Lions beat Buccaneers with five takeaways
The Lions kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 24-21 victory at Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon.
Detroit (7-6) entered the fourth quarter with a 14-point lead, but two quick Buccaneers (4-9) touchdown drives tied the game. Matt Prater drilled a 46-yard field goal with 20 seconds left to get the Lions back on the winning side.
The game was marred by several turnovers, the Lions forcing five takeaways but handing it back themselves three times.
Matt Stafford was impressive with bruised fingers on his throwing hand, going 36-for-44 with 381 yards. Two interceptions blemished his otherwise-stellar day.
Even with the lead for most of the game, Detroit abandoned running the ball. It only attempted 18 carries for 53 yards.
A playoff berth would still be unlikely, but it's possible at this point.
The Lions host the Bears on Saturday at 4:30.
Lions survive in Tampa, win 24-21
Tampa Bay started on its 25 with 15 seconds left. Winston was sacked to end the game.
Prater drills 46-yarder, Lions up 24-21
Ebron caught a nine-yard pass then Riddick caught a screen and eluded several defenders to get to midfield at the two-minute warning. Riddick ran for a two-yard gain. From Tampa Bay's 49, Stafford found Tate over the middle. On third and two, Golladay caught a ball on the left for a first down with 50 seconds left. Tate caught a receiver screen for a loss with 43 seconds left. From Tampa Bay's 36, Lang was flagged for a false start, pushing the Lions back to Tampa Bay's 41. Tate made a catch over the middle and ran to Tampa Bay's 29. On third and one with 34 seconds left, Zenner ran for a loss. Prater drilled the 46-yard field goal to give the Lions a 24-21 lead with 20 seconds left.
Lions force crucial three and out
After a Tampa Bay false start, Brate caught a short pass and Barber ran for the first down. From Tampa Bay's 32, Sims ran for a short gain. Winston scrambled to his right and threw it away. Sims dropped a screen pass, and Tampa Bay punted to Detroit's 20. 2:54 left, still 21-21.
Buccaneer ball, 21-21 in fourth quarter
The Lions started on their 26. Tate made a catch and ran to midfield. Beckwith knocked away a Stafford pass. On second and 10, D.J. Jones caught a short pass. From Tampa Bay's 44, Stafford found Riddick for a first down. Riddick ran for a short loss. On second and 13, Stafford fired downfield, but it fell incomplete. From Tampa Bay's 42, Ebron couldn't reel in a pass, and the Lions punted to Tampa Bay's 15. 4:49 left, 21-21.
21-21, 8:05 left
Winston hit Humphries for a nine-yard gain. On second and one, Sims gained the first down on a short run. From Tampa Bay's 42, Winston threw long incomplete. On second and 10, Winston's pass intended for Evans was again incomplete. Winston threw long for Evans, and the Lions were flagged for pass interference, giving Tampa Bay the ball on Detroit's 18. Barber broke free to get down to Detroit's two. On first and goal, Winston found Wester wide open for the score. Tie game, 8:05 left in the fourth quarter.
Lions punt in fourth quarter, 21-14
The Lions started on their 20. Golladay gained nine yards on an end-around and Green picked up the first down on a short run. From Detroit's 32, Riddick dropped a pass. On second down, Ebron caught a short pass. Tate caught a pass and ran for a first down, but the Lions were flagged for holding, making it third and 19 from Detroit's 22. Stafford scrambled to his right and hit Ebron for a short gain, and the Lions punted to Tampa Bay's 27. Still 21-14 in the fourth quarter.
Buccaneers answer back, down 21-14
Barber carried it to Detroit's two. On second and goal, Barber was stopped at the line of scrimmage. On third and goal, Winston found Howard for the score. 21-14 Lions with 13:41 left in the fourth quarter.
End third quarter, 21-7 Lions
Winston's pass was nearly intercepted but was ruled incomplete. From Tampa Bay's 25, Barber caught a short screen pass. On third and five, Winston scrambled to his right and found his tight end for a first down. From Tampa Bay's 36, Jackson took an end-around to Detroit's 41. After a short Barber gain, Godwin caught a pass to the left for a first down to Detroit's 20. Winston scrambled to his right for a first down at Detroit's seven. End third quarter, 21-7 Lions.
Lions cash in on turnover, 21-7
Godwin caught a wide receiver screen for a first down. After a short Barber run, Jackson caught another screen for a first down. From Tampa Bay's 43, Winston hit Godwin over the middle for a first down. After a two-yard gain, Winston dropped back and was stripped with Detroit recovering the fumble for its fifth takeaway of the day. After a short loss, Riddick gained a few yards up the middle. Stafford threw a pass that was deflected at the line but caught by Marvin Jones for a first down. From Tampa Bay's 44, Tate caught a pass to the 33. Stafford rolled to his right and threw it away, but Russell was called for a late hit, giving the Lions a first down on Tampa Bay's 18. Riddick broke several tackles on a run to the left and scored. 21-7 Lions with 3:11 left in the third quarter.
Penalty forces Lions punt
Riddick was knocked down for a loss. From Detroit's 44, Stafford hit Marvin Jones for an eight-yard gain. On third and five, the Lions were flagged for holding. On third and 15, Tate caught a pass for a short gain, and the Lions punted to Tampa Bay's 20. Still 14-7 Lions in the third quarter.
