Lions defend taking their best receivers off the field for final pass

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Lions wide receivers Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay were having their way with the Raiders’ secondary on Sunday, with both of them topping 100 receiving yards and catching a touchdown pass. So it was surprising, when the Lions’ final pass fell incomplete on their last play of the game, that neither Jones nor Golladay was on the field.

So why did the Lions take their best receivers off the field when they needed a touchdown on the last play? Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell says it was all about having the right package on the field, and that on fourth-and-goal, they wanted a goal-line package.

“We were on the 1-yard line, so we ended up going with goal-line package, which we practice all the time,” Bevell said, via Kyle Meinke of “We have a number of personnel groups, we have a number of formations that we line up in. I think as you could see during the game, felt like we, from the 1, we’re running the ball well enough during the game to be able to go with a little bit of a play-action. Thought we had good matchups, we had good size. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to execute it exactly the way we wanted to.”

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw incomplete to backup tight end Logan Thomas on the play, a strange play call given the fact that the Lions’ best receivers were on the sideline. Bevell said the Lions wanted a goal-line package, but if they were going to throw a pass, why not throw it to one of the receivers who had been getting open against the Raiders’ defense all day?

That final play sealed the Lions’ loss, and Jones and Golladay could do nothing but watch.

31 responses to “Lions defend taking their best receivers off the field for final pass

  1. What’s their excuse for Jarrad Davis who is an absolute liability on defense every time he takes the field? Opposing OCs have him targeted. That 2017 draft class in round one and two are looking oof!

  2. Do you even know what GOAL LINE means? Just because the two WRs were getting open in wide spaces doesn’t mean that’s particularly useful at the GOAL LINE when space is tight and both teams utilizing SIZE.

  3. You see it every week. Coaches try to trick the the other team with something SO clever instead of just doing something simple that has been working. Smartest Guy in the Room Syndrome.

  4. Because Kenny Golladay can’t possibly run a similar route to Logan Thomas? Bevell shouldn’t even be in the league. He’s incompetent.

  5. No one believed they were going to run on the play. The Lions have no running threats after Kerryon went down. Not a good look after Gruden called an inexplicable timeout to help the Lions and that is the best they could come up with. New and creative ways to lose!

  6. Then they are all either morons or company men. Either way, how this team’s inability to win when it counts is not causing more uproar in the locker room is beyond frustrating. I guess when everyone’s checks are still cashing, this group is okay with sustaining mediocrity. But hey, I’m sure they’ll rattle off a handful of meaningless wins, finish 7-8-1 and buy this regime another two years. Pathetic.

  7. It was a bad idea with that personnel. They were obviously trying to sell a run. The Lions have been close in every game and leading for most of the year. They just need to figure out how to close them out. At least Stafford is looking solid. After last year, I was nervous about him

  8. They were on the field for 1st, 2nd & 3rd & goal, maybe they should’ve scored on one of those plays. This was (again) another game where Stafford (who never is held accountable) had the ball at the end of the game with a chance to tie/win & couldn’t get it done. Lots of blame on coaches & Stafford lights up the stat sheet but wins? Not so much.

  9. Lions on pace to have worst defense in team history. And this after hiring a defensive head coach to make it a strength. To be fair, I don’t think the offense is the problem.

  10. Kyle Shannahan had Emmanuel Sanders lined up at FB, quicksnapped and tossed him a TD in the flat on a goal line situation. This was less than 14 days after he was traded for. It just shows Bevel’s lack of creativity.

  11. Logan Thomas is a college QB that couldn’t make it as a QB in the NFL, let’s throw it him! If we take all our talented players off the field they won’t know who we’re throwing it to!

    Same genius thinking as the Browns taking Nick Chubb off the field on 4th and 1 with the game on the line. And same result…lose.

  12. Seems like if you spent a top 10 pick on a rookie tight end you would have him in the game on that play too. He wasn’t. What are you paying him top 10 money for then?

  13. I remember Bevell as the Vikings OC back quite a few years ago. I didn’t like him then and this does nothing to change my mind. These guys get so clever they outsmart themselves.

  14. Jones and Golliday each have 4 Tds from the ten or closer this year, so not like they can only get open if they run 20 yard crossers. Glad they weren’t in as a Raiders fan. Apparently Joseph called the TO on his own, so fitting he would break up the pass. Never seen him get that high to defend a pass before.

  15. I agree with everyone else saying that this was coaches being so amazingly clever that they outsmarted themselves. In the replay it looks like the Raiders were not fooled in the slightest.

    Bevell might not be back next year, but Patricia and Quinn will. I don’t think that bodes well for Lions fans.

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