It was hardly what head coach Jim Schwartz envisioned entering the weekend, but the Detroit Lions still managed to pull out a thrilling late-second victory over St. Louis on Sunday afternoon, 27-23.
After surrendering a field goal that gave the Rams a 23-20 lead with 1:55 remaining, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford led a once-sputtering offense down the field to keep the team's chances alive. Instead of playing conservatively to set up a game-tying field goal, however, Stafford looked to the air and found tailback Kevin Smith on a wide open 5-yard swing pass to snatch the lead with just 10 seconds left.
With a fast track on the majority of carries while second-year back Mikel Leshoure is suspended, Smith recorded 62 yards on 13 carries with a rushing score to go with his game-winning catch. Star wideout Calvin Johnson was unable to find the endzone despite being targeted for much of the afternoon, but did manage to tally six receptions for 111 yards.
Likely to focus significantly on their turnover issues at practice in the coming days, Stafford and the Lions will face off against the San Francisco 49ers on the road in a pivotal game next Sunday.