Detroit turned Vick's two first-half turnovers into touchdowns
and Roy Williams had a sensational game, highlighted by a 60-yard
TD early in the fourth quarter, in the Lions' 30-14 victory Sunday
over the Atlanta Falcons.
"I guess we had a little kryptonite for him," Detroit
cornerback Fernando Bryant said. "The whole key is to stay
disciplined, keeping lanes and contain, and that's what we did with
The Lions pulled off the feat without three starters on the
defensive line, including Shaun Rogers.
Atlanta's electric quarterback threw for seven TDs and averaged
262 yards passing in the previous two games, both victories, but
quickly found out it would not be his day in Detroit.
He fumbled on the Falcons' first drive, an unforced error as he
held the ball like a loaf of bread, and threw an interception from
deep in his end in the second quarter. Both led to Kevin Jones' TD
"It was a major setback for us," Vick said. "I would have
never thought coming into this game that we would have performed
the way we did."
Vick completed 17 of 32 passes for 163 yards -- numbers that
would've been better had teammates not dropped several balls -- with
a TD and two interceptions, and he ran for 80 yards. He made a
picture-perfect 19-yard pass to Alge Crumpler between two defenders
in the end zone.
That play late in the first quarter was just about Vick's only
highlight for Atlanta (5-3), not counting his one-of-a-kind
scrambles that made short gains and losses look spectacular.
The game closed with Vick throwing a meaningless interception in
the end zone, a fitting end to his frustrating day.
Detroit had a balanced attack, led by 2004 first-round picks
Williams and Jones. Its defense did not allow Atlanta to score
after Warrick Dunn pulled the Falcons within three late in the
Williams had six receptions for 138 yards, making him the NFL's
only player this season with four 130-yard receiving games, and a
score that made it 27-14 with 13:09 left to play. Jones had 110
yards rushing and two TDs.
"If Kevin Jones rushes for 100 yards and a receiver gets 100
yards, there's no one in the country that can beat us," Williams
Jon Kitna was 20-of-32 for 321 yards with a TD and an
interception for the bye-rested Lions (2-6) who had a chance to win
in five of their losses.
"Even though they were 1-6, we knew all week that their record
didn't show how good they are," said Dunn, who was held to 51
yards rushing. "And they showed that by dominating us."
Vick's interception and fumble in the first half helped the
Lions take a 17-14 lead into the third quarter.
Detroit drove to the 1 on its first drive of the second half
before settling for Jason Hanson's second of three field goals and
a six-point lead.
After limiting Atlanta to another three-and-out in the third
quarter, the Lions had a chance to add to their cushion.
On a third-and-13, Kitna ran for 17 yards, slid and was hit by
DeAngelo Hall and Michael Boley. That led to a brief scuffle and
Hall's personal-foul penalty that gave Detroit the ball at the 11.
Holding and false start penalties backed up the Lions, then Kitna's
shovel pass was intercepted by Jonathan Babineaux.
The Falcons could only pick up one first down and were forced to
Detroit made the missed opportunity costly for Atlanta.
Williams caught a pass on the right side, then cut across the
field for a 60-yard TD. It was the longest reception of Williams'
three-year career, and the longest pass play for the Lions this
"We didn't play very well. They played well and deserved to
win," said Atlanta coach Jim Mora, who had a brief news conference
before walking away from the podium.
After the opening kickoff, Atlanta's Kevin Mathis was
strapped to a backboard and carted off the field after his helmet
hit Eddie Drummond during his return. Mathis injured his neck, but
had feeling and movement in all of his extremities, and was held
overnight at a hospital for observation. ... Detroit DTs Shaun
Rogers (suspension), Shaun Cody (toe) and DE James Hall (shoulder)
all missed the game.