DETROIT -- The Lions have often been predictable this year on offense, but on Sunday, they did something completely surprising.
They completed a touchdown pass to an offensive lineman.
Taylor Decker said that when the play was called, his heart rate elevated a bit.
"That's my first-ever touchdown," Decker said. "Been playing football since first grade, always been an O-lineman. So for my first touchdown to come as a left tackle in the NFL is pretty damn cool. And I think I threw a duck into the stands.
"So whatever fan has that ball, I'd like it back."
On a tackle-eligible play, no one defended left tackle Decker, who was wide-open on the left side of the field to catch a pass from Matthew Stafford. Decker ran the rest of the way into the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown -- raising one of his arms into the air as he did.
The play was a brilliant call by offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, whose job security has been in question over the past couple of weeks. This week in practice, offensive linemen were spotted working on catching passes.
"That was Jim Bob this week. I thought it was a great add," Stafford said. "Situation was perfect, to tell you the truth, to call it, and it worked. I think our crowd got a little loud when he was telling everyone that 68 was reporting as eligible, which I thought was great. Our guys executed it well. It was a big play and obviously gave us a touchdown."
The touchdown cut the Rams' lead to 16-13 in a game the Lions would eventually lose 30-16. Decker, who played basketball in high school, has always had that type of athleticism but never showed it off before Sunday. Decker's touchdown was the second ever by a Lions offensive lineman (the other came from Scott Conover in 1994), and it set a single-game franchise record for receiving yards for an offensive lineman.
After the play, Decker was shown on the big screen taking in some oxygen.