2. Matthew Stafford: the Fake Spike (2013)
The Fake Spike. The Fake Spike. The Fake Spike.
I’ll never get sick of watching it, never get sick of writing about it, and never stop laughing at the falsetto voice Stafford uses to call for “RIIII-LLLEYYY!!” to get lined up right before it.
The mixture of precision passing, pure guts, and football IQ that Stafford uses to drive the length of the field with no timeouts, and then catch the Cowboys defense flat footed to steal away an improbable win … how can I begin to do it justice?
In a Week Eight matchup against the Cowboys, and trailing 30-24 late in the fourth quarter, the Lions offense started from their own 20-yard line with just over a minute left.
Stafford completed four straight passes in the blink of an eye to get the ball all the way down to the one, as the clock ticked away and the shell-shocked Cowboys tried to make sense of what was happening.
As Stafford scrambled up to the line to spike the ball and stop the clock, he noticed a weak spot, as the Dallas linebackers let their guard down just for a second. Without telling anyone on his own team, Stafford grabbed the snap and jumped over the pile for the game winning touchdown, just as the Cowboys regained their senses and pushed him back. It was too late.
Stafford raced back around the line and ran into the end zone again just in case. The play was reviewed (I don’t even know what they were reviewing, other than the fact that they’d never seen anything like it before) but eventually upheld for a 31-30 Lions win.
This play happened the very next game after the Calvin Johnson catch at No. 3. While Calvin had a franchise record 329 receiving yards on the day and Dallas botched a sure victory with some stupidity on their final drive, I’ll never associate this game with anything other than The Fake Spike.
CLICK HERE to watch the Mic’d Up version of this play via the NFL’s Official YouTube channel.
However, for all it’s greatness, The Fake Spike is not the Detroit Lions Play of the Decade.