What happened: Matt Prater went from villain to hero in a little over four minutes in Detroit's 39-35 win in Indianapolis Sunday.
His extra point miss after the Lions went up 34-28 with just over four minutes left in the game gave Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri the opportunity to go 75 yards down the field in eight plays to score a touchdown with just 37 seconds left. Vinatieri's extra point made it 35-34 Colts.
But 37 seconds and three timeouts proved too much time for Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and Co.
In just five plays, Stafford navigated the Lions 50 yards down the field and into field goal range for a Prater redemption shot.
He wouldn't miss a second time.
Prater nailed it from 43 yards and the Lions tacked on a safety on the ensuing kickoff to win a huge game on the road to open their season.
No worries: It took a little under five minutes for the Lions offense to shed any concerns that might have lingered from a preseason performance that saw the first teamers fail to score a touchdown in nine possessions.
Detroit took its opening drive 80 yards on nine plays, capped off by a Theo Riddick 21-yard run.
Dwayne Washington, Eric Ebron, Ameer Abdullah and another Riddick touchdown (13-yard reception) totaled five touchdowns on the day for the offense.
QB Comparison: Both quarterbacks were crisp.
Stafford led the Lions on six scoring drives and finished 31-of-39 passing for 332 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. That makes 17 straight games where Stafford completed more than 60 percent of his passes (79 percent). His passer rating was 128.6.
Luck was brilliant as well. He completed 31 of his 47 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. His passer rating was 119.5.
Stat of the game: Stafford played the best 8-game stretch of his career to finish last season, scoring a passer rating of better than 110 over that stretch. He's continued right where he left off with Sunday's 128.6 rating. He and Jim Bob Cooter look to be very in sync.
Rookie watch: Washington, the rookie seventh-round pick out of the University of Washington, was the third running back for the Lions Sunday as their power back. He scored his first career touchdown on a 1-yard run in the second quarter.
Taylor Decker had a terrific debut at left tackle against a tough draw in eventual Hall of Fame candidate Robert Mathis. Decker kept Stafford clean and helped pave the way for 448 total yards of offense, including 118 on the ground. He did have one false start penalty.
Play of the game: The Lions missed Ebron during the preseason and he showed why late in the second quarter. He made a terrific diving catch along the sideline on 3rd and 10 and then made a terrific catch on a 6-yard scoring strike from Stafford late in the second half.
On the touchdown, Ebron beat the linebacker to the outside and withstood a big hit after catching the ball. Those were back-to-back catches that showed both his athleticism and toughness.
Game ball: Two days after signing a lucrative contract extension, running back Theo Riddick proved he was worth every penny. He scored the first and last touchdowns for the Lions and finished with 45 rushing yards on seven carries (6.4 average) and caught five passes for 63 more yards.