Detroit's defense steps up, leads Lions over Raiders 18-13
DETROIT (AP) Ziggy Ansah rushed toward the inside, was held up by Donald Penn's right arm, fell to the ground and immediately began signaling for a safety.
On a day full of strong efforts on Detroit's defense, the penalty Ansah drew turned out to be Oakland's last offensive play.
The Lions took an 18-13 lead with 7:31 remaining when officials called holding in the end zone, and the Raiders never got the ball back Sunday. Detroit was able to run out the clock and win their second straight game after dropping seven of their first eight.
''We haven't given up yet,'' Ansah said. ''We might've started 1-7, but we're going to finish strong.''
Detroit (3-7) held the Raiders to 214 yards and 13 first downs, both season lows for Oakland. The only touchdown by the Raiders (4-6) came after an interception thrown by Derek Carr was negated by a defensive holding penalty.
Oakland led 13-9 before Detroit's Matthew Stafford ran for a 5-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Penn immediately disputed the holding penalty that gave Detroit a safety, and he pleaded his case further after the game.
''I'm blocking somebody, he started falling,'' Penn said. ''I had my hands inside so I tried to let go at the end. The ref made a judgement call and called holding.''
After a free kick, the Lions drove into Oakland territory, and Joique Bell ran for a key conversion on third-and-3 from the 19. After the 2-minute warning, Bell broke free for an 11-yard run that allowed Detroit to kneel out the rest of the clock.
Oakland had only 91 yards of offense in the first half. The Raiders trailed 9-0 when Latavius Murray scored on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter. That 80-yard drive nearly ended when Carr was intercepted, but a holding call on defensive back Nevin Lawson allowed the Raiders to keep possession.
Here are a few things we learned from Detroit's victory over Oakland:
STAFFORD'S SCRAMBLING: Stafford is in the lineup because of his arm, not his feet, but he can move around a bit. Stafford scored Detroit's only touchdown on a quarterback draw - and that came immediately after an 18-yard scramble down the right sideline.
PLAYOFF CHANCES: The Raiders can certainly remain in the mix for a postseason spot, but they've now lost three straight, and the road game against Detroit was winnable.
Oakland trails Buffalo (5-4) by 1 1/2 games for the last wild card in the AFC. The Bills play Monday night.
ON TARGET: Detroit kicker Matt Prater didn't seem bothered after missing two extra points in a tense win at Green Bay the previous weekend.
Prater connected on field goals of 29, 41 and 51 yards for the Lions in the first half.
Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski was impressive as well, making kicks of 48 and 56 yards in the third quarter.
OUT OF SYNC: Carr threw for only 169 yards and blamed himself for a couple delay of game penalties that seemed avoidable.
''That's my fault,'' he said. ''I'll fix it.''
KEY DRIVE: The Lions looked unlikely to score when they had the ball in the final minute of the first half, facing third-and-15 from their own 39. But as long as Calvin Johnson is on the field, he's a threat. Stafford found him for a 36-yard gain that set up Prater's 51-yard kick.
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