The Barry & Bo Show was everything the Los Angeles Raiders and ABC television could have hoped for Monday night.
The Detroit Lions could have used just a little bit more -- eight points more, to be exact.
Despite an inspired performance by Barry Sanders, the Lions found themselves on the short end of a 38-31 "Monday Night Football" thriller played to a national television audience and 72,190 at the Silverdome.
The victory lifted the Raiders into a tie with Kansas City for the AFC West lead with a 9-4 record; the Chiefs still have the edge because they swept the season series with the Raiders.
At 4-9, the Lions are last in the NFC Central.
But Monday night's show transcended won-lost records, and became a showcase for two of the NFL's most exciting running backs.
Sanders carried 25 times for 176 yards -- his best game of the season; caught three passes for another 16 yards; and scored on touchdown runs of 35 and 5 yards.
Bo Jackson, the Raiders' two-sport superstar, was up to the prime-time challenge. He carried 18 times for 129 yards and scored on a 55-yard run.
"I really wouldn't say that run broke it open, but it helped," Jackson said.
And the supporting cast on both sides of the field lifted its performance level accordingly.
Lions quarterback Rodney Peete threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to rookie Jeff Campbell and scored on a 6-yard run, and Eddie Murray kicked a 47-yard field goal.
Raiders' quarterback Jay Schroeder completed 12 of 19 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns -- 68 yards to Willie Gault, 10 yards to Mervyn Fernandez and 3 yards to Tim Brown.
Marcus Allen, who shares the running plays with Jackson, also scored on a 2-yard run.
It was not a big night for defenses, although defensive players on both sides made big plays.
William White, Chris Spielman, Jerry Ball and Victor Jones made important stops for the Lions; Greg Townsend, Terry McDaniel and Howie Long showed why the Raiders' defense is regarded as one of the best in the NFL.
And in the end, the Raiders had a little too much of everything.
"Everybody got their money's worth," Raiders coach Art Shell said. "I told the team to play for 60 minutes, and they did. I told them the Lions would make a lot of plays, but so did we."
The Lions' last good chance came in the fourth quarter when they regained their momentum with a 58-yard touchdown drive that cut Los Angeles' lead to 35-31.
On fourth-and-two from their 47 with 4:30 to play, coach Wayne Fontes first sent out his punt unit. Moments later, he changed his mind, called a time-out and put his offense back on the field.
Peete scrambled for the necessary first-down yardage, but Townsend managed to get a hand on the ball, tearing it loose and sending it bounding crazily out of control.
The Lions recovered, but they had lost the first-down yardage.
"I'd make the call again," Fontes said. "I looked up and we were four points down. A field goal couldn't win it. Whether they get a field goal or not, we still needed seven to win."
They never got it, but they might have had a better chance if instant-replay official Al Sabato had seen the same replay ABC television fans saw.
Jackson was hit and fumbled the ball near the Lions' 20. Officials on the field ruled that the ball went out of bounds before bouncing back and being recovered by the Lions.
The television replay showed Lions linebacker George Jamison tapped it out onto the playing field before it went out of bounds, but the official said he did not see that view of the play until the Raiders had run the next play.
"I had three views from TV, from the side, where I could not make the decision, it was inconclusive," Sabato said. "And consequently, I said the play stands.
"After the play went on, TV came back with another shot, with an end zone shot looking into the fumble in which, if I had had that shot, I would have overruled the play on the field. I did not have it."