DETROIT (AP) — Despite a career day from Alex Smith, the Washington Football team could not make the critical plays down the stretch, and instead had to watch the Detroit Lions celebrate a 30-27 win. Matt Prater nailed a 59-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Lions (4-5) the victory.
Prior to Prater’s game-clinching kick, Chase Young was flagged for hitting Matthew Stafford late, which gave the Lions a first down at midfield with :12 seconds still to play. Washington head coach Ron Rivera said afterward he felt the penalty was inconsistent with the way the officials had been calling the rest of the game.
Smith threw for a career high 390 yards, but no touchdowns in the loss. Rookie running back Antonio Gibson paced the Washington rushing attack with two touchdowns, including the game-tying score in the fourth quarter.
Stafford threw two of his three touchdown passes in the first half and directed the winning drive with just 16 seconds left. The Lions won at home for the first time in more than a year after building a 14-point lead at halftime and going ahead 24-3 midway through the third quarter.
Washington pulled into a tie by scoring touchdowns on three straight series in the second half in Smith’s first start in nearly two years.