DETROIT, Mich. — The Detroit Lions fell behind 21-0, rallied but came up short of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-17 in an NFC battle Sunday afternoon at Ford Field.
The game was broadcast live on FOX 17.
The Lions came in with a 3-9-1 record and mired in a 6-game losing streak. The Buccaneers entered the proceedings at 6-7 and as 3 1/2-point favorites.
Detroit once again was without the services of quarterback Matthew Stafford, who remained out of the lineup and on the sideline with a back injury.
Tampa Bay received the opening kickoff and after the two traded possessions quarterback Jameis Winston hit Breshad Perriman with a 35-yard TD pass for a 7-0 Buccaneer lead with 7:25 showing on the clock. The margin soon ballooned to 14-0 on Winston’s 33-yard scoring strike to Scott Miller at the 3:42 juncture of the opener. That count stood until the initial break.
Perriman hauled in his second touchdown – a 25-yard aerial from Winston for a 21-0 bulge with 8:13 left until intermission. Then Matt Prater finally put the Lions on the scoreboard with a 44-yard field goal to trim the Detroit deficit to 21-3 with 3:17 to go until halftime. That score remained in effect at the halfway point.
The Bucs quickly resumed their scoring punch in the third period when Matt Gay booted a 46-yard field goal with 11:32 showing on the clock for a 24-3 edge. The Lions retaliated with a touchdown run by Wes Hills to move to within 24-10 later in the quarter.
Detroit was knocking on the door as the third frame elapsed. The Lions immediately tightened the fray to 24-17 on Hills’ second touchdown – a 1-yard dive over the top of the line at the 14:57 mark of the finale.
Detroit was driving and threatening with 5:12 to play when quarterback David Blough uncorked an interception that was returned 70 yards for a touchdown by Detroit-area native and Central Michigan product Sean Murphy-Bunting to up the gap to 31-17 in Tampa’s favor. That increased to 38-17 when Winston connected with Perriman for 25 yards and Perriman’s third touchdown with 2:59 to go.
Breshad Perriman is the son of Brett Perriman, who was a standout receiver with the Detroit Lions from 1991 to 1996.
Next up the Lions will hit the road to meet the Denver Broncos next Sunday. Kickoff time will be 4:05 p.m. at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo.
The Buccaneers, meanwhile, will return home for their next contest – a 1 p.m. encounter with the Houston Texans next Saturday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.