Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-31 Detroit Lions: Jared Goff stars as Lions book NFC Championship appearance | NFL News

The Detroit Lions reached the NFC Championship Game for the first time in 32 years with a thrilling 31-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

Tied up at 10-10 at half-time, the Lions came alive in the second half, scoring touchdowns on three-straight possessions to move 31-17 ahead midway through the fourth quarter.

The Bucs continued to battle and made it a one score game again when Baker Mayfield found Mike Evans in the end zone with four minutes and 37 seconds left, though they were unsuccessful with a two-point conversion attempt.

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The game isn’t done yet! Mike Evans’ touchdown makes it a one-possession game!

Tampa would get one final shot to tie things up, getting the ball back at their own 10-yard line with two minutes to go, but on their second play from scrimmage Mayfield was intercepted for the second time in the game to clinch victory for the Lions, who are one of four teams to have never before been to a Super Bowl.

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Detroit Lions’ Jared Goff and Frank Ragnow praised the fans and coach Dan Campbell after beating Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round

Mayfield finished 26-of-41 for 349 yards, three touchdowns and those two picks, while Lions QB Jared Goff was 30-of-43 for 287 yards and two TDs.

Ford Field was fired up before kick-off and the atmosphere went up another notch when the Bucs’ first drive ended with a Mayfield interception to CJ Gardner-Johnson.

The two teams then traded field goals before Detroit got rolling with Goff finding Josh Reynolds for a nine-yard TD. Tampa Bay responded late in the half, Evans pulling off a spectacular sideline grab to move his team to the two-yard line, where Mayfield and Cade Otton connected for the game-levelling score.

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A stunning Mike Evans catch helped set up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first touchdown of the game against the Detroit Lions

Detroit were back on top late in the third quarter when they went for it fourth down from a yard out, with Craig Reynolds powering through, but the Bucs again found a response, Mayfield finding Rachaad White for a 12-yard TD.

The see-saw contest continued as impressive rookie Jahmyr Gibbs ran in from 31 yards out to put Detroit back on top and they finally broke clear by two scores when Goff hit Amon-Ra St Brown with a nine-yard scoring strike touchdown pass.

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Lions’ Jahmyr Gibbs turns on the afterburners for a 31-yard touchdown!

The Bucs again threatened to come back following Evans’ TD, only for Mayfield to be picked off by Derrick Barnes to spark huge celebrations in Detroit.

Stats leaders:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Passing: Baker Mayfield, 26/41, 349 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
  • Rushing: Rachaad White, 9 carries, 55 yards
  • Receiving: Mike Evans, 8 catches, 147 yards, 1 TD

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Is this the game? Lions extend their lead by two touchdowns thanks to Amon-Ra St Brown

Detroit Lions

  • Passing: Jared Goff, 30/43, 287 yards, 2 TDs
  • Rushing: Jahmyr Gibbs, 9 carries, 74 yards, 1 TD
  • Receiving: Amon-Ra St. Brown, 8 catches, 77 yards, 1 TD

Score summary

Scoring summary

Buccaneers 0-3 Lions Michael Badgley 23-yard field goal
Buccaneers 3-3 Lions Chase McLaughlin 43-yard field goal
Buccaneers 3-10 Lions Jared Goff nine-yard TD pass to Josh Reynolds (extra point)
Buccaneers 10-10 Lions Baker Mayfield two-yard TD pass to Cade Otton (extra point)
Buccaneers 10-17 Lions Craig Reynolds one-yard rushing TD (extra point)
Buccaneers 17-17 Lions Baker Mayfield 12-yard TD pass to Rachaad White (extra point)
Buccaneers 17-24 Lions Jahmyr Gibbs 31-yard rushing TD (extra point)
Buccaneers 17-31 Lions Jared Goff nine-yard TD pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown (extra point)
Buccaneers 23-31 Lions Baker Mayfield 16-yard TD pass to Rachaad White (failed two-point conversion)

What’s next?

The Lions travel to San Francisco next Sunday to take on the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, with the winner booking a place at Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas on February 11.

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