LIONS INSIDER

Recap: Lions at Raiders

Posted Aug 15, 2014

The Detroit Lions’ first-team offense provided the punch Friday night in Oakland, but the reserves couldn't keep the lead in a 27-26 loss in Oakland.

WHAT HAPPENED: The Detroit Lions’ first-team offense provided the punch Friday night in Oakland, but the reserves couldn't keep the lead in a 27-26 loss in Oakland.

The Raiders scored on a 19-yard touchdown from Matt McGloin to Brice Butler with six seconds left to win.

The Lions gave up a 23-10 lead, but the positive to take from this one from Detroit's perspective is how the first and second teams built the lead.

After going 60 plays before scoring a touchdown last week vs. Cleveland, a James Ihedigbo interception provided the early opportunity for Matthew Stafford to make a much earlier splash this week.

Two plays after the interception, Stafford found Golden Tate for a 28-yard touchdown on a beautiful pump and pass play.

Matthew StaffordQB Matthew Stafford (Photo: Gavin Smith)

The defense then came out and forced a three-and-out on the next Raider possession. Stafford followed up with an 11-play, 58-yard drive that culminated with a 4-yard touchdown pass to receiver Kris Durham.

The Lions were quickly up 13-0 (Nate Freese missed an extra point after the Tate touchdown) but couldn't make enough plays the rest of the way to preserve the win.

“They’ve been working,” head coach Jim Caldwell told WXYZ at halftime of the first team offense’s performance.  

“They’ve been working hard at it and I think it shows. Matthew (Stafford) threw the ball around well. He did a good job mixing things up, getting us into the right run looks and things of that nature. But you know, we still have a long way to go.”

Backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky relieved Stafford in the second quarter and led two scoring drives of his own, including an eight-play 83-yard drive in the third quarter that extended their lead to 23-10 on a George Winn 1-yard score.

Orlovsky’s night finished after he completed 8-of-12 passes for 153 yards with a passer rating of 109.7.

WHAT DIDN’T HAPPEN: The Lions special teams didn’t play well.

It started with a Nate Freese missed extra point following the Tate touchdown. The NFL has pushed the extra points back to a distance of 33 yards the first two weeks of the preseason as a test to see if they’ll be a more competitive play. There have been a number of misses from that distance so far and Freese, the Lions seventh-round draft pick, added his name to the list.

It got worse for the Lions special teams early in the second quarter with a too-many-men-on-the-field penalty on a 4th and 1 field goal attempt by Oakland that gave the Raiders a first down. It turned what would have been a 56-yard field goal into a touchdown eight plays later.

It was more of the same in the third quarter when a 50-yard Raiders punt return set up a field goal.

CRITICAL MOMENT: With the Lions clinging on to a 26-20 lead with just 15 seconds left on the clock, Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin found receiver Brice Butler for a 19-yard touchdown with just five seconds left in the game.

The main culprit on the play for the Lions was their inability to create pressure. McGloin had all day to throw.

KEY STAT: Stafford’s 142.9 passer rating.

Stafford was sharp in his three series of work.

He led two touchdown drives and finished 9-of-10 passing for 88 yards with two touchdown passes and no interceptions for that final passer rating of 142.9.

He connected with Golden Tate for a 28-yard touchdown on the first offensive series of the game after a James Ihedigbo interception set the offense up at the Oakland 36-yard line.

His second touchdown was a 4-yarder to Kris Durham after an 11-play, 58-yard drive.


KEY STAT NO. 2: The Lions were penalized just five times for 32 yards last year vs. Cleveland.

Friday night in Oakland that number increased to 11 for 74 yards.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Matthew Stafford

He looked like he had total command of the offense all night. He was decisive with the football and extremely accurate in all three series.

His touchdown pass to Tate was especially nice. He pumped Tate open on a double move and dropped one right in there.

His one incompletion of the night was a screen pass to Reggie Bush that went off his hands.