The Detroit Lions will leave the Bay Area Sunday evening with an improbable fourth-quarter comeback win over the Oakland Raiders, 28-27 after Calvin Johnson capped off a monster game with a six-yard touchdown with less than a minute to play.
Things didn't look so promising earlier in the second half as the Raiders' defense found something to keep Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford under pressure and Detroit from moving the ball. Then in the fourth quarter it appeared that Oakland defense had put the game away.
Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly grabbed ahold of Stafford at the Detroit 5-yard line then raked the ball out of his hands, leaving it free on the ground for linebacker Aaron Curry to scoop up and run into the end zone to put the Raiders in control 27-15 with just under eight minutes to play.
But the Raiders' aggressive defense seemed to exhale after coming up with the big play, and the Lions quickly responded to remain in the game. Stafford went to work out of the shotgun and directed the down the field on an efficient 11-play, 71-yard scoring drive, hitting receiver Titus Young for a three-yard touchdown to draw within six points with five minutes to play.
The Raiders and Carson Palmere tried to put the game away for good on their next possession. Facing third and three around mid-field, Palmer just missed the knock out punch when his pass to an open Chaz Schillens was slightly overthrown and bounced off the receiver's outstretched hands.
The Raiders were forced to give the Lions another chance to win the game but made things difficult after a Shane Lechler punt pinned the Lions down at the two-yard line. But quarterback Matthew Stafford went to work, leaning on Calvin Johnson to make big plays down the field.
Megatron caught two passes starting with a 21-yard reception to move the Lions out to the 39-yard line. Then Stafford launched a deep ball that Johnson hauled in among Raider defenders for a 48-yard gain to put Detroit in the red zone. Johnson drew a pass interference penalty which moved the ball to the six-yard line then two plays later caught a Stafford rope in the back of the end zone to tie the score.
Jason Hanson tacked on the game-winning PAT which held up after the Raiders scrambled to get Sebastian Janikowski a 65-yard field goal attempt. The kick never had a chance and once again the Lions secured a win to move to 9-5 on the season.
Stafford aired it out in the comeback win, completing 29 of 52 passes for 391 yards while Johnson ended the game with nine receptions for 214 yards and two touchdowns.