There were several ways this game could’ve gone sideways, but it was a bold punting call in the fourth quarter that help keep the Lions’ hopes of pulling out the victory alive.
The Lions’ first drive of the fourth quarter stalled out but was deep enough in Cardinal territory to try for a long 58-yard field goal attempt. They brought out the field goal team — but had no intention of kicking the ball. After unsuccessfully trying to get the Cardinals to jump offsides, they opted to punt at the Cardinals 45-yard line.
Enter Jack Fox.
To say Fox has been brilliant this season is a massive understatement. He averaged 49.3 yards per punt in Week 1, 54.2 in Week 2, and 55.5 today. Every kick has been astounding and this kick followed suit, pinning the Cardinals at their two-yard line.
Jack Fox is a weapon, ball hits and dies at the 5 yard line, meanwhile tony McRae gets knocked down, but gets up and catches the ball before it makes another bounce
— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) September 27, 2020
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Lions narrowly miss a safety on the Cardinals ensuing drive, but they do force a Cardinals’ three-out — leading to their first punt of the entire game. Andy Lee kicked it 51 yards from the endzone, but Jamal Agnew returned it 19 yards giving the Lions excellent field position starting at the Cardinals’ 36-yard line.” data-reactid=”24″>The Lions narrowly miss a safety on the Cardinals ensuing drive, but they do force a Cardinals’ three-out — leading to their first punt of the entire game. Andy Lee kicked it 51 yards from the endzone, but Jamal Agnew returned it 19 yards giving the Lions excellent field position starting at the Cardinals’ 36-yard line.
The Lions were in an excellent opportunity to eat some clock, and they were able to chew 4 minutes and 19 seconds off the clock. Even though they were unable to punch it in the endzone when they were in the red zone, and they tied the game at 23.
The Lions defense came up big again and stopped the Cardinals’ next drive giving the Lions a chance to win the game. They were able to eat the remaining time off the clock with an impressive 70-yard drive to lock in the victory off the leg of Prater.
The punting call proved pivotal because, even though Prater is usually excellent from long distance, he has missed two 50+ yard field goals this season. If he had missed it or the Lions failed on their fourth down attempt, they would be giving the Cardinals great field position to seal the game. The sequence of events after that call helped the Lions seal their first victory of the season,
Celebrate Lions fan!