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Lions lose 18-16 to Ravens on Tucker's long kick

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 17, 2013 at 12:33 am •  Published: December 17, 2013
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DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions could only watch as Justin Tucker's kick sailed from their team logo at midfield all the way to the uprights and then through.

There was nothing they could do then — and there's nothing they can do now to make the playoffs unless two other teams lose.

Tucker made six field goals Monday night, including a 61-yarder in the final minute that gave the Baltimore Ravens an 18-16 win over the sluggish, sloppy Lions. Detroit needed a victory to stay tied with Chicago atop the NFC North, but now the Lions are in third place with two games to go.

"Off the foot, I thought it was going to be short just because it had so much height," Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "Obviously, they have a lot of confidence in their kicker. He's done a great job for them all year. Tonight was no different."

Unless the Bears and Green Bay Packers both lose at least once in the final two weeks, the Lions (7-7) can forget about a division title that once seemed to be theirs for the taking.

"We each have to do our job and see what happens," center Dominic Raiola said. "Finish these last two out, and now we need help."

Detroit has lost four of five despite leading each of those games in the fourth quarter.

Stafford threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Fauria with 2:21 left, putting Detroit ahead 16-15. But the Lions were unable to make what turned out to be a crucial 2-point conversion, and they couldn't prevent Baltimore from setting up its sensational kicker for his 33rd successful field goal in a row.

Tucker's 61-yard kick was booted from the Lions' logo at midfield. It didn't clear the crossbar by much — and it also barely stayed inside the right upright with 38 seconds left.

Stafford then threw his third interception of the game while trying to mount a last-ditch drive.

Tucker said he'd made a kick from 70 yards before the game — putting it through off the crossbar.

"I backed up in pregame to 70 and I doinked one off the crossbar," he said. "I almost broke one of those like $50,000 cameras that's on the goalposts."

Tucker's kick came eight days after Denver's Matt Prater broke the NFL record with a 64-yard field goal.

The Lions, amazingly, have been on the wrong end of this kind of finish more than once. When Tom Dempsey kicked his famous 63-yarder to win a 1970 game for New Orleans, it was against Detroit.

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