Buccaneers
Lions
16 - 23 Final
  for this game

Running game carries Lions past Buccaneers

Oct 21, 2007 - 10:15 PM By Chuck Klonke PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DETROIT (Ticker) - Home is where the victories are for the Detroit Lions.

Using a ground game that had been missing all season and three field goals by Jason Hanson, the Lions improved to 3-0 at home with a 23-16 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

"We've got to play extremely well at home," Lions coach Rod Marinelli said. "We've got great fans. I've got to figure out a way to go on the road and do a better job."

Kevin Jones, making his first start at running back since last December 10, when he suffered a foot injury that required surgery, had 76 yards on 15 carries and scored a touchdown.

"The confidence of the coaches believing in you that you can do the job that you do every day - that always helps," Jones said. "We got with it early, we stuck with it so it was good for us."

The Lions (4-2) held the ball for most of the third quarter, including eight minutes and 17 seconds in a 17-play drive that was capped by Hanson's 32-yard field goal the gave Detroit a 16-7 lead. Running back T.J. Duckett, who hadn't played since the season opener, had 30 yards in four carries on the drive.

Tampa Bay (4-3) marched 79 yards to the Detroit 1-yard line early in the fourth quarter but quarterback Jeff Garcia, who hadn't committed a turnover in the Buccaneers' previous five games, fumbled the snap and Detroit's Jared DeVries recovered on the Lions' 7-yard line.

Just a situation I need to take care of, that's my responsibility down there," Garcia said. "The offensive line is trying to get off and get to their blocks. I need to take care of business and find a way to get the snap. It's just an unfortunate break for us."

It took the Lions nine plays to cover the 93 yards, with rookie wide receiver Calvin Johnson scoring on a 32-yard reverse for a 23-7 lead with 6:28 to play. On the previous play, Johnson caught an 18-yard pass from quarterback Jon Kitna.

"Wow, what a play," said Marinelli of Johnson's TD. "That was special. He's a tall guy, and you don't usually see those guys on the reverse, but he's got tremendous quickness."

The Buccaneers responded with a 16-play, 78-yard drive that was capped by a 4-yard pass from Garcia to Maurice Stovall to cut the deficit to 23-13 with 2:03 left.

Tampa Bay then recovered an onside kick and got within a touchdown on Matt Bryant's 43-yard field goal with 1:04 to play.

The Lions recovered a second onside kick and ran out the clock to preserve the victory.

"It means we've had a good start," Kitna said of the Lions' 4-2 record. "We expected to win, and we know we have the pieces to win. We just had to put it all together."

Detroit took advantage of turnovers by the Buds to take a 10-0 first-quarter lead.

Defensive end Corey Smith blocked Josh Bidwell's punt and recovered the ball at the Buccaneers' 37-yard line, setting up Jason Hanson's 34-yard field goal.

On Tampa Bay's next possession, a handoff from Garcia to running back Earnest Graham was fumbled into the arms of the Lions' Shaun Rogers at Tampa Bay 49. Five plays later, Jones went in from the 1-yard line for a 10-0 lead.

"We had a good game plan," Buccaneers receiver Ike Hilliard said. "The turnovers killed us. We've been very fortunate protecting the football but today we got very careless. There's not a team that's established itself as the team to beat in the NFC. We dropped the ball on this one. We missed an opportunity."

A 19-yard pass from Kitna to Johnson followed by a 17-yard run by Jones set up the touchdown. Kitna finished 16-of-20 for 120 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

The Buccaneers marched from their own 20 to Detroit's 22 late in the second quarter but Bryant's 40-yard field goal attempt was wide left.

"All in all we moved the ball very well when we had the ball," Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. "We didn't finish drives worth a (darn) today. That should be the storyline of the day."

Detroit took over at the 30 and drove to the Tampa Bay 21 as Kitna completed eight straight passes, including a 23-yarder to Shaun McDonald and a 14-yarder to Jones.

The drive stalled and Hanson kicked a 42-yard field goal with five seconds remaining in the half to increase the Lions' lead to 13-7.

Garcia tied a franchise record by completing 18 consecutive passes in the first half. He finished 37-of-45 for 316 yards and a pair of TD passes.








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 7 0 9 16
    DETROIT 10 3 3 7 23 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DET - FG, JASON HANSON 34 YD, 5:07. Drive: 6
    plays, 21 yards in 2:32. Key plays:
    C Smith blocked punt at Tampa Bay
    37. DETROIT 3-0
    DET - TD, KEVIN JONES 1 YD RUN (JASON HANSON
    KICK), 12:09. D

    Oct 21 4:05 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 48 YD
    TAMPA BAY 16
    DETROIT 23 1:04 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers vs. LionsOct 21 4:01 PM
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    roots
    RUWTbot Added 65 roots (Close Finish)

    Buccaneers vs. LionsOct 21 4:01 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    MAURICE STOVALL 4 YD PASS FROM JEFF GARCIA
    (TWO-POINT PASS CONVERSION FAILED)
    TAMPA BAY 13
    DETROIT 23 2:03 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers vs. LionsOct 21 3:51 PM


  • NFL
    TD DET
    CALVIN JOHNSON 32 YD RUN
    (JASON HANSON KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 7
    DETROIT 23 6:28 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers vs. LionsOct 21 3:36 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 7 0 7
    DETROIT 10 3 3 16 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DET - FG, JASON HANSON 34 YD, 5:07. Drive: 6
    plays, 21 yards in 2:32. Key plays:
    C Smith blocked punt at Tampa Bay
    37. DETROIT 3-0
    DET - TD, KEVIN JONES 1 YD RUN (JASON HANSON
    KICK), 1

    Oct 21 3:15 PM


  • NFL
    FG DET
    JASON HANSON 32 YD
    TAMPA BAY 7
    DETROIT 16 4:13 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers vs. LionsOct 21 3:02 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 7 7
    DETROIT 10 3 13 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DET - FG, JASON HANSON 34 YD, 5:07. Drive: 6
    plays, 21 yards in 2:32. Key plays:
    C Smith blocked punt at Tampa Bay
    37. DETROIT 3-0
    DET - TD, KEVIN JONES 1 YD RUN (JASON HANSON
    KICK), 12:09

    Oct 21 2:27 PM


  • NFL
    FG DET
    JASON HANSON 42 YD
    TAMPA BAY 7
    DETROIT 13 0:05 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers vs. LionsOct 21 2:25 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    IKE HILLIARD 5 YD PASS FROM JEFF GARCIA
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 7
    DETROIT 10 12:48 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers vs. LionsOct 21 1:52 PM


  • NFL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    DETROIT 10 0:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Oct 21 1:44 PM


  • NFL
    TD DET
    KEVIN JONES 1 YD RUN
    (JASON HANSON KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 0
    DETROIT 10 2:51 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers vs. LionsOct 21 1:37 PM


  • NFL
    FG DET
    JASON HANSON 34 YD
    TAMPA BAY 0
    DETROIT 3 9:53 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers vs. LionsOct 21 1:22 PM
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