit's third consecutive victory.