The road to a Super Bowl is littered with outstanding individual plays. Unfortunately for the Detroit Lions, they didn’t make nearly enough plays to even qualify for the postseason. That being said, there were plenty of amazing moments from the 2018 season to remember.
There were so many good nominations this year that I couldn’t narrow down the list to just five candidates. So, here are the six best plays from 2018 season:
Quandre Diggs pick-six
The first Lions TD of 2018 belongs to: Quandre Diggs! pic.twitter.com/mkhEKckp9n— Sports Daily (@SportsDGI) September 10, 2018
Without a doubt, the high point in the season was after the very first play from scrimmage. With Matt Patricia making his head coach debut, many wondered if his defensive mind would carry over immediately. For one play, everyone in Lions fandom bought in.
It was a perfect, patient play from Quandre Diggs, who baited rookie Sam Darnold into his first career interception on his first career pass.
Kenny Golladay lays the BOOM, recovers fumble
Okay, let’s start this off by noting how weird it is that two of the team’s top plays of the season came from the Lions’ worst game of the year. But this play from Golladay was too good to pass up. The effort it took for Golladay to not only lay a huge hit on unexpecting defensive back Trumaine Johnson, but to fall on the ball, as well. That’s a true team player right there, and a defining moment for the young wide receiver.
Kerryon Johnson’s long run vs. Dolphins
Long running plays are hard to come by for the Detroit Lions. In fact, Detroit hadn’t had a rush over 70 yards since Jahvid Best’s iconic 88-yard touchdown against the Chicago Bears in 2011.
But this play was a culmination of everything working as planned. The blocking was perfect. Johnson’s read was clean. The only thing missing was a trip to the end zone, but this play was as close to perfection as the Lions got all year. It’s really a thing of beauty.
Honorable mention: Johnson’s stiff arm on Kiko Alonso earned a nomination, but didn’t quite make the cut. But let’s watch it anyways:
Kerryon Johnson just disrespected Kiko Alonso pic.twitter.com/hG4kulSBx3— Dr. Walter Lawson (@MrLawson) October 21, 2018
Kenny Golladay leaping TD catch
One of the Lions’ better games of the season was their Week 11 win over the Carolina Panthers. The Lions don’t get that win without this fantastic grab from Kenny Golladay late in the game.
It’s a dime from Matthew Stafford, who is feeling the heat and has to throw this flat footed, but the star of the play was Golladay. His full-extension catch was a 9/10 on the difficulty scale and he made it clean. His little jig at the end only made it better.
Taylor Decker touchdown catch
Trick plays are undeniably awesome. Trick plays that involve fat-guy touchdowns are the best. In a season that wasn’t all that fun, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter finally drew up something enjoyable to watch, and it kept the Lions in the game against a very good Rams team.
This play also spawned a lot of neat stories: Taylor Decker’s voyage to get the game ball back, Tyrell Crosby’s amazing celebration, and Pat McAfee’s love for the play.
Matt Prater fake FG pass
Speaking of Pat McAfee, the man couldn’t have dreamed of a better play for his #Brand during his first ever NFL broadcast job.
The Lions have no become notorious for late-season trick plays, and I have to say, this one caught me off guard. I didn’t think 34-year-old Matt Prater had the arm to make a play like this. And while the ball hung up there for longer than he would’ve liked, it was more than enough to make the play, extending Detroit’s lead in what would be a blowout.
What was the Lions’ Play of the Year?
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Kenny Golladay BOOM and fumble recovery
Kerryon Johnson’s 71-yard run
Kenny Golladay’s full-extension TD
Taylor Decker TD catch
Matt Prater fake FG TD pass