If Jared Goff’s game-winning touchdown pass to Brock Wright against the New York Jets looked familiar, that’s because it was.
Goff said Tuesday that Wright’s touchdown came on the same play the Detroit Lions ran a week earlier to clinch their 34-23 win over the Minnesota Vikings, when he threw a 9-yard pass to offensive tackle Penei Sewell on third-and-7.
“To be honest, that was the same play we ran to Penei the week before, it was just different people in different spots,” Goff said. “We’ve done quite a bit of that over the last handful of weeks of running similar plays with different people in different spots, and there’s always wrinkles every week of how we want to do things. But we found a bit of our identity, and it’s worked for us.”
Sewell’s catch came on a tackle-eligible play on the first snap after the two-minute warning, with the Lions leading 31-23 and just on the Vikings side of midfield.
Sewell split left of the formation in a three-receiver stack and motioned to his right just before the snap. Goff play-faked a handoff to Jamaal Williams in the backfield as Sewell ran past an unsuspecting defender free into the right flat.
The Lions had two receivers bunched to the right of the formation on the play. DJ Chark faked a block on a Vikings defensive lineman and was leaking out to his left while Amon-Ra St. Brown ran upfield off the line as Goff threw the ball in Sewell’s direction.
The Lions kicked a field goal four plays later to go up two scores.
On fourth-and-1 on the first play after the two-minute warning against the Jets, the Lions motioned St. Brown from a receiver stack on the left side of scrimmage before the snap. Goff play-faked a handoff to Justin Jackson while St. Brown ran to the right flat, similar to Sewell.
Wright, who attached to the right side of the line of scrimmage — in the same spot but a different alignment than Chark — sold his fake block on a Jets defender well enough that linebacker C.J. Mosley vacated his coverage area, leaving Wright to leak out into the left flat.
Goff threw a perfect pass to a wide-open Wright, who ran 51 yards for the game-winning score.
Jets defensive players said after the game they were expecting a quarterback sneak on the play. Goff attributed the Lions’ sleight of hand to their creative use of personnel.
“We’ll see,” Goff said. “We may have used it twice now, so we’ll see if we continue to use it. I don’t know if three for three is the way to go. We’ll see.”