Stafford, Megatron rescue Lions in dramatic finish

Matthew Stafford can't beat good teams. Matthew Stafford can't lead clutch fourth-quarter drives. Matthew Stafford can only make big plays to Calvin Johnson.

Take all of those storylines, crumble them in a ball, douse them in motor oil and introduce them to your torch.

Stafford blew away all those criticisms with a last-minute drive that led the Detroit Lions to a 31-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

The Lions beat the NFC East division leader on Stafford's fake-spike, diving touchdown with 12 seconds remaining after the quarterback completed a beautiful pass to Johnson to get to the 1-yard line. The preceding play was Stafford's prettiest ball of the day: After alluding the rush he dropped a 40-yard dime to Kris Durham to give the limping Lions life.

The Lions quarterback has been quietly having the best season of his career, and that final drive should make everyone take notice.

On NFL Network
NFL Replay
will re-air the Detroit Lions' 31-30 win over the Dallas Cowboys from Week 8 on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 9 p.m. ET.

Here is what else we learned:

  1. Prior to the game-winning drive, the Lions' three best offensive players --Stafford, Johnson and Reggie Bush -- combined for four turnovers. It was the Lions' defense that kept this game close. Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Co. put pressure on Tony Romo all game. It also was the secondary's best-played game of the season, helping to hold Romo to just 206 yards passing.
  1. What is the plan for blaming this one on Romo?

  1. Johnson had a historic day, going for 329 yards on 14 catches and one touchdown. He destroyed Brandon Carr and any other Cowboys defensive back who took their shot at him. Meanwhile Dez Bryant had 3 catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns (but the only thing anyone will remember is his demonstrative sideline filibuster directed at Romo).
  1. The Cowboys might have a lot of overpaid players, but Sean Lee is worth every penny that Jerry Jones is paying him. His two first-half interceptions almost single-handedly gave the Cowboys the lead in a game they should have trailed big early.

  1. If there was a stat for a receiver being down at the goal line, Megatron would probably own the NFL record. He added two more to it Sunday.
  1. Jerry Jones told NFL Media's Stacey Dales that there is a good chance DeMarco Murray will play next week. He wanted to play today.
  1. Lions receiver Nate Burleson also told Dales after the game that he will return in two weeks -- that is after the Lions' Week 9 bye. He'll be needed, as coach Jim Schwartz said after the game that it appears wide receiver Ryan Broyles ruptured his Achilles.

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