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Jim Schwartz's risky call costs Detroit Lions in OT loss

Sometimes simplicity is underrated.

The Detroit Lions trailed the Titans 44-41 in overtime Sunday and had driven to the Tennessee 7-yard line. They faced fourth-and-1 but had kicker Jason Hanson, the franchise scoring leader who was 4 for 4 on field-goal attempts, standing on the sideline.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz took the blame for what happened next. Backup quarterback Shaun Hill approached the line and seemed to be giving instructions to the offensive linemen when he hurried behind center Dominic Raiola and quick-snapped the football.

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Schwartz said the call was a fake to try to draw the Titans' defense offside -- "I was getting ready to call timeout," he said, via The Associated Press -- but Raiola snapped the ball. Hill didn't get the ball cleanly, and he certainly didn't advance it.

Ballgame.

Sometimes we out-think ourselves, and coaches aren't any different. The Lions could have simply kicked the chip-shot field goal and lived to fight another series. Instead, they chose to get fancy, leaving Schwartz and Hill to explain themselves.

"I'll take full responsibility for that," Hill said, via The AP. "There was a miscommunication. It's up to the quarterback to get all 11 on the same page, for sure. I'll just leave it at that. It was on me."

It all happened on a day when everything seemed to implode for the Lions. The Titans scored five touchdowns from more than 60 yards out, including a Music City Miracle-type punt return, a kickoff return and a fumble return. And Lions starting quarterback Matthew Stafford was sidelined with a leg muscle strain in the fourth quarter.

On a day like that, and there's still a chance to win, keeping it simple might be the right move.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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