Let me get this out of the way first: I’m certainly no expert on football. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy watching football as much as the next guy, but I’m not one of those folks who spends all of Sunday on the couch watching football games, who knows all the players and their stats and mannerisms and all that. I’ll sit down and catch the odd evening game here and there, and I especially enjoy watching games with my dad. But chances are, if you follow the NFL real closely, you know more about it than I do, so be kind if I’ve made any mistakes.
Obviously, if you’re a fan of the NFL, you’re well aware that this weekend is the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. Today, the Carolina Panthers look to extend their franchise-best season as they host the Seattle Seahawks at just after 1 PM. After that, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the Mile-High City to take on the Denver Broncos. But I want to look back at yesterday’s matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals, and more specifically, a play that QB Aaron Rodgers made to save the Packers’ season… For another minute or so.
Aaron Rodgers was 2-of-3 on Hail Mary pass attempts this season The rest of the NFL is 3-of-10 pic.twitter.com/yamAxj0nVF
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 17, 2016
First off, I’ll say that I didn’t actually watch this game last night – I was watching the Leafs and Flames both lose instead.
We’re gonna go ahead and skip through the whole game, and pick it up with 5 seconds to go in the 4th quarter. Arizona leads 20-13. It’s 2nd and 15 for the Packers on the Cardinals 41 yard line. It’s potentially the final play of the Packers’ season, and what does Rodgers do?
Yep. Talk about clutch. This guy knows how to get things done – but you really need to give a lot of credit to receiver Jeff Janis for turning on the jets and elevating himself enough to make that grab and hang on to the ball as he landed in the endzone. What a play!
But what’s crazy is that this wasn’t even the first time this season Rodgers had thrown a buzzer-beating touchdown in this fashion. Back on December 3, the Packers were on the road taking on the Detroit Lions. With the Lions ahead 23-21, 0 on the clock and starting from their own 41 yard line, Rodgers managed to escape the pressure from the Lions D-Line, find some room, and throw this beauty of a pass to win it for the Packers:
Anyway, back to yesterday’s game. The celebration from tying the game was short-lived, as it was then time for overtime, and one of the weirdest coin tosses you’ll probably ever see:
As you can see, the coin didn’t actually flip at all. Arizona won the toss, and on their first play of overtime, it was time for a “Hail Larry pass.”
Larry Fitzgerald made a 75-yard reception to get the Cardinals within 5 yards of the endzone, and the next play got the Cardinals the TD they needed to win, without the Packers even having possession in the extra frame.
And sometimes, that’s just how it goes.