DETROIT - Damien Woody was nearly as shocked as everyone else.
"They actually did us a favor on the third down by passing the ball and stopped the clock," the Jets right tackle said Sunday. "I was kind of like, 'What are they doing?' Why not run the ball and eat up more clock?' "
That's the prevailing thought. With just under two minutes remaining in regulation, the Lions gave the Jets life when coach Jim Schwartz inexplicably elected to have backup quarterback Drew Stanton throw a pass rather than run the ball and take more time off the clock. Stanton's play-action rollout pass for fullback Jerome Felton bounced, stopping the clock.
Detroit was leading 20-17 and facing a third-and-6 at its own 38 before the incomplete pass. The Jets were out of timeouts, so the Lions could've taken the clock down to nearly one minute left before punting the ball.
"Really a dumb play by them," Santonio Holmes said. "Putting a backup quarterback in that situation, you've got to be a lot smarter and tell him what this game really means, and the time that it was. They gave us a shot and we took advantage of it."
The Jets marched 60 yards in nine plays, and Nick Folk nailed a 36-yarder as time expired to send it into overtime before drilling the 30-yard game-winner with 12:42 left in the extra frame. But if they didn't have those extra 40-plus seconds?
"Definitely, it would've made it a lot harder, and that's why I said they did us a favor," Woody said. "When they threw the ball and stopped the clock, I'm like, 'What are they doing throwing the ball?' . . . It was just all about going down there and executing."
Schwartz admitted he goofed.
"Yeah, that's my fault," he said. "We didn't do a very good job of executing that. We need to keep the that clock running. Looking back on it, don't even give them the option to pass."
The Jets are surely glad he did.