NFL: Detroit Lions beat Atlanta Falcons 22-21 at Wembley
Last updated on .From the section American football
Detroit Lions completed a remarkable second-half comeback to beat the Atlanta Falcons 22-21 in their NFL regular season match at Wembley.
Atlanta scored three touchdowns in the first half to lead 21-0 while Detroit had a 102-yard interception return chalked off for a foul.
Quarterback Matt Stafford threw two touchdown passes and Matt Prater kicked two field goals to give Detroit hope.
Prater then kicked a 48-yard field goal in the final seconds to win the match.
It was Prater's second attempt after his first effort from 43 yards drifted wide but he was given a reprieve when the Lions were given a five-yard penalty for delaying the game.
The 13:30 GMT kick-off in front of a sell-out crowd meant it was the earliest start for American viewers in NFL history.
It was the second NFL match at Wembley this season with a third match, between Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys, to come on 9 November.
|NFL at Wembley|
|2007: New York Giants 13-10 Miami Dolphins||2013: Pittsburgh Steelers 27-34 Minnesota Vikings|
|2008: San Diego Chargers 32-37 New Orleans Saints||2013: San Francisco 49ers 42-10 Jacksonville Jaguars|
|2009: New England Patriots 35-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2014: Miami Dolphins 38-14 Oakland Raiders|
|2010: Denver Broncos 16-24 San Francisco 49ers||2014: Atlanta Falcons 21-22 Detroit Lions|
|2011: Chicago Bears 24-18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2014: 9 November - Jacksonville Jaguars v Dallas Cowboys|
|2012: New England Patriots 45-7 St Louis Rams|
Atlanta went into the game on the back of a four-match losing streak but dominated the first-half with quarterback Matt Ryan throwing two touchdown passes to Devonta Freeman and Bear Pascoe while Steven Jackson ran in from one yard.
Detroit thought they had replied when Rashean Mathis intercepted Ryan's pass in his own end zone and ran it 102 yards for the touchdown only for officials to rule it out for a foul.
The momentum began to change after the break though as the Lions' scored a third-quarter field goal to get on the scoreboard.
|Good morning America|
|Normally NFL matches played in London kick-off at 6pm but Sunday's 1.30pm GMT start meant it was the earliest ever start for a game in NFL history|
|Fans on American's east coast saw the start at 9.30am and it was even earlier at 6.30am for Pacific coast viewers|
|The early start meant the match clashed with church services|
|Reverend Bill Britt from the Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Atlanta, Georgia organised to show the match in the church hall between services|
Stafford then threw a stunning 59-yard touchdown to Golden Tate and picked out Theo Riddick for another six-point score, after a second Prater field goal, to trail 22-20.
The Lions missed a two-point conversion attempt to level the match but Stafford moved his team up the pitch in the final 90 seconds to give Prater his match-winning shot.
Meanwhile, Alistair Kirkwood NFL UK managing director confirmed there would be another three matches at Wembley next year.
Speaking to the BBC World Service he said: "We are going to do three games next year.
"There are some logistic reasons around the Rugby World Cup that means we won't be going to four or five.
"The twist is we are looking at staging two games back to back in successive weeks to test this support base."