Sep 15, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson (13) is taken down by Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) in the first quarter during a game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions: Nate Burleson Explains Fourth Down Play That Came Up Short

There are a lot of plays in a football game that help determine the outcome. That may be the case but plays near the end of a game always draw extra scrutiny. In the Detroit Lions’ loss to the Arizona Cardinals it was the Lions’ final offensive play that is sure to draw a lot of talk.

Needing to complete a touchdown drive to win the game, the Detroit Lions found themselves facing a fourth and four in their own territory. Matthew Stafford completed a pass to Nate Burleson but they came up short of first down yardage with the slant picking up just two yards thanks to a solid tackle by Tyrann Mathieu.

After the game, Burleson had this to say about the play:

“I tried to give him something outside to bite on,” Burleson said. “He stayed inside. He played it as he was coached to — don’t give up anything on the inside. I tried my best to get inside of him. By the time I got underneath him, I was too flat.

“It’s tough to get inside on that type of coverage. If I could do it again, I would probably switch up my release and try something different.’

Burleson may be wishing he had tried attacking Mathieu a different way but Lions are likely to have more questions about the play call or Matthew Stafford’s decision to throw to Burleson instead of a receiver who was already past the first down marker.

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Tags: Detroit Lions Nate Burleson Tyrann Mathieu

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