By: Will Burchfield
With little on the line, the Lions got creative in their final game of the season.
Following a touchdown by Ameer Adbullah in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 35-11 win over the Packers, the offense stayed on the field and Jim Bob Cooter dialed up some trickery.
As Matthew Stafford shouted orders at the line of scrimmage and appeared to act confused, center Travis Swanson snapped the ball to Abdullah. Abdullah ran toward his right and flipped a lateral to a criss-crossing Golden Tate, who chucked the ball to a wide open Stafford in the end zone.
Upon the first receiving score of his career, Stafford hurled the ball into the upper deck. One lucky fan likely headed home with a special souvenir.
What was Stafford thinking as Tate’s pass came his way?
“Oh, we’ve practiced it a bunch, so I’ve caught it a bunch of times,” he said casually. “I was just happy (Cooter) called it. The guys were fired up in the huddle that he called it. It was a lot of fun, fun way to end it.”
Said Jim Caldwell, “Guys have been working on that for a number of weeks. We just had to find the right team that would give us the right look to kind of match it up. It’s been something we’ve been working on for a long time, and Jim Bob and the offensive guys felt that this would be a good game to utilize it.”
Earlier in the game, Stafford and Tate linked up in more traditional fashion for a 71-yard touchdown. The reception pushed Tate over 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season.