Watch: 49ers, Lions successfully execute same flea-flicker play Sunday

Oct 9, 2023, 10:09 AM

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers runs for a touchdown after a catch during the second q...

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 08: George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers runs for a touchdown after a catch during the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi's Stadium on October 08, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Early Sunday, the Detroit Lions pulled out some trickery on their way to a 42-24 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

Jared Goff started the play with a handoff to David Montgomery, who tossed the ball to wide receiver Kalif Raymond who then pitched it back to Goff as he hooked up with Sam LaPorta for a 31-yard touchdown.

Hours later, that same trick play was used in primetime.

Early in the second quarter between the 49ers and Cowboys, quarterback Brock Purdy handed the ball off to Christian McCaffrey, who then tossed it to Deebo Samuel, who tossed it back to Purdy as he threw a 38-yard touchdown to tight end George Kittle.

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game they only walked through that play once this past week, even though it has been in their playbook for a while.

“Detroit ran it earlier in the day. They scored to LaPorta on it. So, something that we’ve had in for a little bit,” Shanahan said. “We just walked through it and keep it out for when we needed to call it.”

Shanahan added that he saw Detroit’s version of the flea-flicker, which led him to believe it would work against the Cowboys.

“Based off of what we were going against, we planned on calling it, but seeing it work for someone else gives you more confidence,” Shanahan said.

After the game, Kittle expressed his joy that the play was finally called.

“It was fun. I was sitting on my couch and I saw LaPorta scored on it with the Lions and I sent to my tight end coach, I was like, ‘Dude, they ran our play. How’d they know?’ He was like, ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to run it better.’ And yes, 10 yards farther out, so I guess that counts,” Kittle said. “But I’m never upset when two Iowa tight ends are scoring on the same play.”

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Watch: 49ers, Lions successfully execute same flea-flicker play Sunday