Calvin Johnson makes a leaping touchdown catch against the Broncos.
The Lions picked up their first win of the preseason by taking down the Broncos, 25-20. Detroit got a great first half out of its starters, and although the second and third teams struggled, Drew Stanton came into the game late in the fourth quarter and did what he does best -- lead the Lions to a comeback victory in the preseason.
In the first half, the Lions' offense played great. Matthew Stafford again looked very comfortable in the pocket, just waiting to make plays as the receivers ran their routes. The offensive line gave him time, and he capitalized, completing 13 of 18 passes for 130 yards and one touchdown. The TD was on a beautiful pass to Calvin Johnson, who simply out-jumped the defensive back on him to make the catch.
Defensively, the Lions' starters also played very well. Although the secondary looked a bit shaky at times, the defensive line was once again extremely impressive, putting pressure on Kyle Orton and making plays. The Broncos did score two touchdowns in the first half, but that was mainly against the Lions' backups.
When the second- and third-teamers got into the game, the Lions started to struggle more and more, but they didn't let the game get out of reach like last week. Instead the Lions managed to hang around and Stanton came in to lead Detroit to victory, scoring on a QB draw from 25 yards out. The Broncos blitzed, and he simply ran right up the middle for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, but luckily that didn't matter, as Willie Young forced a fumble on the final drive of the game. The Lions recovered and were able to just take a knee and run out the clock, sealing the 25-20 victory.
I will have much more on this game in the coming days, including a play-by-play breakdown of the first-team offense and defense, as well as a look at who improved their chances of making the 53-man roster.