Many of you have seen this great play already on YouTune, and on the various newscasts the past few days. For those of you who don’t follow football or are outside the United States or both, I thought I’d give a brief explanation.
Last week, the perennially contending New England Patriots were in South Florida playing the Miami Dolphins in a regular season game. With seven seconds left, the Patriots kept a 33-28 lead, so if the Dolphins were to win the game – they’d have to score within that time. Seven seconds was time enough for one play, maybe two with luck.
The Dolphins had two options. The most likely play would be to throw a long pass and hope for an unlikely reception. Instead, the Dolphins, knowing the Patriots were contemplating the same thing, thus defending the entire length of the field – threw a short pass. They hoped to use the space the Pats weren’t defending and pick up the 69 yards they needed to score with help of laterals and the speed of their receivers.
The Patriots, again thinking that the Dolphins would throw a deep pass – loaded their lineup with defensive backs – and even called upon tight end Rob Gronkowski to aid in their efforts. As it turned out, Gronkowski, ordinarily an offensive player, wound up being the last line of defense on the play.
These plays dependent on laterals very rarely work – when they do, it’s a total thing of beauty.