LIONS INSIDER

Stafford and Johnson lead Lions to huge second quarter

Posted Nov 17, 2013

Matthew Stafford threw for a franchise-record 327 yards in the first half and Calvin Johnson was on the receiving end of 179 of those

The biggest fear coming into today’s game in Pittsburgh was that the Detroit Lions would come out flat.

Coming off an emotion victory against a division opponent in Chicago last week, and now leading the division this late into the season for the first time since 1999, the recipe was in place for an early letdown.

The Steelers jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first 11 minutes, but the Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson connection in the second quarter brought the Lions back in a big way.

Stafford threw for a franchise-record 327 yards in the first half and Johnson was on the receiving end of 179 of those. It was the most yards Johnson has ever had in a half.

The Lions scored 27 points in the second quarter, which tied a franchise record from first game with the Chicago Bears earlier this year.

Stafford hit Megatron on a 79-yard touchdown after the Steelers had taken a 17-3 lead. The play moved Stafford ahead of Hall of Famer Bobby Layne (15,170) as the team’s all-time-leading passer.

Stafford and Johnson connected again later in the second quarter on a 19-yard strike. That play gave Johnson over 1,000-yards on the season, the fifth time he’s done that in his career.

Stafford finished 16 of 30 passing for 327 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.

Joique Bell’s 2-yard touchdown run with 1:41 left in the first half gave the Lions their first lead of the game at 24-20 and David Akers added a 19-yard field goal right before halftime to increase the lead to 27-20 at the break.

The Lions offense generated 379 yards of total offense in the first half.

They did allow 226 yards of offense for the Steelers, however, which will need to be corrected in the second half.