All week, we have been celebrating “What If?” scenarios, delving into the hypothetical world if things worked out a little differently for the Detroit Lions. We asked what the Lions would look like today if they had chosen to re-sign Ndamukong Suh. We looked into everyone’s favorite hypothetical: drafting Aaron Donald. Then we visited the nightmare scenario of drafting Mark Sanchez over Matthew Stafford.
Now it’s your turn to play “What if?” The game of football is so intriguing because a single game can change the trajectory of an entire franchise. A last-second field goal could either send a team to a championship game, or solidify golf plans for the following week. So today’s Question of the Day is:
If you could change the outcome of a single Lions play, what would it be?
My answer: I’m going to go with one that may not have changed the course of the Lions’ season and wouldn’t result in a championship or even, necessarily, a playoff berth.
I would change the Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary in 2015 to an incomplete pass—or better yet, a sack.
Even though the stakes weren’t as high as some other high-profile Lions games, this remains one of the most frustrating moments in Lions history. And, sadly, we are consistently reminded of this play, as the NFL loves to use it for commercials and highlight reels. If I could scrub that play from the Earth, I would do it in a second just to get the memory of it out of my head forever.
And had that play not happened, the Lions could have gone on one of the most unlikely playoff chases in league history. Detroit started the season 1-7, but heading into that game against the Packers, the Lions had won three straight. They would end up winning their final three games of the season, too. Though a win against the Packers alone wouldn’t have been enough to push them into the postseason, perhaps the Lions play the Rams differently in Week 14 had they been 5-7 instead of 4-8.
Plus, a win over the Packers would have eventually knocked the Packers out of the playoffs that year, and that’s always a good outcome.