DETROIT (AP) – Jared Goff threw two touchdown passes and Detroit Lions beat Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-23 led the long-suffering franchise to the NFC Championship Game for the first time in 32 years, in a postseason divisional round game on Sunday.
The Lions (14-5) won two playoff games this season for the first time since 1957, the last year they won the NFL title. YesThey will face San Francisco, the first seed in the NFC, next Sunday for a ticket to the Super Bowl – a game they have never played in.
Jahmir Gibbs drove through a gap hole for a 31-yard score that broke the tie early in the fourth quarter., And Goff turned it into a two-touchdown margin. When he connected with Amon-Ra St. Brown scoring on a nine-yard pass with 6:22 remaining in the game.
Baker Mayfield had three touchdown passes for Tampa Bay (10-9), including a 16-yarder to Mike Evans that brought the Bucs within one score with 4:37 remaining. Detroit was unable to run out its possession clock, giving Tampa Bay one last chance, but Mayfield’s pass was intercepted by linebacker Derrick Barnes, his second pass of the day that was stolen from him.
The Lions took a knee to call time out as their fans stood, yelling and waving their white towels.
“They’re good. Look around right now. They won’t be leaving here for a while,” Goff said. “It’s also our last game against them and they were very special today, just like last week. But they Deserved. They deserve to enjoy it and I hope to give them a lot more as we move forward.”
Goff completed 30 of 43 passes for a total of 287 yards and efficiently led the Lions’ offense in the second half, who had long possessions for touchdowns on three consecutive drives. St. Brown caught eight passes for a total of 77 yards, and their score completed an excellent 10-play, 89-yard possession.
Mayfield completed 26 of 41 passes and gained 349 yards. His initial interception slipped through the hands of Mike Evans, and the second was a missed pass. Evans had eight receptions for a total of 147 yards, with one touchdown.
The Lions and their success-hungry fans hope their second appearance in the NFC title game will be better than their first, when Washington defeated them 41–10 on January 12, 1992.
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(Tags to translate) Jared Goff (T) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (T) Lions (T) Tampa Bay (T) NFL (T) Mike Evans (T) The Clock (T) Jameson Williams (T) Detroit (T) Baker Mayfield(T)Derrick Barnes(T)San Francisco(T)Amon-Ra St. Brown(T)Jahmir Gibbs(T)Josh Reynolds