It wasn’t quite a walk-off winner, but the Detroit Lions’ 51-yard touchdown out of the two-minute warning was one of the most exciting plays we’ve seen from this team in quite some time.
With the New York Jets defense giving the Lions fits all day, a game-winning touchdown drive seemed improbable in the waning minutes of the game. The offense had yet to find the end zone, and the Jets defense had held Detroit to just three second-half points.
But offensive coordinator Ben Johnson had one more trick up his sleeve. On fourth-and-inches from midfield, he drew up a brilliantly-designed play that used both play-action and Amon-Ra St. Brown as a decoy to punish the Jets defense for their aggressiveness. Tight end Brock Wright, who had dropped a pass six plays earlier, snuck out of the offensive line muck and ran wide open into the flat on the opposite side of the field. A huge gain was nearly a guarantee when Jared Goff found him, but Wright made it all the way into the end zone.
The CBS announcers did a great job highlighting the magnitude of the play during the live call, but nothing ever compares to the local call when Dan Miller is your play-by-play guy.
Here is the Lions radio call of the 51-yard touchdown pass to Wright that turned out to be the game-winner:
As Wright gains ground in 5-yard increments, you can hear Miller’s voice start to crescendo as he starts to realize Wright may take this one to the house. When the Lions tight end cuts back inside for the sure score, that’s when Miller’s brilliance takes over.
“CUTS BACK AT THE TEN,” Miller shouts. “TO THE FIVE! TO THE END ZONE! TOUCHDOWN, DETROIT LIONS! OH MY! 51 YARDS! GOFF TO BROCK WRIGHT AND THE LIONS ARE BACK IN FRONT!”
And then, as his voice starts to crack, Miller pulls out what has become a bit of a catchphrase for him.
“OH BABY, HOW BIG IS THAT?”
Pretty big, Dan. Pretty big.