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Lions, Harrington Defeat Atlanta

Detroit Wins Another on Road: Lions 17, Falcons 10

By Paul Newberry
Associated Press
Monday, October 11, 2004; Page D11

ATLANTA, Oct. 10 -- The Detroit Lions have learned to win on the road.

Michael Vick is still trying to get a handle on the West Coast offense. After going three years without a road victory, the Lions made it two in a row Sunday with a 17-10 victory over Vick and the previously unbeaten Atlanta Falcons.


Detroit's Alex Lewis evades Michael Vick after intercepting a pass. The Lions ended Atlanta's chances of going 5-0 for the first time in franchise history. (John Amis -- AP)

_____  Week 5 Results _____
Baltimore 17, Washington 10
Pittsburgh 34, Cleveland 23
Detroit 17, Atlanta, 10
New England 24, Miami, 10
Minnesota 34, Houston, 28 (OT)
N.Y. Giants 26, Dallas, 10
Indianapolis 35, Oakland 14
Tampa Bay 20, New Orleans, 17
N.Y. Jets 16, Buffalo 14
San Diego 34, Jacksonville 21
San Francisco 31, Arizona 28 (OT)
Denver 20, Carolina 17
St. Louis 33, Seattle 27 (OT)

Monday
Tennessee 48, Green Bay 27

Open Date
Chicago, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Philadelphia

What's Your Opinion?
Who's going to win this week?


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_____Mark Maske's NFL Insider_____
New Rules Aid Manning's Run for Record (washingtonpost.com, Nov 18, 2004)
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Bills Still Giving Bledsoe the Nod Over Losman (washingtonpost.com, Nov 16, 2004)
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_____Falcons Basics_____
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Detroit (3-1) harassed Vick into three turnovers, including a fumble in the final minute that sealed the victory.

"This is a whole different team," cornerback Fernando Bryant said. "We don't care what happened in the past."

Joey Harrington threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Az-Zahir Hakim on fourth and five, and Artose Pinner scored on a one-yard dive with 1 minute 57 seconds left in the first half, the Lions' first rushing touchdown this season.

Detroit set an NFL record by losing 24 straight road games over the previous three years, but opened the season with a 20-17 victory in Chicago.

Now, it's getting to be a habit.

"I love the resiliency of this team," Coach Steve Mariucci said.

The Falcons (4-1) were denied the first 5-0 start in franchise history, along with Jim Mora taking the first loss of his head coaching career. The only other time Atlanta began 4-0 was 1986, though the team did not make the playoffs that year.

"We'll handle this like we handled the wins," Mora said. "You're going to have some adversity in the NFL."

Just ask Vick. Once again, he looked uncomfortable in the new West Coast offense. He fumbled three times, losing two of them, and also threw an interception that led to Detroit's go-ahead touchdown.

"I was caught up looking for receivers and got careless with the ball," Vick said. "The bottom line is I should have had the ball tucked away."

Late in the first half, he threw an interception that linebacker Alex Lewis returned 33 yards to the Atlanta 2.

Even Detroit's running game could handle it from there. Pinner, in his first career start, was stuffed twice before plunging into the end zone for a 14-7 lead.

The Falcons had not been behind all season, and they didn't react well to the situation.

Early in the third quarter, with the Falcons at the Detroit 21, James Hall knocked the ball loose and Cory Redding fell on it for the Lions.

The Falcons had one more chance to force overtime, driving again to the Detroit 21 in the final minute. Vick completed three passes, including a 24-yarder to Alge Crumpler, but the Lions turned up the heat again.

"Everybody's watching," Vick said. "The pressure is on. That's when I feel I'm at my best. I handled it fairly well until the end."


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