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Tuesday, December 14, 2010
NFC North Week 14 decisive moment

By Kevin Seifert

NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

The Detroit Lions knew they might never get a better chance to take the lead Sunday in what was yet another close game in the fourth quarter. So facing a second down from the Green Bay Packers' 13-yard line, they dialed up what they hoped was a perfect play for the situation.

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan called a tight end screen, but he targeted No. 3 tight end Will Heller. Heller was giving starter Brandon Pettigrew a breather at the end of a 12-yard drive, but the Packers could never have guessed what was coming.

Linebacker Clay Matthews ran past him at the line of scrimmage, and by the time Heller grabbed Drew Stanton's pass, he had three key blockers out in front of him.

Right tackle Corey Hilliard and center Dominic Raiola double-teamed safety Nick Collins. Receiver Calvin Johnson held off cornerback Tramon Williams. And Heller ran through linebacker A.J. Hawk's tackle attempt at the goal line for the touchdown.

"It was a long drive," Heller said. "Brandon [Pettigrew] made some big plays on the drive to get us in position. I was just going in to give him a blow. We called a tight end screen and it was a good situation for it. They were bringing pressure off the edge with Matthews. I got a hand on him and was able to release behind him. A lane opened up and the linemen made some big blocks."

Nearly half of the fourth quarter still remained, but as it turned out, Heller's touchdown proved to be the decisive moment of the game.