Kellen Moore shines, leads Lions to comeback victory

BOISE -- Former Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore led the Detroit Lions to a comeback victory over the Cleveland Browns in an NFL preseason game on Saturday.

With the Lions trailing 12-6 and 2:14 remaining in the game, Moore engineered a four-play, 50-yard scoring drive in 1:09.

Moore, who benefitted from two defensive holding penalties on the game-winning drive, hit wide receiver Andrew Peacock over the middle for 11-yards to get Detroit down to the 21-yard line.

Operating out of the no huddle, on the very next play, Moore hit wide receiver Corey Fuller down the left sideline for the go-ahead score with 1:05 left in regulation.

"Corey was one-on-one. We went to our guy," Moore recalled after the game.

"Kellen threw a great ball and I just had to run underneath of it," Fuller added. "I can tell he controlled the tempo. He controlled the huddle. He was controlling the field. He kept everybody poised and under control."

Moore finished the night 11-of-13 for 121 yards in a little over one quarter of action. His 131.1 quarterback rating was a career-best as a pro.

In a game that featured quarterbacks like Lions starter, Matthew Stafford, Browns veteran, Brian Hoyer, and 2014 first-round pick Johnny Manziel, Moore was the only signal-caller to throw a touchdown pass.

"I think the biggest thing is just getting comfortable with things," Moore explained. "Obviously, every time you step up a level, it's only more competitive and the margin of error is smaller.

"I've taken advantage over the past few years and have gotten better."

Moore's teammates agree.

"He made some great throws tonight, he was poised," said Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles. "The last one to Corey Fuller was a dime. You couldn't ask for a better ball and he did that for him."

"He's cool as a cucumber," Stafford added. "He's made plays like that his entire life. (If) you look at Boise and his entire career, you know every time he's had an opportunity with the Lions, he's stepped up and made plays."

Entering the game, many believe Moore was fighting to be the No. 3 quarterback on the Lions depth chart with undrafted rookie James Franklin.

Now the momentum shifts and raises a bigger question: Can Moore push fellow backup Dan Orlovsky, who went 12-of-23 for 89 yards versus the Browns, for the No. 2 job?

"I saw his numbers in college were impeccable," said Lions first-year head coach Jim Caldwell. "The number of wins that he had – the guy is accurate and can throw the ball. (He is a) coach's kid – has moxie and things of that nature.

"We'll see how things go," Caldwell added. "Both guys are smart guys that you can see they understand the offense and function within it fairly well."

Either way, the winningest quarterback in the history of college football is starting to move on from that title and develop a new identity in the NFL.

"Guys love him in the locker room," Stafford said. "He's a guy that everybody knows works really hard and just has that 'it.'"

Okay, maybe not too much has changed after all.


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