For the fifth time in the last six weeks, the Lions have lost a game they were leading in the fourth quarter. As a result, Detroit is out of the playoff race.
Today Detroit had a 20-13 lead, and the ball, with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. But Matthew Stafford threw wide to tight end Joseph Fauria, who reached out and tried to grab it but instead deflected it into the hands of Giants safety Will Hill, who raced 38 yards for a touchdown to tie the game.
From there the Lions went conservative on offense, playing for overtime because they didn’t trust Stafford not to throw another interception. The Giants received the overtime kickoff and fumbled on their first possession, but the Lions couldn’t do anything with the recovery, and after a Detroit punt the Giants marched down the field and — with help from a gutsy conversion on fourth-and-7 — got into range for Josh Brown’s game-winning 45-yard field field goal.
The final score was 23-20, Giants.
For the Lions, the loss mathematically eliminates them from playoff contention, a stunningly fast fall for a team that had control of the NFC North for much of the season. This loss may lead to the firing of head coach Jim Schwartz and will lead to plenty of soul-searching in Detroit, where the Lions let a golden opportunity to win the division slip away.