Despite Johnson's deteriorating play the last two years, quarterback Marcus Mariota knew he had a mismatch.
"We had a matchup with Andre on a linebacker, and we felt we could kind of exploit that a little bit,'' Mariota said, via the team's official website. "And he made a great play. I just tried to give him a chance, and he made a huge play.
"That guy is a Hall of Famer, so that's an easy choice."
That Johnson is being covered by a linebacker on a key fourth down explains the 14-year veteran's place in the pecking order.
"I have been in that situation before," Johnson said of the TD snag. "When the ball was thrown, my biggest thing was I knew I had to get up before (the defender) did to make the play, and that's what I did.
"It feels good (to make the play). That's my role now. It is different for me, but at the same time you never know when your number is going to get called. I didn't get many plays in the game, but at a crucial time in the game my number was called and that is the thing you look for, man. I was given an opportunity at that time and I was able to go up and make the play."
It was an uneven day for Mariota, who looked off target early but flashed his sublime potential late, carving up an injured Lions defense on the TD drive. His touch on the game-winning pass was picture perfect.