Lions vs. Vikings: What to watch for in the 2020 season finale

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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David Blough, Detroit Lions
David Blough, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

Scoring on a trick play: the recent Week 17 Lions tradition

The Lions are out of playoff contention heading into the final game for the fourth year in a row. While that’s never fun, what has been fun is seeing them bust out a creative wrinkle from the playbook to score on a trick play in each of the past three season finales.

In 2017, it was a two-point conversion pass to Matthew Stafford that became the “Philly Special” when the Eagles ran the exact same play in the Super Bowl a month later. 2018 at Lambeau Field gave us the fake field goal touchdown pass thrown by Matt Prater. Last year it was a reverse pass from Danny Amendola back to David Blough for the game’s first touchdown at home against Green Bay.

I wish the Lions would do more of this sort of thing when there’s something at stake (I see the Chiefs run a crazy play that I’ve never seen before on an almost weekly basis). Still, if recent history holds up, expect some end-of-season trick play fireworks from the Lions offense on Sunday.

Watch Matthew Stafford… just in case.

My gut feeling is that Stafford returns to the Lions in 2021. He’s the undisputed heart and soul of what’s left of this franchise. In my mind, any hope of a quick return to respectability for the Lions starts and ends with No. 9.

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Things seem to have calmed down a little bit following the frenzy of speculation about his future when he was injured against Green Bay. I want Stafford to come back, I hope he comes back, and I think he’ll come back next year … but I’ll make sure to savor watching him represent the Honolulu Blue on Sunday. Just in case it’s the last time.