In terms of the worst lateral fails in NFL history, did the New England Patriots just bless us with the top blunder of all time? After their stunning loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, the answer is a resounding yes.
The game was tied and headed for overtime when Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson surprised everyone with a lateral. This is a risky move that is typically only seen when a team is losing. What happened next was truly shocking. Patriots receiver Jakobi Meyers threw the ball back toward the middle of the field, seemingly trying to reach quarterback Mac Jones. However, the ball was intercepted by Raiders defender Chandler Jones. Jones then stomped on-and-over Mac Jones and into the end zone for a touchdown. This secured a 30-24 win for the Raiders.
The loss was a devastating blow to the Patriots’ playoff hopes as they fell to 7-7. The loss puts them one game out of an AFC playoff spot. The Raiders, on the other hand, improved to 6-8 and managed to score two touchdowns in the final 32 seconds to secure the improbable win.
I was convinced that no other play could match the absurdity seen in Las Vegas last weekend. Regardless, I couldn’t help but dive down the youtube rabbit hole of lateral fails. Thus, i’ve shared some of the worst, and most hysterical lateral fails of all time.
Atlanta Falcons defeat the San Francisco 49ers 29-22 on December 15, 2019
It was a wild series of events for the Atlanta Falcons to come out on top against the San Francisco 49ers. The Falcons scored two touchdowns in the final 5 seconds, including a 5-yard pass from quarterback Matt Ryan to Julio Jones that was ruled a touchdown after a replay reversal went in their favor with just 2 seconds left on the clock. The Falcons ended up beating the 49ers 29-22. But the craziness didn’t end there: on the final kickoff, the Falcons scored another touchdown when Olamide Zaccheaus came up with the ball as the 49ers were frantically tossing it around. Despite the loss, the 49ers still managed to secure their first playoff berth since their 2013 run to the NFC championship game with the help of the Rams’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
JJ Watt CRUSHES Bengals OL on final play of the Texans 13-9 win on December 14, 2017
The Houston Texans were seeking their first win of the season while the Cincinnati Bengals attempted to stage a comeback with a series of laterals. Instead of trying a Hail Mary pass, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and his offense tried to make their way down the field with a series of short passes and laterals. However, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt wasn’t having any of it. Looking like Macho Man Randy Savage in a wrestling ring, Watt tackled Russell Bodine, a 6’3, 308-pound offensive lineman who caught the last lateral of the game. This ended any chance of a miracle comeback for the Bengals.
Kirk Cousins and Redskins lost to Kansas City Chiefs on October 2, 2017
The Kansas City Chiefs stayed undefeated with a 29-20 victory over Washington on Monday, thanks to a game-winning 43-yard field goal from Harrison Butker. To top off the win, Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston recovered a fumble on Washington’s desperation play after the field goal and returned it for a touchdown. The game took place at Arrowhead Stadium.
San Francisco 49ers defeat the Arizona Cardinals 36-26 on November 17, 2019
In the final minute of the game, the San Francisco 49ers took a 30-26 lead over the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals were trying to stage a miraculous comeback and attempted a series of laterals, but it quickly became clear that the play was not going to be successful. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray threw a short pass to Larry Fitzgerald, who then tried to pitch the ball back before being tackled. The pitch didn’t work and the ball became live. There was a scramble to recover the ball, and it was booted back toward the Cardinals’ end zone. D.J. Reed hustled after the ball and secured it for a touchdown, bringing the final score to 36-26.
This result came as a surprise to many sports bettors who had placed their bets on the Cardinals, with many betting on a point spread of 9.5 or 10 points. If you bet on the Cardinals +9.5, this cost you your bet. If you bet on them +10, you went from a sure win to a push.
Seattle Seahawks defeat the New Orleans Saints 23-15 on January 11, 2014
New Orleans had a chance to come back against the NFL’s top-ranked defense. Quarterback Drew Brees hit Marques Colston with a nine-yard touchdown pass with 26-seconds to play. This made the score 23-15. The Saints miraculously recovered the ensuing onside kick. Brees completed two passes before Colston tried to extend the final play with a lateral. Unfortunately, it seemed like Colston forgot the definition of a (backwards) lateral. The infraction resulted in a 10-second run-off that ended the game. Colston had the opportunity to step out of bounds and stop the clock with a couple of ticks left. This would give Brees one last chance to heave the ball to the end zone. Instead, Colston improperly tossed the ball across the field in an attempt to catch Seattle off guard.
To see the individual videos, head over to this tweet and comment which one is your favorite! If there are any lateral fails missing, let us know that, too!
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