Lions Tied With Packers After Laser Tag

Detroit and Chicago suffer self-inflicted wounds in late losses to Buffalo and Carolina on Sunday (Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

DETROIT — Bills kicker Dan Carpenter responded to an alleged laser pointer shining from the stands in Detroit with laser-point accuracy.

After banking a 50-yard attempt off the left upright in the third quarter, Carpenter split the goal posts from 58 yards with 4 seconds left for a 17-14 come-from-behind victory over the Lions on Sunday.

"I hit it really good. It was one of those things I really like to not leave opportunities like that short," said Carpenter. "I hit the ball really well, a lot better than I did on the 50-yarder."

And this time, there wasn't a laser shining in holder Colton Schmidt's face, as apparently happened on the earlier miss.

The Bills filed a complaint with NFL security officials after both Schmidt and quarterback Kyle Orton said that someone in the stands was shining a laser pointer at them.

Without going into detail, coach Doug Marrone said the issue was resolved before the game ended. In fact, Marrone said, the laser was less of a distraction than it was a motivator.

"We felt that Dan could do it," Marrone said. "At that point, with the adrenaline and everything, he was fired up."

NFL spokesman Michael Signora said the league was waiting for its security representative in Detroit to file a game report. The Lions said in a statement that they were aware of the reports and contacted NFL security regarding the issue.

The Bills (3-2) snapped a two-game skid in Orton's debut as Buffalo's starter after EJ Manuel was benched this week. And their defense had six sacks in delivering coordinator Jim Schwartz a win in his return to Detroit after being fired as Lions head coach last season.

The Lions, who fell to 3-2 and a first-place tie with Green Bay in the NF North, were undone by placekicking. Alex Henery missed all three field goals attempts, including a 50-yarder that sailed wide left with 21 seconds remaining.

Coach Jim Caldwell was already hinting of being ready to make another switch at kicker two weeks after Henery was signed to replace rookie Nate Freese. Detroit's kickers have hit just 4 of 12 field-goal attempts.

"It's a performance-based league, plain and simple, and you have to perform," Caldwell said. "Anyone that doesn't, we take a look and see if we can improve that one way or another."

The Lions squandered a 14-0 lead, dropped to 2-1 at home and also lost several key regulars to injury.

Receiver Calvin Johnson did not return after aggravating a right ankle injury in the first minute of the third quarter. Starting running back Reggie Bush didn't finish the game after also hurting his ankle.

Johnson was hurt when he reached down to make a 7-yard catch and was immediately hit low by cornerback Leodis McKelvin. Johnson clutched his right ankle and was briefly treated on the field. He then got up and slowly walked off the field.

Caldwell called the hit as "a pretty good whack," but said it was too early to determine the severity of the injury.

Golden Tate picked up the slack with seven catches for 134 yards and a 9-yard touchdown catch. The Lions' defense assisted the offense, with cornerback Rashean Mathis returning an Orton interception 41 yards for a score.

Panthers 31, Bears 24

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Matt Forte was doing what he normally does — fighting for extra yards.

This time it cost the Chicago running back.

The seven-year NFL veteran was in the midst of another productive game when a crucial fumble late in the fourth quarter led the game's deciding touchdown, lifting the Carolina Panthers to a 31-24 win over the Bears on Sunday.

The Bears turned the ball over four times, including three in their final three possessions, and surrendered a 14-point lead for their second straight defeat.

"It's frustrating early on because it's not like we are getting beat, but we are beating ourselves," Forte said. "If we can get out of our own way, we can win some games."

Jay Cutler had three of those turnovers — two on interceptions and another on a sack-fumble with 1:06 left that sealed Carolina's win.

"Turnovers are hurting us," Cutler said. "Turnovers in critical times have hurt us, especially in the second half. We'd been able to overcome a lot of them in the first half. It's always the second half ones that are hurting us and we have to eliminate those."

Meanwhile, quarterback Cam Newton dispelled any notion that the Panthers' offense isn't built to erase big deficits.

Newton threw for 255 yards and two touchdown passes to ex-Bears tight end Greg Olsen, including the winner with 2:18 left in the game following Forte's fumble.

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