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(Sunday, October 30th)
Final Score: Detroit 45, Denver 10
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Matthew Stafford threw three touchdown passes and the Detroit defense scored twice as the Lions routed the Denver Broncos, 45-10.
Stafford was nearly flawless as he was 21-for-30 with 267 yards, while Calvin Johnson caught six balls for 125 yards and his league-leading 11th touchdown of the season for the Lions (6-2), who snapped a two-game losing streak.
"I think the biggest thing we wanted to do is play like we played at the beginning of the season," said Stafford. "We hadn't really had the attitude and tempo we had and not worry about what they were going to do. The guys up front on both sides of the line did a great job out there today and that's where you win games."
Maurice Morris had 58 yards and a score on 13 rushes while Titus Young caught the first touchdown of his career to help Detroit move to 4-0 on the road this season.
Tim Tebow, in his first home start, had a tough game as his interception and fumble were both returned for touchdowns by Detroit's defense. He finished the game 18-for-39 with just 172 yards and a score, and also added 63 yards on 10 carries for the Broncos (2-5), who were coming off last week's thrilling 18-15 win over Miami in overtime.
"I'm going to get up early and go back to work and put this game behind me," said Tebow. "I can't let setbacks like this get to me because we have a good team here and we're going to improve as we move along."
Denver started the game with the ball and quickly got down the field thanks in part to a 34-yard run from Lance Ball. Two plays later, Tebow hit Decker in- stride on an apparent 21-yard touchdown, but he was ruled to have gone out of the back of the end zone before getting both feet in and a Denver challenge failed. After another incompletion, Matt Prater hit a 39-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
Detroit answered quickly, though, as Stafford found a wide open Young in the end zone on a 41-yard score for a 7-3 lead with 8:40 left in the first. A blown coverage assignment by Denver resulted in no one being within 15 yards of Young as the rookie caught his first touchdown pass.
With the ball at his own 11, Stafford hit Nate Burleson for 15 yards and later scrambled for 21 yards with an unnecessary roughness call on Denver at the end of the play getting Detroit across midfield. The drive stalled, though, and Jason Hanson hit a 50-yard field goal early in the second for a 10-3 lead.
Later in the second, Detroit held the ball at its own 32 and a 19-yard catch by Calvin Johnson moved the ball past midfield. On 2nd-and-8 at the 30, Stafford lofted a ball down the right side that saw Tony Scheffler bobble the ball, but he eventually came down with the 28-yard catch to set up a 1st-and- goal. Three plays later, Stafford rolled out to the right and hit Scheffler in the end zone for a 17-3 lead.
A quick three-and-out from Denver saw Detroit get the ball back with 2:05 to play and that was plenty of time for the team to get into the end zone when Morris leaped over the pile from a yard out for a 24-3 lead heading into the halftime break.
Detroit started the second half with the ball, but failed to get a first down and had to punt.
The defense, though, came up with the big play as Cliff Avril came around the corner to strip Tebow of the ball, picked up the loose ball and took it into the end zone from 24 yards out for a 31-3 lead.
Later in the third, Stafford went to a familiar target as he hooked up with Johnson on a 56-yard score for a 38-3 lead with 6:18 to play in the third.
Denver put together its first long drive since its opening drive of the game and were in the red zone, but Chris Houston picked off Tebow at the goal line and took it 100 yards the other way for a 45-3 game with just over 12 minutes to play.
The Broncos didn't make any mistakes on their next touch as a nine-play, 80- yard drive saw Decker haul in a 14-yard TD pass from Tebow to account for the final score.
Hanson is 4-for-5 on field goal attempts of 50 or more yards this season...Detroit has off next week...Johnson, who has a catch in every one of his 68 NFL games, has four straight 100-yard games...It was the most points the Lions scored on the road since 1967...Denver plays at Oakland next Sunday...Denver totaled 312 yards, including 195 on the ground while Detroit had 376 yards, with just 113 of those on the ground...Detroit sacked Tebow seven times.
10/30 20:39:26 ET