Down four points with four seconds left on the clock, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown caught an 11-yard endzone pass from quarterback Jared Goff in front of a relieved home crowd, improving their record to 1-10-1.
“I was proud of our guys, man—they fought,” head coach Dan Campbell told reporters. “They’ve continued to fight all year and it paid dividends today and we found a way to win.”
Campbell dedicated the game ball to the community of Oxford, Michigan, where a teenager last week was charged with first-degree murder in the deadliest U.S. school shooting nL1N2SM142 of the year, which killed four students.
The Lions previously suffered a winless season in 2008, holding the dubious distinction of being the first franchise to do so since the league expanded its schedule to 16 games in 1978.
There were early signs of trouble after the team lost all of their pre-season games, having traded long-time quarterback Matthew Stafford for Goff in a blockbuster deal earlier this year.
Detroit settled for a tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10 and has put up one of the least productive offenses in the league this season.
“It came down to one play and we were able to make it,” said Goff, a former first overall pick. “We weren’t perfect but having the ability to overcome mistakes is the sign of a good team.”
By Amy Tennery