The Lions had a 4th and 1 from the Tennessee seven and were down 44-41. They could have attempted a field goal to tie the game and keep the overtime going. Instead, they ran a play and lost a yard on what appeared to be a quarterback sneak.
Head coach Jim Schwartz was immediately questioned for the decision to have his team go for it — had they scored a touchdown on the drive, the game would have ended — but we learned after the game that they did not intend to go for it.
“Miscommunication. We were trying to draw them offsides. We had no intention of going for it there,” Schwartz said.
Well that could certainly explain the sloppy play.
Even though Schwartz is being questioned for the decision to go for it on fourth down instead of kicking — which we’ve learned he wasn’t intending to do — that was actually the right move. Tennessee’s offense had been moving the ball with ease in the second half, so it was pretty likely they would have won the game on the next possession. Had the Lions converted, they would have had a very good chance of winning the game (Football Outsiders broke down the percentages here).
To recap: Jim Schwartz is being criticized for a “bad decision” he actually didn’t make, but the criticism isn’t warranted because the Lions should have gone for it.
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