DETROIT (AP) — Matt Prater made a 59-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Detroit Lions to a 30-27 win over Washington on Sunday.
Matthew Stafford threw two of his three touchdown passes in the first half and directed the winning drive with just 16 seconds left. Rookie defensive end Chase Young was called for roughing the passer, giving Detroit the ball at midfield. Stafford threw a 9-yard pass to Marvin Jones to set up the kick.
The Lions (4-5) won at home for the first time in more than a year after building a 14-point lead at halftime and going ahead 24-3 midway through the third quarter.
Washington (2-7) pulled into a tie by scoring touchdowns on three straight series in the second half in Alex Smith’s first start in nearly two years. But its defense could not stop Stafford when it mattered most.
Prater made a go-ahead, 37-yard field goal with 2:42 remaining.
Detroit cornerback Desmond Trufant extended the ensuing possession with two penalties that gave Washington first downs and it took advantage, setting up Dustin Hopkins’ tying 41-yard field goal.
Washington also came up short in a comeback attempt last week, losing 23-20 to the New York Giants after trailing by 17 points.
The Lions earned a big lead earlier in the afternoon because Washington imploded when it got past midfield and its defense gave up big plays in the passing game.
Stafford threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Hall in the first quarter and a 27-yarder to Jones in the second quarter, with both wide open. His short toss to D’Andre Swift turned into a 15-yard score in the third period to put the Lions ahead 24-3.
Stafford finished 24 of 33 for 276 yards and threw three touchdown passes without a turnover for the first time this season.
Smith made his first start since breaking his right leg in two places nearly two years ago and had career highs with 38 completions and 390 yards passing. The 36-year-old Smith helped Washington drive into Detroit territory four times in the first half. It scored just three points and had a punt, missed field goal and Terry McLaurin’s fumble.
In the second half, Washington got into the end zone on 82- and 84-yard drives and had the ball midway through the fourth quarter down a touchdown. Rookie running back Antonio Gibson capped that with a short touchdown run and Washington pulled into a 24-24 tie.