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PRO FOOTBALL : Lions Defeat Falcons, 30-13, but Lose Shot at Top Draft Pick

December 28, 1987| From Times Wire Services

ATLANTA — The Detroit Lions, by defeating the Atlanta Falcons, 30-13, Sunday, lost a chance for the No. 1 draft choice in 1988.

But that didn't bother quarterback Chuck Long. "Drafting No. 1 means nothing," he said. "Winning means everything."

Coach Darryl Rogers said: "It's a relief not being last, although 26 or 27 isn't a lot better."

Atlanta, by losing, ends up with the worst record in the National Football League at 3-12. Detroit, which got two scoring runs from Gary Ellerson and three field goals from Eddie Murray, finishes at 4-11.

Long, who completed 11 of 25 passes for 157 yards, said: "The fans remember your last game. We won, so it will be a lot easier to walk around Detroit in the off-season."

Atlanta Coach Marion Campbell said: "I haven't been thinking about the draft."

Ellerson opened the scoring with an eight-yard run in the opening quarter and added a two-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Murray kicked field goals of 45, 23 and 46 yards.

Ricky Smith closed out Detroit's scoring by returning a Chris Miller interception 34 yards for a touchdown.

Miller, the Falcons' No. 1 draft choice who was making his second start in a row, connected with Floyd Dixon on a 51-yard touchdown pass play late in the second quarter and Mick Luckhurst added two field goals for Atlanta's points.

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