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.

Tags: Detroit Lions Nate Burleson Tyrann Mathieu

  • brucekennedy

    Thank you for that explanation Nate, are you the official “excuse giver” for the Lions now? Or will you just be giving excuses for the offense or just yourself? If you aren’t the official “excuse giver” for the defensive, can you tell us who is? I look forward to the many, many excuses the Lions provide in the weeks to come.