There were three successful onside kick recoveries in the entire NFL in 2020. The Detroit Lions already have two in 2021, and one of them came as a surprise. The Lions also have two successful fake punts on the season, making them one of the most dangerous
It’s rare to talk about an 0-8 team as one of the best in the league at something, but it’s hard to argue with the Lions as being one of the best when it comes to trick plays.
“Everybody has a bag of tricks if you will,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said on Thursday. “Sometimes whether or not you go to them is dictated by game circumstance, and they’ve been in some less-than-ideal game circumstances for them that probably require them to be more thoughtfully aggressive.”
Linebacker Joe Schobert, who has been on some losing teams in his career, said the willingness to be unpredictable is something that makes the Lions dangerous.
“You saw against the Rams, punt fakes, onside stuff, pulling out all the stops.” Schobert said. “I would expect nothing less.”
Schobert spent the 2020 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who won their first game before finishing 1-15. He was also a part of the winless 2017 Cleveland Browns and the 1-15 2016 Browns, so he understands the mentality of a team in the midst of a miserable season.
“It’s the NFL. You are trying to win the football game,” he said. “The more the losses stack up, the more badly you want to win the football game, the first game of the season. Expect every week, especially coming off a bye, that they’re going to be giving it their best shot.”