‘Playing Madden’: Detroit Lions dial up wild trick plays

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift celebrates making a first down on a fake punt with teammate Josh Woods during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium.
D'Andre Swift celebrates after running for a first down on one of two successful fake punts from the Detroit Lions. Pic: Reuters

The winless Detroit Lions pulled out all the stops in an effort to bring about a stunning upset against the red-hot Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

Considered heavy underdogs heading into the clash, the Lions started the game in impressive fashion, scoring a 63-yard touchdown through D’Andre Swift on their opening drive. 

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However, it was the shenanigans which followed next that really had Lions fans out of their seats.

On the ensuing kick-off, Austin Seibert’s attempted a surprise onside kick, which was recovered by safety Tracy Walker. 

When Detroit failed to convert a first down following recovery, they once again dug deep into the playbook before, running a fake punt that saw punter Jack Fox complete a 17-yard pass to Bobby Price for a first down.

Fox became the first punter to complete a pass during the 2021 NFL as the Lions completed the drive with Seibert nailing a 37-yard field goal.

To the surprise of just about everyone, all this had transpired to give the Detroit a 10-0 lead before the Rams had even had a chance to possess the ball.

However, the Lions weren’t done there.

The trickery was on show again when they wheeled out another fake punt play trailing 16-17 early in the third quarter. 

On this occasion, safety C.J. Moore took a direct snap before running around the left edge for a 28-yard gain.

Detroit Lions fall short despite trick plays

Unfortunately for the Lions, the successful fake didn’t result in points this time around after they failed to convert on 4th and 1 on the Rams’ 18-yard line. 

The Rams never relinquished the lead for the remainder of the contest en route to securing a 28-19 victory.

Speaking post game, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said he was pleased with the execution of the trick plays, but was disappointed they were ultimately in vain.

“We had them ready to go and felt like the time was right,” Campbell said.

“(Lions special teams coordinator) Dave Fipp did a hell of a job. We talked about it all week and those guys executed the plan perfectly all week. We had a lot of faith in those guys on special teams.

“We had a feel that the look could be there and we wanted to give it a go.

“We felt like we could gain an advantage there and gain some possessions back. They helped, but it wasn’t enough.”

The loss saw the Lions slump to 0-7, leaving them with the worst record in the NFL and bottom of the NFC North. 

The Rams improved their record to 6-1, maintaining second place in the NFC West behind the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.

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