Detroit kicker Eddie Murray hit the right upright on a 21-yard field goal try in overtime and the Lions settled for the first tie of the NFL season today, 23-23, with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles had caught up on a 40-yard field goal by Paul McFadden with three seconds remaining in regulation. McFadden made kicks from 52 and 51 yards in the first half. Murray's ninth straight field goal success, an 18-yarder with 1:03 left, put the Lions ahead, 23-20, but Philadelphia drove back for McFadden's game-tying kick.
The Lions won the toss and started the overtime by advancing from their 41 to the Eagles' three. There, Coach Monte Clark ordered out the field goal unit on first down 4:44 into sudden death.
Although the ball was on the right hash mark, Clark opted not to risk a turnover.
After the miss, neither team mounted a serious threat the remaining 10:16. The result leaves the Lions 3-6-1, the Eagles 4-5-1.
"I'm finding this a little hard to get over," Murray said. "What can I say? I have no excuses. Nothing was wrong with the snap or hold It's like in golfing where you're aiming at a tree and you're supposed to miss it.
"If I kicked it another 100 times I wouldn't hit that goal post."
Said Clark: "I'm sure he feels as bad as I do, but he had a job to do and he didn't do it."