Lions take it away for fourth time
The Buccaneers were flagged for holding, so they started from their 11. Howard caught a screen and ran for a first down. Barber ran to Tampa Bay's 29. On second and three Barber ran for the first down. From Tampa Bay's 32, Winston threw long and the ball was almost intercepted. On second and 10, Winston hit Jackson on the right for a first down. After a four-yard Barber run, Winston threw over the middle, and the ball was intercepted by Diggs. 14-7 Lions with 11:46 left in the third quarter.
Halftime, 14-7 Lions over Buccaneers
After a few short gains, Winston's pass fell incomplete. On third and five from Tampa Bay's 40-yard line, a Buccaneer offensive lineman was flagged for illegal hands to the face. With 53 seconds left in the half from Tampa Bay's 30, Winston was sacked by Hayden, and the Buccaneers punted to Detroit's 40. With 36 seconds left, Stafford hit D.J. Jones over the middle for nine yards and the Lions took a timeout. On second down Stafford found Ebron on the left, and Ebron got out of bounds. With 25 seconds left from Tampa Bay's 41, Stafford hit Riddick over the middle for a first down with 19 seconds left, and the Lions took their last timeout. From Tampa Bay's 30, Stafford's pass was intercepted by McClain with 12 seconds left in the second quarter. Winston downed the ball to end the half, 14-7 Lions.
Stafford intercepted, still 14-7 Lions
Roberts caught a short pass. On second and three from Detroit's 31-yard line, Stafford hit Tate over the middle near midfield. Green ran for a short gain to Tampa Bay's 49-yard line. On second and seven, a long Stafford pass was picked off by Grimes with 1:51 left in the second quarter, 14-7 Lions.
Quin forces fumble, Lions' ball
The Buccaneers started on their 19, then Martin caught a pass and ran for the first down. After a short Martin run, Winston hit Godwin over the middle for an 18-yard gain. From Detroit's 49 yard-line, Winston overthrew Martin for an incompletion, then Winston found Martino for a 19-yard gain. From Detroit's 32 yard-line, Martin gained seven yards on a physical run. Martin then ran for two yards up the middle. On third and one, Martin ran to the left and Quin knocked the ball loose with the Lions recovering the fumble. Lions ball, up 14-7 in the second quarter.
Tate touchdown, 14-7 Lions, second quarter
After two short Green runs, Stafford hit Ebron on a crossing route for the first down. From Tampa Bay's 34, Riddick caught a screen and lost yards. Tate was flagged for holding on the play. From Tampa Bay's 43, Riddick couldn't reel in a Stafford pass. On second and 20, Marvin Jones caught a deep ball and was tackled at Tampa Bay's five-yard line. Tate then caught a touchdown pass, 14-7 Lions in the second quarter.
Lions ball after interception, game tied
After a penalty, Stafford found Riddick for a short gain. After a holding penalty, Ebron caught a short pass. On third and 13, Stafford threw incomplete and the Lions punted. Barber ran for a short gain, then a first down to Tampa Bay's 32 yard-line. Barber ran for one yard, then Winston threw to the right, and the ball was intercepted by Slay.
End first quarter, 7-7
Ebron caught a pass and then immediately coughed it up with the Buccaneers recovering. Winston hit Jackson for a catch near Detroit's 40. On first down, Howard caught a pass, took a big hit from Diggs and fumbled with the Lions recovering. From Detroit's 18, Jones caught a screen for a first down. Roberts then caught a pass for a short gain. Golladay ran to Detroit's 35-yard line. The Buccaneers were flagged for a hold, giving the Lions the ball at their 39. Ebron caught a 21-yard pass for a first down in Tampa Bay territory. End first quarter, 7-7.
Martin scores, tie game, first quarter
Tampa Bay started on its own 25 after a touchback. Jackson caught a six-yard pass. Winston threw deep incomplete. On third and four, Winston hit Evans for the first down near midfield. After a short Martin run, Winston found Evans over the middle for a first down. From Detroit's 41, Winston hit Howard for a first down. From Detroit's 20, Martin ran for a three-yard gain, then caught a pass for a first down. Inside Detroit's five, Winston threw incomplete. On second down, Martin ran to Detroit's one-yard line, then scored. 7-7 in the first quarter with 2:51 left.
Riddick punches it in, 7-0 Lions
Riddick gained four yards on first down, then two. On third down, Stafford hit Riddick who ran to Tampa Bay's 40 for a first down. Ebron gained six with a reception, then got a first down, Lions upping the tempo. Fells gained 23, putting the Lions inside Tampa Bay's five-yard line. Riddick punched it in for the touchdown. 7-0 Lions, 8:05 left in the first quarter.
Teams trade 3 and outs
The Lions started at the 20-yard line. After a 0-yard Riddick run, Stafford hit Golloday for a nine-yard gain to the left. Green was stuffed for no gain on third down. Sam Martin punted to Tampa Bay's 20-yard line. Doug Martin gained five yards on first down, then two. On third down, Winston threw to Sims for no gain. Tampa Bay punted to Detroit's 25. Still 0-0 in the first quarter.
Big game for Lions
It's now or never time for the Detroit Lions.
With their playoff prospects quickly fading, the Lions desperately need to run the table to have any chance of grabbing a wild-card spot.
Will today be the beginning of a hot streak or the end of any postseason dreams?
Follow along here for live updates as the Detroit Lions take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from Eric Coughlin of The Detroit News.
LIONS AT BUCCANEERS
Kickoff: 1 p.m. Sunday, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Records: Lions 6-6, Buccaneers 4-8
Series: Lions lead 30-27 (Last: Lions 34, Buccaneers 17, Dec. 7, 2014)