Lions kicking themselves after Henery misses all 3 field goal attempts in 17-14 loss to Bills

bug


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

People:

Organizations:

Subjects:

Places:

 


DETROIT — The Detroit Lions have another placekicking problem.

Injuries are catching up to them as well.

Alex Henery missed all three field-goal attempts, including a 50-yarder with 21 seconds left, and receiver Calvin Johnson and running back Reggie Bush both left with ankle injuries in a 17-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

"Obviously, a tough one to lose," coach Jim Caldwell said. "Any time you leave points on the table in this league, obviously, it's bound to come back and haunt you."

Henery's three misses certainly did, allowing the Bills to rally from a 14-0 deficit and pull out the win on Dan Carpenter's 58-yard field goal with 4 seconds left.

Caldwell was already hinting at switching kickers for a second time in three weeks after Henery hit the right upright from 44 yards and fluttered a 47-yard attempt short and to the left.

"It's a performance-based league, plain and simple, and you have to perform," Caldwell said.

Henery was signed two weeks ago to replace rookie Nate Freese, who missed four of seven attempts through three games.

An even more pressing concern is the status of Johnson, who did not return after aggravating an injury to his right ankle early into the third quarter.

"I won't be certain if it's a long-term issue, but he did take a pretty good whack," said Caldwell, adding that Johnson's injury is still being evaluated.

Johnson was hurt while making his only catch of the game. Reaching down to make a 7-yard catch, Johnson was immediately hit low by cornerback Leodis McKelvin. Johnson clutched his right ankle and was briefly treated on the field. He then got up and slowly walked off the field.

Caldwell said Bush is also being evaluated after the running back was hurt early in the fourth quarter. The Lions entered the game already missing running backs Joique Bell (concussion) and Theo Riddick (hamstring).

The Lions (3-2) squandered a 14-0 lead, and dropped to 2-1 at home.

Minus Megatron, Golden Tate picked up the slack with seven catches for 134 yards and a 9-yard touchdown catch. The Lions defense assisted the offense with cornerback Rashean Mathis returning a Kyle Orton interception 41 yards for a score.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford went 18 of 31 for 221 yards with a touchdown and interception.

His 55-yard pass to Tate with under a minute left put the Lions in a position to win the game before Henery missed from 50 yards.

"Anytime you miss opportunities, it's frustrating," Stafford said. "We all had our hands on this one. You win as a team. You lose as a team."

The Lions have been on the losing end on three of the NFL's longest game-winning field goals hit in the final 2 minutes or overtime, according to STATS.

Tom Dempsey's 63-yarder as time expired in New Orleans' 19-17 win against Detroit in 1970 leads the list. Justin Tucker's 61-yarder in Baltimore's 18-16 win ranks third on the NFL list. And Carpenter ranks sixth.

The Bills filed a complaint with NFL security officials after both holder Colton Schmidt and Orton said that someone in the stands was shining a laser pointer at them.

Carpenter was good on three of four field-goal attempts. He clanked a 50-yarder off the left upright midway through the third quarter.

The Bills (3-2) snapped a two-game skid in Orton's debut as Buffalo's starter. And their defense had six sacks in delivering coordinator Jim Schwartz a win in his return to Detroit after being fired as the Lions head coach last season.

Orton, a 10-year journeyman, went 30 of 43 for 308 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his Bills debut after EJ Manuel was benched. Orton set up the decisive score by hitting rookie Sammy Watkins over the middle for a 20-yard gain.

The ball was thrown behind Watkins, but he reached back with his right hand, tipping the ball forward and making the grab.

NOTES: Bills RB Fred Jackson followed Chris Gragg's touchdown with a rush for the 2-point conversion that tied the game with 9:23 left. ... Orton won a game for the eighth time when tied or trailing in the fourth quarter or in overtime. ... The Lions have allowed 16 sacks in the past four games. ... Detroit's kickers have hit just 4 of 12 field-goal attempts.


AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

All content copyright ©2014 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Click here to read our privacy policy.