Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Matthew Stafford struggled for much of the game, but he shined when it counted as his 5-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Smith with 10 seconds to play led the Detroit Lions to a 27-23 win over the St. Louis Rams in the opener at Ford Field.
Stafford was picked off three times in the first half, including one that was returned for a touchdown, but he guided the team on two fourth-quarter touchdowns to give the Lions (1-0) the win in front of the home crowd.
Smith had a terrific game as he carried the ball 13 times for 62 yards and a score and added four catches for 29 yards and the winning score for Detroit, which is hoping to build off last season's 10-6 mark that saw the team lose to New Orleans in the playoffs, its first postseason appearance since 1999.
Sam Bradford had an efficient game as he went 17-for-25 with 198 yards and a score while Brandon Gibson finished the game with four catches for 51 yards and a touchdown for the Rams (0-1), who went 2-14 last year and have now lost eight straight.
The Sports Network