The Five Worst Plays that were NOT the Fake Field Goal Attempt 7

9:06 PM 19 Nov 2013

It is always frustrating after a loss.  Fans of most franchises, the Lions in particular, tend to look for someone or something to blame.  The Lions listless approach to playcalling and execution against the Pittsburgh Steelers led them to a 37-27 loss and dropped them to 6-4.  That’s still good enough for first place in the NFC North, but not good enough for fans who were calling for heads to roll.  As is almost always the case when a trick play fails and a team loses, fans have keyed in on one play in the Fourth Quarter as the turning point in the game.  The timing is right.  The Lions still led by four points that late in the game, and after that play the Steelers rallied to win by ten points.  That’s about where it ends, however, as the Lions first attempt at a trick play on Special Teams in what seems like forever failed pretty miserably after Sam Martin picked up 3 of the 5 yards needed for a first down before fumbling the ball away.  Taking the emotion out of the loss, it was a gutsy and questionable call, but not a terrible one.  If the Lions had converted, they would have had a chance to go up by two scores late in the game.  If they failed, the Steelers were pinned back near their own end zone with a ton of ground to cover.  That’s what ended up happening, as the Steelers recovered at the 3 yard line.  They would go on to drive 97 yards and score the go ahead touchdown.  Matthew Stafford didn’t complete a single pass in the 4th Quarter, Calvin Johnson didn’t get a single catch the entire second half, and the defense was missing tackles like there was a going out of business sale at Sucktropolis that day.  Yet, it is the failed Field Goal attempt that fans key in on.  This is despite the deficit.  Three points there still would have had the Lions losing by a TD, and going ahead in points tends to make opposing offenses pass MORE, not less, and the Lions secondary had more holes in it than a plot summary for Lost.  There WERE worse plays in the game, and those are what I’m going to highlight here.

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7 thoughts on “The Five Worst Plays that were NOT the Fake Field Goal Attempt

  1. Reply Terrance B Nov 19, 2013 9:44 PM

    So true. Man what a bummer of a game that was. My personal thought was that the faked field goal sucked te wind out of the lions and gave the steam to the steelers. These other plays just demonstrate how inept Linehan can be. Some games he’s decent enough to say okay good call or good play here or there. I like the aggressive mind set that they were trying to use as well I just can’t say that while it’s raining have the rookie punter running on a two team abused mudpit (high school game, college?) get the ball and try to run it. Same with the first quarter (I believe) possession going for it on forth down. I hope the lions didn’t walk in there thinking this was gonna be a piece if ketchup slathered cake, or, maybe we do? Hopefully they learned you have to play the full 60 mins or wind up looking like a team that doesn’t deserve first place in the NFC. GO LIONS!

  2. Reply David Nov 19, 2013 10:20 PM

    Good stuff sir! Pretty much the exact things I posted but in much greater detail I disagree with the last throw to Johnson even as they had a deep safety to cover I take my chances with that throw and a catch only CJ makes if you go back and look how that ball was under thrown and if he leads Johnson there is a chance of a PI or miraculous catch which we’ve seen before. The first time it was under thrown and CJ made an adjustment and shredded the DB. As to the fake field goal it was NOT a good call even if it worked. There is a thing called risk reward and the risk wasn’t worth the reward as you’re asking a rookie punter to go 12 yards to make 5 you essentially have no margin for error it’s like asking private first class soldiers to go take out a rescue mission ( with all due respect) I would have preferred he threw it if anything. You’re on the road bad conditions bank the points and u still have over 12 min.. Bad call

    • Kent Lee Platte, TSB Senior Writer Reply Kent Lee Platte, TSB Senior Writer Nov 20, 2013 10:02 AM

      If the fake field goal had worked, the Lions would have been up by 11. The game was decided by 10 points. If it succeeded, the Steelers would have started on their 20 on the next drive. If the Lions took the Field Goal, they would have been up by 7 in a game decided by 10 points, and the Steelers would have started on the 20.

      As it is, the fake failed and the Steelers started on their 3. They then proceeded to march down field killing clock along the way, and score a TD, putting them ahead. If the fake had succeeded, they would have still scored, since they would have been behind and would have passed more, which was why their 97 yard drive was successful. If the Lions took the FG, the Steelers would have been down by a TD and still would have passed more, meaning the chances for a TD were very high considering the drive they made from the 3.

      The Lions next three plays were passes, with the 2nd and 3rd down plays exclusively down field plays. Do the Lions make those awful playcalls if they still led by 4 instead of trailing by 3 with only 4 minutes left? They still may have lost if they made the fake work, but they DEFINITELY still would have lost if they just took the Field Goal, and they knew it. It’s not like their defense was coming up with big stops on Ben Roethlisberger, he was passing on them with ease.

  3. Reply Kevin Lang Nov 19, 2013 11:03 PM

    I can’t believe that Linehan AT THE VERY LEAST didn’t flip the formation on that 2nd play to Calvin. No shifts are anything. Absolutely atrocious play call.

  4. Derek Mack Reply dmac93065 Nov 21, 2013 12:13 PM

    Great stuff Kent. This was a very in-depth look at the plays that lost the game. We live in a soundbite and highlight clip society and it’s easy to get the masses to look at one singular event as the proximate cause of a loss. The Steelers beat the Lions handily for 3 of the 4 quarters in which the game was played. Players didn’t execute and coaches proved they still have quite a bit of developing to do to match wits with savvy, talented and experienced counterparts.

  5. Reply mark cooper Nov 21, 2013 8:18 PM

    Good stuff Kent! I hate to make excuses, but the terrible field conditions took Bush out of the 2nd half and when Pittsburgh realized he was not a threat they were able to blanket Calvin. When you look at the Arizona game when Bush didn’t play the second half our offense was not effective at all.

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