The San Francisco 49ers gave NFL fans a case of déjà vu on Sunday night when they scored on a play that looked awfully similar to a Detroit Lions' touchdown from earlier in the day.
Early in the second quarter against the Cowboys, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy handed the ball off to running back Christian McCaffrey, who then flipped the ball to running back Debo Samuel. Instead of taking the reverse downfield, Samuel tossed the ball back to Purdy, who hit a wide-open George Kittle down the sideline for a 38-yard score.
The touchdown was Kittle's second of the first half.
Laporta for Detroit
Kittle for San Fran.pic.twitter.com/5ZeiKVhGlJ
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 9, 2023
While this was a beautiful play design that had the Cowboys' defense fooled, it wasn't the first time NFL fans saw a play like it today. Earlier in the day, the Detroit Lions scored on a play of similar nature. The main difference was that Lions' quarterback Jared Goff tossed the ball to his running back while Purdy handed it off.
The parallels between the two plays don't stop there though.
The Lions also ran this play in the second quarter and also hit a wide-open tight end down the right sideline for a 31-yard score, the same sideline Purdy connected on with Kittle.
Even more eerily, the Lion who scored the touchdown was Sam LaPorta, a rookie from Iowa. Iowa just so happens to be Kittle's alma mater as well. Iowa has become known as TEU in recent years, most notably thanks to Kittle, but also because of T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant and others.
With LaPorta already catching 25 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns in his rookie campaign, he's well on his way to putting his name on the list of elite Iowa tight ends in the NFL.
While it's unlikely that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan implemented the play after seeing the Lions run it on the same day, it sure was quite the coincidence.
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