Tuesday, December 28, 2010
NFC North Week 16 decisive moment
By Kevin Seifert
The Detroit Lions ran off 10 points in less than two minutes of the fourth quarter last Sunday, erasing the Miami Dolphins' 27-17 lead with 2 minutes, 44 seconds left in the game. The old Lions defense, circa November 2010, would have promptly given up a game-losing score in the final moments. Instead, here is what happened:
Play No. 1: Incomplete pass.
Play No. 2: Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh drags down Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne after a 2-yard scramble.
Play No. 3: Pay dirt.
Indeed, as he felt pressure from Lions defensive end Cliff Avril, Henne rushed a pass to receiver Davone Bess -- who slipped as he broke toward the ball. Lions middle linebacker DeAndre Levy stepped in front for the interception at the 30-yard line and took off for the end zone.
Levy ran around Dolphins guard John Jerry at the 20-yard line, cut inside Henne at the 9-yard line and broke back to the middle of the field. Suh shoved center Joe Berger, giving Levy an angle to the goal line, and cornerback Nate Vasher shielded Levy from Berger as he scored the game-winning touchdown.
The play gave the Lions their third consecutive victory and put them in position to escape the NFC North cellar for the first time in three seasons. After a dismal few years in Detroit, it doesn't get much more decisive than that.