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PRO FOOTBALL : Lions Enjoy a Long Day, Win, 20-10

December 14, 1987| From Times Wire Services

TAMPA, Fla. — Detroit's Chuck Long, in his second season, felt like an old pro.

Long outplayed rookie Vinny Testaverde Sunday and led the Lions to a 20-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"It's ironic, but everything evens out," Long said after the Lions ended a four-game losing streak. "No matter how much you pay a rookie quarterback, they all look the same when they get on the field at first.

"Vinny's human, he'll make mistakes. I know. I was in his situation not so long ago."

Long threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Pete Mandley, and Eddie Murray kicked two field goals as the Lions (3-10) won a game in December for the first time since beating Tampa Bay in the 1983 finale.

The Buccaneers (4-9) lost their sixth straight game.

Testaverde, making his second start as a pro, completed 20 of 39 passes for 262 yards and 1 touchdown after throwing for an NFL rookie-record 369 yards last week.

"Testaverde did more good than bad," Coach Ray Perkins said. "He was clicking, but penalties pushed us back and we lost our composure. He's going to be a great player, but we need some people to go with him."

Leading, 13-3, the Lions put the game away when Gary Ellerson scored on a six-yard run midway through the final period.

Testaverde completed 5 of 6 passes on a 78-yard touchdown drive that he capped with a 28-yard scoring pass to Bruce Hill.

"I had my mistakes, but to tell you the truth, I just can't worry what the fans expect," Testaverde said. "I'm just going to do the best I can. I feel comfortable with what I'm doing when I'm in there."

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