The snafu at the end of the wild game between the Detroit Lions and the Tennessee Titans is finally explained. Or not, depending on your point of view. What happened during that last play to end the game with Detroit’s comeback hopes dashed to smithereens?
Dominic Raiola couldn’t read lips. Huh?
Instead of finger pointing after the ugly loss, there are people jumping up to accept the blame for the miscue. First, Shaun Hill, who stepped in for the injured Matthew Stafford, said he was to blame because he didn’t lead the other ten players like he should have. He says it was his fault for not conveying what coach Jim Schwartz was trying to from the sidelines.
But Schwartz also took the blame in the postgame conference by saying he wasn’t clear to Hill what needed to happen with that play.
Raiola said it’s his fault because he didn’t hear what Hill said and misread his lips for a different play.
Now that everyone has shouldered the blame, this is what is supposed to happen. The Lions were supposed to hurry up to the line in an effort to confuse the Titans and draw them offsides. If they didn’t fall for it, then Jason Hanson, aka Legatron, could kick a field goal and it would be tied again.
In the process to confuse the Titans, the Lions didn’t huddle. Raiola didn’t hear Hill clearly through all of the noise from the crowd and read his lips wrong on what the play was going to be. The actual play didn’t call for him to snap the ball when he did, which is why Hill was surprised, and then why the ball was fumbled , which started the play clock, which then ended the game.
What lessons can be taken from this?
1. When you have the second string quarterback in after an already crazy game, make sure the plays are called in clearly. Coach to quarterback and quarterback to players.
2. Confusion breeds confusion, so skip it.
3. Never assume a play is going to be a gimme.
4. Don’t abuse the play clock.
5. Take lip reading classes.
To summarize the season in one word – confusion. The fans are confused as to why the Lions aren’t playing up to what the hype was surrounding them in the preseason. Stafford is confused as to why his receivers and running backs can’t keep their hands around the ball. The defense is confused about the game and not sure what causes so many penalty flags to be thrown. The replacement refs are just plain ol’ confused as to what they are doing on the field sometimes. Hopefully, someone can clear up ALL of the confusion ASAP so the Lions can get back to their winning track before it is too late in the season.