East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) – Matthew Stafford had two touchdown passes and ran for another score, as the Detroit Lions took a 24-17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
Stafford went 24-for-34 for 293 yards and had touchdown passes to Jeremy Ross and Eric Ebron for the Lions (3-1), who have won their past two games.
“This was a heck of a game for us,” said Detroit head coach Jim Caldwell. All the guys on both sides of the ball played well, but I don’t think that this is as well as we can play.”
Star Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson was hobbled by an ankle injury throughout the game and was never a factor, catching just two passes for 12 yards.
Geno Smith was 17-for-33 for 209 yards with one touchdown, one interception and one lost fumble for the Jets (1-3), who have lost three straight games — all to NFC North opponents.
“The past three weeks have been very similar games,” said New York head coach Rex Ryan. “It’s tough, we’ve looked back and I know there’s things we can do better and I believe it. The way it’s going to change is to take everyone in that room fighting this thing together and fighting our way out.”
The Jets moved down the field on the first possession of the game, thanks to 51 yards from Chris Ivory on nine carries, but the drive stalled at the Detroit 9 and New York had to settle for a 27-yard field goal from Nick Folk for a 3-0 lead.
Detroit came right back with a scoring drive of its own, thanks in large part to a 35-yard catch-and-run from Golden Tate on 3rd-and-4. That set up a 51- yard field goal from new kicker Alex Henery, which matched a career long.
The next several possessions resulted in punts for both teams, until the Lions went on top with the first touchdown of the game.
Facing a 3rd-and-10 from his own 41, Stafford went deep for Ross, who caught the ball in stride, broke a tackle and went in for a 59-yard score and a 10-3 lead with 6:19 to play in the first half.
Detroit got the ball back near midfield with just over a minute to play in the first half and all three timeouts. Stafford hit Brandon Pettigrew for 11 yards and Reggie Bush for nine. An 11-yard catch from Ebron got the ball down to the New York 16, and Stafford went to Ebron again for a pass over the middle and in the end zone for a 17-3 lead going into the break.
The Jets’ first possession of the third quarter bore fruit, as Smith methodically drove his team down the field, capping the 11-play series with a pass to Eric Decker, who caught the ball near the Detroit 5 and stretched it in to make it a 17-10 game.
Detroit, though, came right back with a long drive of its own. A 10-yard catch by Bush on 3rd-and-9 moved the chains, and Ryan Broyles converted another third down with a 21-yard catch. A 16-yard catch from Broyles set up a 1st- and-goal at the 2, and Stafford took it in himself when he rolled out to the right and just caught the pylon for a 1-yard score and a 24-10 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Darius Slay picked off Smith for his first career interception and took the ball down to the New York 34, but Detroit was unable to take advantage as Henery pushed a 52-yard field goal well to the right.
Smith fumbled the ball on a sack and Detroit recovered, but the Jets defense held the Lions to a three-and-out and got the ball back at their own 25.
Smith converted a 3rd-and-1 with a 2-yard run, and hit Jace Amaro for a 21- yard gain. Two plays later, Chris Johnson broke two tackles at the line and ran into the end zone on a 35-yard score to make it a 24-17 game with 6:58 to play.
The Jets held the Lions to a three-and-out, but were themselves held to a three-and-out to give the ball back to Detroit with 3:41 left.
A 16-yard run from Bush on second down gave Detroit a fresh set of downs, and Stafford then converted a 2nd-and-4 with a 7-yard run as the Lions were able to kill off the remainder of the clock.
Detroit moved to 1-1 on the road and hosts Buffalo next Sunday … The Jets play in San Diego next Sunday … Tate finished the game with 116 yards on eight catches … Ivory had 84 yards on 17 carries … Detroit controlled the ball for almost 35 minutes … Detroit broke a three-game losing streak to New York and now leads the series, 7-6.
|NY Jets Field Goal – 27-yarder by Nick Folk. 8:36 Time Remaining. (14 plays, 71 yards. Time of Drive: 6:24).|
|Detroit Field Goal – 51-yarder by Alex Henery. 5:04 Time Remaining. (7 plays, 47 yards. Time of Drive: 3:32).|
|Detroit Touchdown – 59-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Jeremy Ross. (Alex Henery extra point is good). 6:19 Time Remaining. (5 plays, 83 yards. Time of Drive: 2:59).|
|Detroit Touchdown – 16-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Eric Ebron. (Alex Henery extra point is good). 0:22 Time Remaining. (5 plays, 47 yards. Time of Drive: 0:46).|
|NY Jets Touchdown – 11-yard pass from Geno Smith to Eric Decker. (Nick Folk extra point is good). 7:26 Time Remaining. (11 plays, 74 yards. Time of Drive: 4:39).|
|Detroit Touchdown – 1-yard run by Matthew Stafford. (Alex Henery extra point is good). 14:54 Time Remaining. (14 plays, 90 yards. Time of Drive: 7:32).|
|NY Jets Touchdown – 35-yard run by Chris Johnson. (Nick Folk extra point is good). 6:58 Time Remaining. (7 plays, 75 yards. Time of Drive: 2:27).|
|Referee: Walt Coleman||Umpire:Bill Schuster|
|Line Judge: Michael Spanier||Side Judge:Michael Banks|
|Head Linesman: Jeff Bergman||Back Judge:Rich Martinez|
|Field Judge: Greg Gautreaux|
|Final Team Statistics|
|TOTAL FIRST DOWNS||17||17|
|THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY||6-15-40||7-15-47|
|FOURTH DOWN EFFICIENCY||0-0-0||0-0-0|
|TOTAL NET YARDS||360||336|
|Total Off. Plays (inc. times thrown passing)||65||62|
|Avg. gain per offensive play||5.5||5.4|
|NET YARDS RUSHING||88||132|
|Total Rushing Plays||27||27|
|Avg. gain per rushing play||3.3||4.9|
|NET YARDS PASSING||272||204|
|Times Thrown – yards lost attempting to pass||4-21||2-5|
|Gross yards passing||293||209|
|PASS ATTEMPTS-COMPLETIONS-HAD INTERCEPTED||34-24-0||33-17-1|
|Avg. gain per pass play (inc. # thrown passing)||7.2||5.8|
|PUNTS Number and average||6-51.0||6-51.7|
|Net Punting Average||44.8||49.3|
|TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE (Not including kickoffs)||54||17|
|No. and Yards Punt Returns||1-14||4-17|
|No. and Yards Kickoff Returns||2-35||1-32|
|No. and Yards Interception Returns||1-40||0-0|
|PENALTIES No. and Yards||5-33||6-32|
|FUMBLES No. and Lost||0-0||2-1|
|EXTRA POINTS Made-Attempts||3-3||2-2|
|FIELD GOALS Made-Attempts||1-2||1-1|
|TIME OF POSSESSION||34:53||25:07|
|Final Individual Statistics|
|Final Defensive Statistics|