Stafford-led Lions rally to beat Panthers 49-35

By LARRY LAGE | November 20, 2011 | 4:25 PM EST

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Detroit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT (AP) — Matthew Stafford threw his fifth touchdown pass to Brandon Pettigrew with 2:32 left to help the Detroit Lions rally to beat the Carolina Panthers 49-35 Sunday.

Detroit (7-3) became the first NFL team since at least 1950 to win three games in a season after trailing by at least 17 points, according to STATS, LLC.

Carolina (2-8) led 24-7 in the second quarter.

The Panthers tied it at 35 with 4:59 left on Cam Newton's 6-yard run and 2-point conversion pass.

Stafford started the game-winning drive with a 30-yard pass to Calvin Johnson and capped it by converting a third down from the 7 with a strike to Pettigrew in the end zone.

Newton helped Detroit seal the victory by throwing his third interception on the next snap.