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Falcons vs. Lions Recap: Atlanta blows three-score lead in 22-21 loss to Detroit

The Atlanta Falcons blow a 21-0 lead to fall 22-21 to the Detroit Lions in London.

Mike Hewitt

It was a tale of two halves and a new low for the Atlanta Falcons.

Atlanta lost its fifth consecutive game 22-21 to the Detroit Lions after jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first half.

The Falcons were unable to put up any points on the board in the second half, failing to survive a 22-point surge from the Lions.

Matt Prater booted the game-winning 48-yard field goal after a delay of game penalty wiped out the first attempt that he missed.

On paper, it looked like the Atlanta Falcons were overmatched versus the Detroit Lions.

Atlanta's makeshift offensive line that has seen five linemen placed on injured reserve was squared up against a fearsome Detroit front that boasts the league's top-ranked defense and ranked third with 21 sacks on the year.

But the Falcons came out scorching, receiving the ball first and promptly marching 80 yards in 10 plays, capping off the drive with a seven-yard touchdown catch by Devonta Freeman.

Atlanta then stopped Detroit's first possession, and put together a six-play, 56-yard drive to take a 14-0 lead.

The Falcons looked to be in complete control of the game after putting another score on the board - a one-yard touchdown run by Steven Jackson.

But the second half told a different tale.

Detroit took the first possession of the second half down the field for 76 yards and finally got on the board with a 22-yard field goal from Prater.

Then, on an improbable 3rd and 25, Matt Stafford connected with Golden Tate for a 59-yard touchdown. Suddenly, the Lions were down just two scores, 21-10.

On the Falcons' next drive, Matt Ryan threw an ill-advised interception to Cassius Vaughn, who returned the ball 45 yards down to Atlanta's seven-yard line.

Another Prater field goal - this time from 20 yards out - turned it into a one score ball game.

After another failed drive from Atlanta, Detroit had a chance to tie the game. But the two-point conversion following the five-yard touchdown pass to Theo Riddick failed, giving the Falcons an opportunity to close out the game.

However, after the Falcons held the ball for a little over two minutes, Julio Jones dropped a screen pass on a third and 10 that stopped the clock and gave the Lions plenty of time to put together the game-winning drive.

Ryan finished 20 of 27 for 228 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Roddy White led the Falcons receivers with five catches for 66 yards.

Stafford threw for 325 yards on 24 of 47 passing. He had a touchdown and an interception. Tate led Detroit's receivers with seven grabs for 151 yards and a touchdown.

The Falcons have a bye week next week before going on the road to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


Harry Douglas returned after missing the past four games. He hauled in three catches for 42 yards, including a huge 13-yard grab on third and five that kept Atlanta's last drive alive.

Steven Jackson needed just 34 yards to hit the 11,000 career rushing yards milestone. He finished with 60 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown.

The Falcons are 2-6 for the second straight season. There's not much else to say.