Lions Special Teams Gambles fall short - CBS Detroit | MCU Times

Lions Special Teams Gambles fall short – CBS Detroit

Dan Campbell emptied the game book in an attempt to get his first NFL win as head coach, only to see it fall short.

The Detroit coach watched his Lions successfully perform an onside kick and two fake points Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. The Lions jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter but were unable to maintain momentum as the Rams rallied to a 28-19 victory.

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INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 24: Jared Goff # 16 of the Detroit Lions talks to head coach Dan Campbell before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

“It’s frustrating,” Campbell said. “We felt we could get an advantage there and see if we get some possessions back. They helped, but it wasn’t enough. We knew we had to play this game a certain way, and we did. We needed them to play a little more of our games and a track and field competition would be difficult for us.

“So we had to try to keep going in the fourth quarter and find a way to win it.”

According to Sportradar, this is the first time since Jacksonville in week 15 of the 2014 season that a team had a successful onside kick and false punt in the same match.

After D’Andre Swift’s 63-yard touchdown from a screen pass by Jared Goff gave the Lions a 7-0 lead less than 3 minutes into the game, Campbell told his team it would make an onside kick. It worked to perfection when Tracy Walker got it back on the Lions 47-yard line.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 24: Tracy Walker III # 21 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a reclaimed fumble in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

Since the onside kicking rules were changed in 2018 to protect players from hard collisions, teams have only been successful with 18 out of 199 onside attempts. The Lions, however, have two of this season’s three recoveries.

Detroit did not finish its trickery.

As the ensuing drive looked like it was going to stall in midfield, player Jack Fox fired a pass to Bobby Price who went in 17 yards and another first down. The drive continued, resulting in Austin Seibert’s 37-yard field goal that brought the Lions up 10-0 midway through the first quarter.

The quick start helped kick-start the Lions, who had gone goalless three times in the last four games in the first 30 minutes that came into Sunday.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 24: Matthew Stafford # 9 of the Los Angeles Rams talks to former teammates in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at SoFi Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

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“We felt the time was right. (Special teams coordinator) Dave Fipp did a hell of a job. We talked about it all week, and the guys executed the plan perfectly all week,” Campbell said. “It just gives you a ton of faith. . We had a feeling that the look could be there and so we wanted to try it. “

Campbell made another trick play in the third quarter when upback CJ Moore made the snap in punt formation and went 28 yards around the left end to the Rams 37. The Lions were unable to get points on the drive when Swift was stopped for no . win on 4th and 1st from LA 18.

“It’s usually something we practice once or twice a week back to OTAs (offseason training),” Moore said. “We knew we had it in our bag, and we finally pulled it out.”

Rams coach Sean McVay said they were not surprised by the tricks, but it was frustrating not to stop them.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 24: Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams reacts during the first half of the game against the Detroit Lions at SoFi Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

“What’s a little disappointing is that it was not something we were surprised by. But we did not execute, and they did,” he said. “They ended up creating a lot of momentum.”

Jared Goff – who threw 268 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions on his return to SoFi Stadium – said keeping the Rams ‘powerful offensive off the field worked in Lions’ favor. However, two late elections by Goff proved fatal.

“They have a powerful offensive and keep the guys off the field as much as possible. At the same time, we run the ball well,” he said. “We do some good things in the offensive to get us back on the field. So that was definitely part of the plan for him, and it worked, of course. “

The Lions are 0-7 for the third time since the merger and the first time since 2008, when they became the first team to go 0-16 in the base game. Campbell hopes to prevent his team from going into yet another tail.

“If this does not continue to burn and burn and taste like you know what, then you have a problem,” he said. “You can not allow yourself to become numb. You can not. Because I am not. It just motivates me to want to get out of this mess.”

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