Whelp, the Detroit Lions falling behind going into the second half came back to bite them this week against the Atlanta Falcons. Despite outscoring the Falcons 10-6 in the second half, the Lions' 17-6 halftime deficit was too much today, as the Lions dropped their second straight game by a score of 23-16.
Of course, the Lions had plenty of opportunities in the second half to take the lead or tie, but too many mistakes down the stretch proved costly.
The Lions started the fourth quarter by going three-and-out on their first two possessions. In between, the Falcons were bailed out on their first possession when Louis Delmas was called for holding, canceling the Falcons' failed fourth and two that would've given the ball back to the Lions down 20-16. Instead, it allowed the Falcons to continue their drive, take time off the clock, and ultimately add three more points.
The Lions' third and final possession of the fourth quarter started on their own 13 yard line. They were moving the ball fairly well, but a holding penalty negated a 17 yard passing play to Tony Scheffler and Nate Burleson dropped a wide open pass on the final set of downs.
Even with the drop and holding penalty, it looked like the Lions were going to have a first down at the Falcons' 26 yard line thanks to a pass interference on the Falcons, but it was reviewed and overturned because the ball was tipped prior to Scheffler being interfered with. By rule, once the ball is tipped, Scheffler is allowed to be hit, so instead of first down at the Falcons' 26, the Lions faced fourth down at the 41 yard line. Not surprisingly, fourth down broke down pretty early, as most of the Lions' offensive plays did today, Stafford scrambled to his left and threw across his body to Brandon Pettigrew, who couldn't coral it in.
To boot, a Falcons defender fell on Stafford's right leg awkwardly and Stafford was seen limping pretty badly off of the field.
The Lions did have a chance to get the ball back with about a minute remaining, but horrible tackling on Jacquizz Rodgers on a third-and-four allowed him to stumble forward for the first down. Matty Ice iced the rest by taking a knee.
The Lions had 263 total yards of offense and were just 1-for-12 on third down conversions. Matthew Stafford was 15-of-32 for 183 yards and a touchdown, good for a 75.4 passing rating. Calvin Johnson had five catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.