You can't kill the Cardiac Cats.
Detroit pulled off yet another comeback, this time on the legs and dislocated middle finger of their most valuable player. Matthew Stafford and the Lions dug themselves into a hole against the Bears on Sunday, but as he's done all season, the quarterback stormed back in the fourth quarter to steal another win.
Stafford's game-winning touchdown scamper topped Week 14's Top "Performance Moments of the Week", presented by Bridgestone.
Detroit was two games up on the Vikings and Packers coming into Sunday, despite winning just one of their eight victories by more than one score. Stafford's fourth-quarter heroics were becoming stuff of legend, even though his mistakes often put the team in those adverse positions to begin with. But certainly against the hapless Bears, the Lions wouldn't need such late-game magic. Right?!
Well... Chicago kept this one close into the fourth quarter when finally their green defense earned a breakthrough. Up three with just over seven minutes to go, Stafford threw an unthinkable pick-six to rookie defensive back Cre'von LeBlanc, putting the division-leading Lions behind four against the NFC North bottom-feeders ... or right where the quarterback wanted them.
Stafford had already overcome personal adversity earlier in the game. The MVP candidate suffered a dislocated finger in the first half and was forced to wear a glove for the remainder of the game. The discomfort likely contributed to his sub-par outing and the ill-advised go-ahead interception, but Stafford put that all aside on the Lions' game-winning march.
With no one open and Bears defensive end Mitch Unrein bearing down, Stafford took off from his collapsing pocket back toward the line of scrimmage, noticing a patch of off-green, unmanned turf in front of him. As the QB approached the goal line, Stafford sped up, skipped around three separate Bears tacklers and fell into the end zone.
The quarterback's game-winning seven-yard run was his first score on the ground all season and upped his rushing yards per attempt mark up to 5.68, good for fourth among eligible quarterbacks. But most importantly, it kept the Lions two games clear of the surging Packers and lingering Vikings and brought Detroit that much closer to its first division title since 1993.