By Ashley Scoby
This one will have a name, make no mistake.READ MORE: Michigan Announces $1.5 Million Tuition Giveaway, 100 Children To Receive $15,000
There is already “The Calvin Johnson Rule” game. The “Don Muhlbach Snap” game. The “Dan Orlovsky Ran Out Of The Back Of The End Zone” game.
Now, what will it be? National pundits have deemed it the “Motor City Miracle,” but Lions fans so rarely coin their own games with the word “miracle.”
It happened in negative-time, this latest Lions heartbreak.
Having already climbed to within two points after being down 20-0, the Packers lined up for a bonus play, zero time hanging on the clock thanks to a Devin Taylor facemask penalty called with no time remaining, and Aaron Rodgers reared back and threw a floating, spiraling, 61-yard plea to the end zone with all his might, with his tight end, Richard Rodgers, finding himself alone at the 5-yard-line, dancing backwards to await the hurl from his quarterback – it looked like Aaron Rodgers had punted the thing, the way it hung in the air – and Rodgers jumped up and grabbed hold, cradling the win to his stomach and going down in a heap. Green Bay 27, Detroit 23, in the latest chapter of Lions misery.
It was over, in a flash of green and yellow jerseys storming Ford Field, before the officials had to tell everyone to go back, because the extra point had to be attempted. Throwing that extra point on top only added to the torment of a fanbase that, as Rodgers’ pass was hanging in the air, knew how it would end, because they’d seen this happen before.
The Richard Rodgers game? The Hail Mary game? The One With The Extra Play? However it is titled, this one will be unique, but not an anomaly for a tortured franchise.
Yet no matter how much history says the Lions lose games in the most miraculous ways possible, there will always be the head-shaking, wide-eyed surprise that it happened in this way.READ MORE: AAA Offers 'Tow To Go' Program During Memorial Day Weekend
“I’m just in shock mode,” said Darius Slay.
“I really don’t know how to feel after that,” said Golden Tate.
“Tough one to lose,” head coach Jim Caldwell said. “Those are the kind that eat at you a little bit, and just tough.”
“It’s not an easy pill to swallow,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said.
The Lions had led Green Bay, 20-0 with 8:54 remaining in the third quarter, before things got wacky. On the Packers’ next series after Detroit had built that lead, Isa Abdul-Quddus forced a fumble that Green Bay receiver Randall Cobb recovered in the end zone. One kickoff and one snap later, Matthew Stafford fumbled and put the Packers at the Lions’ 12-yard-line. Davante Adams’ touchdown catch made it 20-14.
“If you can’t get up a substantial amount on a quarterback of that caliber, he can close the gap on you in just a few plays,” Caldwell said. “So we were never in a situation where we felt comfortable. We were always trying to scratch, but that turnover and a couple of things there just kind of put them a little bit more in reach. We couldn’t put them out of reach.”
Even when the Packers looked finished, with Aaron Rodgers scrambling around searching desperately for another lateral opportunity with no time on the clock, they weren’t out of reach – thanks to Taylor’s reach into Rodgers’ facemask. Taylor had Rodgers trapped, with a hand outstretched to cage him, but his thumb barely scraped inside Rodgers’ helmet before slipping to the quarterback’s shoulder. The flag flew anyhow, and the Packers’ second chance became yet another infamous loss for the Lions, now 4-8 on the season.
“That’s crazy, but it just shows that the game is not over until there are zero seconds on the clock and even sometimes then, it’s not over,” Tate said. “So it’s tough to swallow, but we played a good game. We played a good game.”MORE NEWS: Holiday Travel And Gas: What To Expect At The Pump
“Just one play.”