Lions counter Miami sun with handheld canopies

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Lions personnel hold screens up over the players to help with the heat and sun as temperatures reached into the high 80s and low 90s during the game at Hard Rock Stadium.

Miami Gardens, Fla. — The Lions aren't the first team to do it and won't be the last.

During Sunday's game against the Dolphins, one of the primary ways the Lions countered the intense Miami sun that engulfs the opposing team's sideline was having employees hold up two large canopy shades — similar to those seen in car windshields during the summer — to give players on the bench a break from the relentless rays. 

It may seem small, but Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford believes it made a difference in Detroit's 32-21 victory.

"I felt a notable difference when you were — as far as temperature-wise — when you were underneath them," Stafford said. "I think I'm going to get those guys some treats or something.

"That's a tough job right there. That's some shoulder workouts from hell. So I was happy they were there, but we'll have to get something nice for them."

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By the book

Lions coach Matt Patricia made an interesting decision to go for two after the Lions scored a touchdown to go up 26-14 with 3:21 remaining in the third quarter. 

A two-point conversion puts the Lions up 14, while settling for a standard extra point gives them a 13-point advantage. The risk of not kicking means a failed conversion leaves you susceptible to a loss if your opponent scores a touchdown and kicks two field goals in the final 18 minutes. 

The Lions' two-point attempt failed, but ultimately it didn't matter. After the game, Patricia said he'd do it the same way, given the opportunity. 

"Standard operation there with the points," he said. "That's what it is. That's what you should do in that situation."

Analytics website 538 did a comprehensive assessment on when to go for two and their research indicates there's nearly identical risks with that lead at that point in the game.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers