Lions playcalling simply baffling

By Marc A. Greenberg

Your starting QB, Matthew Stafford, has been knocked out of the game; you face a 3rd and 6 with 2 minutes remaining.  The other team has no timeouts remaining.

Logic says for the Detroit Lions to call a running play, and push the clock down to about 1:15 left.  Punt the ball, and the Jets, down 20-17, would probably have to start at about their 20 with about 1:08 or so left.

Nope. Thanks to the poor coaching decision by Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz, with backup quarterback, Drew Stanton, the Lions called on Stanton to throw a pass. When Stanton’s pass fell incomplete, it stopped the clock at 1:54 and gave the Jets nearly 40 extra seconds to work with.

“I was definitely shocked they threw that pass,” right tackle Damien Woody said, “and when it went incomplete I was like, ‘You just did us a big favor. Thank you very much. We’re in business.’ ”

Schwartz admitted his gaffe afterward.

“That’s my fault,” he said. “I did a poor job of communicating [to Stanton]. Looking back on it, don’t even give [Stanton] the option to pass.”

Jets QB Mark Sanchez, who threw for a career-high 336 yards on 22-of-36 passing and thrived in the two-minute offense, took advantage of the free 40 seconds, driving the Jets to Nick Folk’s 36-yard game-tying field goal as time expired in regulation.

Didn’t hurt that, on the drive, the Jets got a huge break when Lions linebacker Julian Peterson was called for a 15-yard personal-foul penalty when he hit LaDainian Tomlinson out of bounds. That put the ball on Lions’ 27-yard line with 40 seconds left and got the Jets into field-goal range.

A Nick Folk FG followed and the Jets took care of business in Overtime.

If Stanton got the first down, we would probably be calling Schwartz a genius and belicheck- like for his gutsy call, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.