Matthew Stafford outplayed Josh Freeman in a matchup of quarterbacks picked in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft, and the Detroit Lions held on to post a 27-20 victory over the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Detroit has won five straight dating to the end of last season.
Limited to 13 games over his first two seasons, Stafford carried over his success from the preseason by completing 24 of 33 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns. The former No. 1 overall pick surpassed 3,000 career passing yards.
Stafford's only major mistake was an interception that Aqib Talib returned 28 yards for a touchdown to give Tampa Bay a 10-3 lead.
Freeman missed two series in the second half with a right shoulder injury, but he returned to lead the Buccaneers on their only scoring drive of the day. Freeman threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams in the fourth quarter, extending a franchise-record streak of 14 consecutive games in which he has at least one scoring toss.
Tampa Bay's Kellen Winslow had six catches for 66 yards, extending his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 77.
The win was the Lions' second in a row against the Buccaneers after losing five of the previous six meetings.