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STATS PACK: A look at the Lions' late-game success

This week's Stats Pack digs a little deeper into Detroit's late-game heroics in their seven victories this season, showing how all three phases have played a hand in those wins.

Let's start with the defense.

The Lions lead the NFL with four interceptions in the last two minutes of games. Atlanta and Los Angeles are second with three.

  • Darius Slay intercepts Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz with 1:28 left in the game at the Detroit 34-yard line. Three Matthew Stafford kneel-downs after the INT end the game.
  • Rafael Bush intercepts Rams quarterback Case Keenum with 1:09 left at the Detroit 45-yard line. Two Stafford kneel-downs end the game.
  • Tavon Wilson intercepts Jags quarterback Blake Bortles with eight seconds left at the Jacksonville 40-yard line. One Stafford kneel-down ends the game.
  • Slay intercepts Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford with 38 seconds left at the Minnesota 33-yard line, setting up the game-winning 40-yard FG by Matt Prater

Up next is special teams.

Prater has made six game-tying/game-winning field goals in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime, which leads the NFL, according to STATS, INC.

Kansas City kicker Cairo Santos is second with three.

The six by Prater is the most in the NFL since 2011, when Prater had seven as a member of the Denver Broncos.

  • 43 yards with four seconds left to give the Lions a 37-35 lead over the Colts.
  • 29 yards with 1:28 remaining to give Detroit a 24-23 lead over the Eagles.
  • 34 yards with 1:29 left to give Detroit a 31-28 advantage over the Rams.
  • 58 yards with two seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 16-16 and force overtime in Minnesota.
  • 48 yards with 1:49 remaining to tie the game at 13-13 vs. the Vikings in Detroit.
  • 40 yards with just four seconds left in regulation to give Detroit a 16-13 win over the Vikings at home on Thanksgiving.

Prater has made 11 field goals when the Lions have trailed this season, second most in the NFL.

What about the offense?

Stafford has seven fourth quarter comeback wins under his belt this year, and has thrown two game-winning touchdown passes in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or in overtime.

  • An 18-yard touchdown to Anquan Boldin with 16 seconds left that gave Detroit a 19-17 lead over Washington (Prater added the extra point to make in 20-17).
  • A 28-yard touchdown to Golden Tate in overtime in Minnesota that secured a 22-16 win for the Lions on the road.

Stafford is the only quarterback in NFL history to lead his team on seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in the team's first 11 games of the season.

Since 2008, eight NFL teams have trailed in the fourth quarter in each of their first 11 games of a season, per ESPN Stats and Info. The other seven teams were 4-73 (.052) through 11 games. The Lions are 7-4 (.636).

Here's a look at some other key stats – good and bad – after 12 weeks of football:

  • Detroit has now held opponents to 20 points or less in five consecutive games. It's the first five-game streak for Detroit since the end of the 1991 season.
  • Sam Martin has a net punting average of 45.4 through the first 12 weeks of the season, which is the highest by a punter through 12 weeks since 1992.
  • The Lions have gone three-and-out on offense on 25 percent of their drives this season, which ranks 28th in the NFL.
  • Don Muhlbach snapped the ball on Prater's game-winning field goal on Thanksgiving, which was the 300th successful field goal he's snapped in his career.
  • Detroit's offense ranks first in the NFL in converting on 3rd and 10 or longer. They've recorded a first down 34.9 percent of the time in those situations. The league average is 20.8 percent.
  • Anquan Boldin's 1-yard touchdown catch against the Vikings was the 80th of his career. He became the 26th player in NFL history to reach 80 career touchdowns.
  • It's not surprising with all the close games the Lions have played that their margin of victory this year is just 3.86 points. The league average is 9.55. Detroit's average margin of defeat is 4.5 points, second lowest in the NFL (Dallas 1.0).
  • Detroit's had the fewest offensive possessions of any team in the NFL this season (106).
  • The Lions' defense ranks third in the NFL allowing just 34 plays of 20-plus yards in 11 games. The league average is 41.
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