A countdown of the most spectacular Detroit Lions highlights from the past ten years, from an unlikely Hail Mary combo to the famous fake spike game.
I’m feeling nostalgic this week and wanted to inject some much-needed positivity into the site, so with the 2010s now behind us, I’m taking a crack at a Plays of the Decade list for the Detroit Lions.
While the decade yielded equal parts improvement and regression (and still not that pesky playoff victory), we were treated to plenty of highlight reel plays, most of which came from the franchise quarterback and a stable of talented wide receivers.
To make things more interesting, I instituted a one highlight per player rule for this list, otherwise Calvin Johnson and Kenny Golladay could probably trade off for just about all of them. I hope everyone enjoys the countdown, starting off with a wing and a prayer to a talented but troubled prodigal son…
10. Titus Young Hail Mary (2012)
The Detroit Lions converted one successful last second Hail Mary pass during the 2010s. Somehow, Matthew Stafford wasn’t the one throwing it, and Calvin Johnson wasn’t the one catching it.
Trailing 41-27 in the final minute in a Week Three matchup against the Tennessee Titans back in 2012, career backup quarterback Shaun Hill came into the game and went on a once-in-a-career tirade, finishing with 173 yards passing and two touchdowns despite entering the game after the two minute warning.
After a late Lions touchdown and onside kick recovery, Hill sent his prayer flying from the 50-yard line, searching for Calvin Johnson and hoping for the type of catch that you’ll see at No. 3 on this list. Megatron was blanketed by four Titans defenders and the pass was a little underthrown, a little too much to ask even of the great Calvin.
Hill’s attempt at a quadruple coverage hookup to Johnson was batted away, but Titus Young stood at the right place at the right time. The ball lightly spun into Young’s waiting arms at the goal line, and he fell into the end zone for the game-tying score at the end of regulation.
CLICK HERE to watch the highlight from NFL.com.
*This play would be quite a bit higher if not for a few mitigating factors. The Lions still lost the game in overtime, Titus Young’s career took a massive downhill spiral, and this became a largely forgotten game during a miserable 4-12 season.