Schwartz decisions dissected in disappointing year
In the latest setback to Indy, nothing worked for Detroit when it mattered most.
Linehan called for a running play with a third-and-5 at midfield with 2 minutes left. Mikel Leshoure, who averaged less than 3 yards a carry in the game on 21 carries, was stopped for a 1-yard gain.
“Hindsight everything’s always,” Schwartz said. “The whole idea is it has to work. If we run the ball there and we get a first down, the game’s over.”
One poor punt and some Andrew Luck plays later, and the Colts were in position to win the game on fourth down with 3 seconds left from the Detroit 14.
Cunningham chose to rush just four against the rookie Luck, who moved up in the pocket to make a short pass to Donnie Avery just inside the 10. The Lions‘ linebackers and defensive backs were all in the end zone and couldn’t even touch the receiver before he scored the game-winning TD in the 35-33 win.
What about overruling his coordinators at key points?
“Most of my stuff comes between series,” Schwartz said. “Hey, let’s think about this next series; hey, let’s have more man-to-man; hey, let’s start running it more; hey, we need some more play-action.”
The Lions are the first team to lose three straight games when leading with 2 minutes left in regulation since San Diego did it in 2000, and the first since at least 1983 to blow leads that late in three home games in a row.
“You’re judged by wins and losses and unfortunately, we haven’t won much so of course a lot of negatively is going to go his way because he’s the head man,” defensive end Cliff Avril said. “But players play the game, and we haven’t made the one play to win games lately.”
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