EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Detroit Lions looked set up to suffer an eerie repeat of an early season loss at the worst time.
But they rewrote the ending Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
Brock Wright scored on a 51-yard catch-and-run on fourth down late in the fourth quarter, and the Lions continued their drive toward the NFL playoffs with a rousing 20-17 comeback win over the New York Jets.
But in typical Lions fashion, it was not easy and they nearly blew the victory.
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Lions coach Dan Campbell opted to kick a 54-yard field on fourth-and-5 midway through the fourth, and Michael Badgley’s kick came up short. The Jets drove 56 yards in seven plays for go-ahead touchdown, when Zach Wilson tossed a 1-yard touchdown on third down to tight end C. J. Uzomah, his second score of the day.
The Lions lost in Week 3 at Minnesota Vikings in the same way, though this time, the Lions (6-8) had more than four minutes remaining to set up a response.
Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson added to his head coaching resume with the call of the season and the offense executed to perfection.
Wright snuck across the formation wide open on fourth-and-inches and Jared Goff flicked him the ball with green turf in front of him. Wright rumbled 51 yards to the end zone for the lead with 1:48 remaining.
The Jets got a chance to tie the game after converting a fourth-down heave, but Greg Zuerlein missed the tying 58-yard field goal wide left on the final play.
Jamaal Williams was stuffed on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard-line on the game’s opening possession, but after the defense held, Kalif Raymond returned a punt return 47 yards for a touchdown.
The Lions offense did not score a touchdown until their final drive.
Contact Dave Birkett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.