x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

The comeback kings enjoy Lions' share

The Detroit Lions rallied from 24 points down in the third quarter to 'steal one' from the Dallas Cowboys, but they are not getting too far ahead of themselves with divisional rivals Chicago up next.

Jason Witten, right, and the Dallas Cowboys were on their way to a win until Stephen Tulloch and the Detroit Lions stepped in front and intercepted the victory.
Jason Witten, right, and the Dallas Cowboys were on their way to a win until Stephen Tulloch and the Detroit Lions stepped in front and intercepted the victory.

The only thing more improbable than the Detroit Lions being 4-0 might be the way they have pulled out their last two victories.

The historically bumbling franchise submitted further proof of how far they have come by wiping out a 24-point, third-quarter deficit for a 34-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. No NFL team had ever won a road game after trailing by 24 points.

Just a week after turning a 20-point half-time deficit into an overtime win, the Lions topped themselves with a performance everyone in the locker room could savour.

"Any time you come back from 20-something, you're doing some kind of stealing," the quarterback Matthew Stafford told ESPN.com. "We played good in the second half to come back and steal it."

The Lions get a national stage next Monday night when they play host to the Chicago Bears. The following weekend they are home to San Francisco. They will be favourites to win both games.

The Lions, 6-0? They are trying not to think too far ahead. "We haven't done anything yet," said Nate Burleson, the receiver.

By Detroit standards they have. This is a franchise that last won a championship in 1957, that has not won a play-off game since 1991, has not had a winning record in 10 years and, in 2008, was the first team in NFL history to suffer a 0-16 season.

That winless record led to the top pick in the 2009 college draft, and Detroit got something right by drafting Stafford, whose two touchdown passes to Calvin Johnson in the fourth quarter proved decisive on Sunday.

Detroit's defence started the comeback with two interceptions of Tony Romo that were returned for touchdowns.

Johnson said the Lions need to stop digging holes for themselves. "We still have a lot of stuff to clean up," he said. "The way we've started the last two weeks, that's really unacceptable."

The defeat was a bitter one for the Cowboys, who are 2-2.

"Over the next week or two, it's going to be difficult to look back at it, but at some point here we're going to move on," Romo said. "There's a lot of guys doing a lot of good things. We'll evaluate it and get better from it."

Romo passed for 331 yards and three touchdowns, but he threw three interceptions the Lions turned into 21 points.

* Associated Press