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Tucker's 61-yd FG lifts Ravens past Lions
Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Tucker kicked a 61-yard field goal with 38 seconds left as the Baltimore Ravens took a huge 18-16 victory over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Monday.
Tucker kicked six field goals (29, 24, 32, 49, 53, 61) with his last one helping the Ravens (8-6) win their fourth straight game and move just one game back of the Cincinnati Bengals for first place in the AFC North.
In addition, Baltimore sits locked in the second wild-card spot in the AFC as the team is tied with Miami, but the Ravens hold the tiebreaker after beating the Dolphins in Week 5.
Baltimore plays at home against New England next Sunday, before finishing off the season in Cincinnati in a game that could be for the division.
Joe Flacco went 20-for-38 for 222 yards with Jacoby Jones catching six passes for 80 yards in the win for Baltimore, its third in four career games against the Lions.
Detroit (7-7) has now dropped four of its last five games and fell out of first place in the NFC North, as the team is now a game back of the Chicago Bears for the top spot in the division.
Matthew Stafford continued to turn the ball over, getting picked off three times, including twice in the fourth quarter and now has nine interceptions over his past four games along with a pair of fumbles lost. He finished the contest 18-for-34 for 235 yards with one touchdown pass.
Detroit had gone ahead with 2:21 to play after Joseph Fauria made a leaping catch in the middle of the end zone from 14 yards out. Stafford's pass to Calvin Johnson for the two-point conversion, though, went incomplete and it was a 16-15 game.
Flacco quickly faced a 3rd-and-15 after a pair of incompletes and a false start, but hit Jones for 27 yards to the Detroit 45. After two more incompletions, Ray Rice took a handoff for two yards and it appeared that the Ravens were going to go for it, but Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh called a timeout and decided to go for the field goal.
Tucker, who had hit a 53-yard field goal earlier in the quarter, got all of the ball and it just stayed inside the right upright and barely over the crossbar for a team-record 61-yard field goal and an 18-16 lead. It was the 33rd straight field goal that Tucker has made.
The next snap saw Stafford go over the middle and Matt Elam come up with the interception for the win.
Detroit started the game with the ball and converted a 3rd-and-9 as Joique Bell took a screen pass 23 yards. After a Stafford 5-yard run that saw 15 yards added to the play after an unnecessary roughness call on Baltimore, Nate Burleson caught a pass for 17 yards to the Baltimore 14. The next snap saw Bush take the ball around the left end and into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Following a three-and-out from Baltimore, Detroit again crossed midfield, but Johnson dropped a pass while wide open on third down and the team had to punt.
The Ravens then went on a 15-play drive, moving the ball 81 yards before it stalled at the 11 and Tucker hit a 29-yard field goal early in the second to get the team on the board. A Dennis Pitta 9-yard catch on third down, and 25- yard grab from Torrey Smith highlighted the march.
Two possessions later, the Ravens went on another scoring drive, coming away with another three points on a 24-yard field goal from Tucker for a 7-6 game with 2:32 to play. A face mask call and pass interference call on Detroit during the drive gave the Ravens 39 yards.
After a short possession, Baltimore got the ball back at its own 15 with 1:20 to play and Jones caught passes for 18 and 21 yards to quickly get the ball across midfield. An unnecessary roughness call on the Lions got the ball in field goal position, and Tucker booted a 32-yarder on the last play of the half for a 9-7 lead.
Baltimore punted on its first touch of the second half, but a Stafford pass was tipped and DeAngelo Tyson came up with the ball for his first career INT.
A 24-yard catch by Marlon Brown highlighted the seven-play, 42-yard drive and was finished off on a 49-yard field goal from Tucker for a 12-7 lead with eight minutes left in the third.
Detroit came back with its best drive since its opening possession, with David Akers booting a 40-yarder to make it a 12-10 game with 1:49 left in the third. Johnson caught a 37-yard pass on the second play to move the ball across midfield.
Later in the fourth, Stafford had a pass attempt to Kris Durham picked off by Daryl Smith at the Detroit 34, leading to a 53-yard field goal from Tucker and a 15-10 lead with 8:06 left.
The Lions answered back to take the lead, as Johnson caught passes of 21 and 14 yards, before Brandon Pettigrew caught an 18-yard pass down to the Baltimore 15. Three plays later, Stafford hit Fauria for the score with 2:21 left.
Detroit was without cornerbacks Chris Houston (toe) and Darius Slay (knee) ... The NFL record for most consecutive field goals made is 42 by Matt Vanderjagt ... Johnson finished the game with six catches for 98 yards, and now has over 5,000 receiving yards over the past three years, the first player to ever accomplish the feat ... Bush totaled 86 yards on 17 carries ... Rice had 12 carries for 56 yards ... Detroit hosts the Giants next week before finishing off the season in Minnesota.
12/17 00:36:12 ET
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