Lions barely beat Vikings 34-28 on final play

December 11, 2011 - 5:46 PM
Vikings Lions Football

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) looks downfield during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — Backup quarterback Joe Webb fumbled deep in Lions territory in the final seconds, and Detroit escaped with a 34-28 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

DeAndre Levy appeared to get away with grabbing Webb's facemask before the fumble.

Matthew Stafford threw for two scores in the first quarter to give Detroit one of its three-touchdown leads. The Lions (8-5) won a game — barely — they needed to improve playoff positioning after losing five of seven.

Webb led the Vikings (2-11) to touchdowns on his first two drives after rookie Christian Ponder was benched and was a yard away from another TD.

On first-and-goal from the 1 with 9 seconds left, a replay appeared to show Levy grabbing Webb's facemask, but a flag wasn't thrown. The ball popped free and was batted back toward midfield by Detroit's Stephen Tulloch. Webb ran it down and tried to pick it up, but the ball came loose again and Cliff Avril finally fell on it to end the game.