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Shutdown Corner

Matthew Stafford performs tricky quarterback sneak to cap off Lions’ stealth victory

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

Fox analyst Brian Billick surmised that Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford might have pulled off a similar trick as a Texas high school youth. Whatever the inspiration, Stafford pulled a Tom Brady- or Dan Marino-esque fake spike play that led to the game-winning touchdown and led his team to an improbable victory.

The Dallas Cowboys had control late — despite having zero answers for Calvin Johnson, who turned in one of the all-time best receiver games — but were forced to give the ball back to the Lions after kicking a field goal to make it a one-possession game with over one minute remaining.

Stafford calmly led the team down the field, with a pair of gorgeous throws to Kris Dunham and Johnson to get the ball at the Cowboys' 1-yard line. With no timeouts left, Stafford ran toward the line making the "spike it!" motion to his teammates as the clock ran under 20 seconds left.

But somewhere along the way, Stafford pulled a fast one. Whether he audibled something to center Dominic Raiola, gave him a special butt pat or some other secret teammate-to-teammate transmission, we don't know. But Stafford took the ball on a quick snap and instead of spiking it, he dove over the top of the pile and the shell-shocked Cowboys defense was unable to stop him.

For good measure, Stafford then ran around end just to be sure, and the Lions capped off a 31-30 thriller they probably had no business winning. NFL teams had been 1-55, per the Fox broadcast, when losing the turnover battle minus-4 or worse, which the Lions did with a host of bad interceptions and fumbles.

But Johnson was incredible all game and Stafford had a brilliant final drive, capped with a you-snooze, you-lose touchdown for the history books.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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