Comeback Cats: Lions make NFL history with late-game rallies

By Larry Lage

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Oct. 3 2011 11:30 p.m. MDT

Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) celebrates his touchdown by bumping helmets with quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jose Yau)

Associated Press

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DETROIT — Matthew Stafford stepped into the huddle, looked into his teammates' eyes and delivered a message.

"He told us, 'It's about that time, let's loosen up, have fun and score on these guys," Detroit Lions receiver Titus Young recalled Monday. "Then, we started to rally."

Did they ever. Again.

Detroit dug a 27-3 hole Sunday at Dallas and came back to win 34-30, a week after falling behind Minnesota 20-0 and winning 26-23 in overtime.

The Lions have become the Comeback Cats, the first team in NFL history to rally from 20-plus point deficits in consecutive victories and its 24-point comeback at Dallas matched the largest one on the road in league history, according to STATS, LLC.

"I think anytime you come down from 20-something, you're doing some kind of stealing," Stafford said. "We played good in the second half to come back and steal it. We have to play better in the first half, we know that. We have to come out and improve next week."

The world will get to watch just how much the once-lowly Lions have improved in their next game.

Detroit (4-0) will host the Chicago Bears (2-2) in its first game on Monday night in a decade with the proud-again franchise shooting for a 5-0 start for the first time since 1956 — the year before its last NFL championship.

"We know the magnitude of the game, being on a national stage," center Dominic Raiola said.

The Lions have burst into the spotlight this season with a well-rounded, deep team. They have a couple emerging stars on offense, Stafford and Calvin Johnson, one on defense in Ndamukong Suh, and a refuse-to-lose attitude that has suddenly engulfed the entire franchise.

The Lions took advantage of losing a lot by drafting Stafford No. 1 overall two years ago and taking receiver Calvin Johnson No. 2 overall in 2007.

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