Wide receiver Kenny Golladay returned to his hometown of Chicago Sunday and made a couple big grabs totaling 52 yards. His 40-yard catch in the second quarter set up wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr.'s 28-yard score two plays later that trimmed the Bears' lead to 17-14 at the time.
The big play to Golladay is the focus of this week's Film Review, both for its design and execution.
The Lions are facing a 2nd and 6 from their 30-yard line, and come out with a single-back set with two receivers split right – Golladay and Jamal Agnew – and Jones as the single receiver at the bottom of the formation.
The Bears show a dime look with six defensive backs in the game.
With Agnew in the game, the Bears know they have to pay close attention to him. The Lions have been using their rookie cornerback and return man on offense more and more lately to utilize his 4.3 speed.
At the snap, Agnew immediately heads for the backfield like he's going to get the handoff on the end around.
Stafford fakes a handoff to running back Theo Riddick, but also fakes the handoff to Agnew on the end around. Now Stafford is looking to pass, and the offensive line does a great job giving him a pocket to settle in and survey the field.
The pocket allows Golladay, who is at the top of the formation pre-snap, to run a deep cross and find the open spot in the Bears' zone coverage. Chicago only rushes three, and drops eight into coverage, with linebacker Sam Acho dropping into the left flat.
Acho (#93) is the defender to keep an eye on here. Ideally, the Bears would want Acho to get more depth in his drop to squeeze the open space in the zone coverage over his head and in front of the safety, but the end around motion by Agnew makes Acho have to worry about Agnew as a pass catcher.
Golladay gets a free release from the line of scrimmage. He does a good job coming across the field into the open area that's created by Acho not getting enough depth in his zone drop. Jones running a go route at the bottom of the formation clears cornerback Kyle Fuller (#23) and occupies the attention of safety Eddie Jackson (#39).
The pocket Stafford gets, the end around motion by Agnew, the short drop by Acho and the go route by Jones opens up a huge zone for Golladay.
Stafford has time for the play to develop, and he threw a strike to Golladay over Acho and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski. Golladay makes the grab, and turns up the field for 40 yards down to the Chicago 30-yard line before being forced out.
The play was the perfect call and design against the kind of zone coverage the Bears showed, and highlights what having Golladay back in the fold means for the Lions' offense.