OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Matthew Stafford and Detroit’s passing game looked in midseason form even with star Calvin Johnson on the sideline watching.
Stafford threw touchdown passes on his first two drives of the game for Detroit before Matt McGloin tossed a 19-yard TD pass to Brice Butler with 6 seconds to go to give the Oakland Raiders a 27-26 win over the Lions in a preseason game Friday night.
Oakland’s late comeback couldn’t overshadow a sharp performance from Stafford, who connected on a 28-yard pass to Golden Tate on Detroit’s second play from scrimmage and a 4-yard score to Kris Durham on the second drive.
The Lions’ first-team offense looked sharp even with Johnson held out of his second straight preseason game.
“Obviously, Calvin wasn’t out there today so a lot of guys got opportunities and made the most of them today,” Stafford said. “That’s what we’re looking for this time year.”
McGloin came in after backup Derek Carr left with injured ribs and a concussion earlier in the fourth quarter and led the game-winning 68-yard drive. The victory wasn’t complete until Sebastian Janikowski kicked the 33-yard extra point.
Matt Schaub threw a deflected interception on his first drive, and Oakland’s first-team defense struggled early. But Carr provided a spark before McGloin got the win.
“There are a lot of things we have to learn from, but it’s a lot better to do that after the win,” coach Dennis Allen said.
Schaub started well in his first home game with the Raiders, converting a pair of third downs before his throw to James Jones in coverage was deflected and intercepted by James Ihedigbo.
Two plays later, cornerback Tarell Brown bit on a double move, and Tate raced past him to catch a 28-yard score.
“He’s obviously a talented player and he’s done well in this league and he’s going to get a lot of opportunities playing for us and he’ll make the most of them,” Stafford said.
Nate Freese hit the upright on the extra point from the 15-yard line. Freese, in a competition with Giorgio Tavecchio, made up for that with a 55-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the half.
Stafford picked apart Oakland’s defense in his limited action, completing 9 of 10 passes for 88 yards and capping the second drive when Durham outjumped TJ Carrie for the 4-yard score.
Stafford spread the ball around well, completing passes to five receivers on three drives before calling it a night.
Detroit’s backup Dan Orlovsky also had success, going 8 for 12 for 153 yards and leading an 83-yard TD drive to open the second half.
Schaub at least ended his night on a positive note by leading a 60-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard TD run from Darren McFadden. Schaub was nearly intercepted by Rashean Mathis early in the drive when he was late on an out pass to Rod Streater.
But Schaub was helped by a pair of penalties on Detroit, after the Lions had appeared to stop the drive, and then threw a 22-yard screen pass to Maurice Jones-Drew to set up the score.
“We just had far too many blunders where we looked a little sloppy from time to time,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said.
Carr led the Raiders to a field goal on his first drive, throwing a 16-yard pass to Jones on a rollout for the key play.
After stalling on his first drive of the second half, Carr looked sharp late in the third quarter when he completed all six passes for 76 yards on a touchdown drive capped by a 3-yard pass to undrafted rookie tight end Jake Murphy.
A 50-yard punt return by Carrie set up Janikowski’s second field goal of the night early in the fourth quarter to cut Detroit’s lead to 23-20.
But Carr left the game holding his ribs later in the fourth quarter after the hard hit from Larry Webster.
Carr, Oakland’s second-round pick in May, went 9 for 16 for 109 yards and looked comfortable in the pocket against Detroit’s reserves.
NOTES: S Tyvon Branch (ankle), Jones-Drew (finger), TE Scott Simonson (concussion) and OL Matt McCants all were hurt for the Raiders. … Lions S DeJon Gomes left with a neck injury after a hard hit on Simonson that forced a fumble.
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