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Fan fiction: Lions down Falcons after little-known 59-minute runoff rule

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Let’s enter a reality in which the Lions actually benefit from an obscure rule.

Atlanta Falcons v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Detroit Lions Fan Fiction is a series in which we take a Lions loss and instead of facing it like a braver person might, we turn to a false reality where the Lions won the game. It’s a cowardly act, no doubt, but this post is an effort to create levity and humor when defeat strikes. The hope is that this is therapeutic for at least one fan out there, and after a game like Sunday’s against the Falcons, we could all use a little release.

The Detroit Lions moved to 3-0 on Sunday after winning the shortest recorded game in NFL history, 3-0. The game ended just 65 seconds into the contest due to an extremely obscure rule. It left Ford Field in stunned silence and the Atlanta Falcons in an unruly mob on the visitor’s sideline.

The game started like any other. After fans and players joined in the ceremonial lighting of the American Flag, the two teams were ready to face-off in a huge NFC matchup between two undefeated teams.

Jamal Agnew took the opening kickoff all the way down to midfield, electrifying a smoke-filled Ford Field. The play even caught the attention of the 50 percent of fans boycotting the game by hiding in the bathrooms while desperately refreshing their Yahoo Fantasy apps.

Unfortunately, the long kick return failed to spark the Lions offense. Matthew Stafford threw three straight passes to Eric Ebron, who promptly dropped all three. The final throw by Stafford wasn’t so much of a throw as it was a light handoff to Ebron, but the ball quickly slipped through his fingers anyways. Ebron (ghost hands) is questionable for next week’s game against the Vikings.

Matt Prater then lined up for a record-breaking 68-yard field goal and knocked it through with ease. The kick was so powerful it somehow managed to even hit the lower half of the net behind the goal posts. The Lions were up 3-0 with 13:55 left in the first quarter.

That’s when the insanity began. For some strange reason, the head official announced to Ford Field that the play was under review. The ball had obviously cleared the uprights, and there weren’t any other reviewable infractions on the play.

After a lengthy 20-minute review, the official dropped a metaphorical bomb on the unsuspecting crowd.

“After review, the ruling on the field is reversed. The field goal is good, but by rule, any field goal that hits that exact stitching in the kicking net results in a 59-minute runoff. The game is over.”

Lions players rushed the field and carried Prater off on their shoulders into the locker room.

“I always knew that rule, but it always seemed impossible to hit the stitching that low on the net,” Prater said after the game. “But with a field goal this long, I knew there was a shot, so I just gave it my best boot. I thought I may have hit it, but I didn’t act like it, because I’m a God, and God doesn’t gloat.”

Falcons coach Dan Quinn was inconsolable after the game. He declined to comment and would not respond to accusations that he tried to set the Lions locker room on fire after the game.

Former NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino did his best to explain the purpose of the rule. “Nothing I say really matters at this point in my career,” Blandino said. “I’m no longer an employee of the NFL, but for some reason people keep asking me these kind of questions. I’ll gladly answer them because I’m a huge fan of my own voice. So, yeah, the rule is in place for fairness or something.”

The Lions now turn their focus to Minnesota. The Vikings are 0-3 and currently on their 16th quarterback of the season, after the previous 15 suffered from various knee injuries. Assuming they have a clean week of practice, the Vikings will trot out... Matt Flynn on Sunday.