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Lions Resurrect Hope With Highlight-Filled Homestand

By Will Burchfield
Twitter @Burchie_kid

How's that for a homestand?

The Lions pulled off another dramatic win on Sunday, coming from behind to beat the Washington Redskins 20-17. It was their third straight victory, all of them coming at home, and suddenly Detroit's 1-3 start is a distant memory.

"I told our guys we have to take advantage of the opportunities," said Jim Caldwell. "If you're going to be a good football team, you've got to play well at home. You've got to win your home games. We talk about opportunities are multiplied, they are seized, so this was a stretch that we had to take advantage of."

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The Lions didn't make it easy, but they certainly made it satisfying. They won their last three games by a combined seven points, rallying in the fourth quarter on each occasion. Sunday's win over the Redskins provided the most dramatic moment yet, with Matthew Stafford leading the Lions on a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in the final minute to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat.

"It was really huge, man. To win three games in a row in the NFL is tough. You definitely want to win all your home games and for us to come in and protect our home field and get three wins in a row, that's big, that's great momentum," said Glover Quin.

This was a critical stretch of the Lions season. They came home after a Week 4 loss to the Chicago Bears with their season on life support. Things looked over before they had really begun. To resurrect hope, they had to take advantage of what was in front of them.

"We understood the schedule was set up for us to have three straight home games," said Golden Tate. "If we could start 1-0 we'd give ourselves a chance."

They did that by beating the Philadelphia Eagles, then stoked the positivity with a win over the St. Louis Rams the following week. Entering play Sunday, the Lions were on the verge of a legitimate mid-season revival.

And they very nearly let it slip away.

But Stafford brought the Lions back as he has so many time before, capping this heart-racing homestand with a most fitting finish.

"All these three games at home have come down to the final two minutes of the game, we just found ways to win them," Quin said. "Obviously you don't want to get in that situation, but if that situation comes up (again) now you have that confidence and that belief that we're going to pull this game out, we're going to make a big play."

What a difference three games make. The mood was somber and now it's sanguine. The outlook was bleak and now it's bright.

The Lions were dead and now they're alive.

"Winning is contagious, just like losing is contagious," said Andre Roberts, who made a terrific catch to set up Stafford's game-winning touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin. "We got to come back home and win a few games so I think we're in a good state of mind."

With their season on the brink, the Lions answered the bell. They grabbed hold of their final lifeline and pulled themselves to safety. It was frantic at times, downright desperate at others, but rewarding in the end. The Lions are back on board.

"I hope we remember this feeling of winning and just continue to do it," said Golden Tate. "I've always believed that good teams string three, four, five games together wherever they are, on the road or at home."

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