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HomeSportsBotched lateral by Patriots on final play leads to Raiders return for...

Botched lateral by Patriots on final play leads to Raiders return for TD in wild ending: ‘My head just exploded’

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All the Patriots had to do was go down, and their game against the Raiders was going to overtime. With a tied game at 24 all and time expired, simply ending the play would have given the Patriots a chance to win the game in overtime. But for whatever reason, they decided it was in their best interest to try and lateral their way down the field.

That was a mistake. A colossal mistake. Rhamondre Stevenson began the play with a run for 23 yards up to the Raiders’ 32 as time expired and lateraled the ball back to Jakobi Meyers. Meyers tried to throw the ball across the field and it landed in the hands of former Patriot Chandler Jones.

The defensive end took the ball 48 yards to the end zone — slamming Mac Jones into the ground with a vicious stiff arm on the way — to walk off the Patriots and deliver Josh McDaniels the stunning 30-24 win against mentor Bill Belichick.

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It had already been shaping up to be a wild ending to the game. The Raiders got the ball back trailing by a touchdown and marched down the field and scored a controversial touchdown, when Keelan Cole appeared to be out of bounds in the end zone, but a review confirmed the call.

The Patriots took over possession with 32 seconds left at their own 25 and used their last timeout at the New England 45 with 14 seconds remaining in the game. Mac Jones threw two incompletions before handing the ball off to Stevenson.

The play would have sent the game to overtime had Stevenson simply gone down with no time left. Instead, Meyers made the inexplicable decision to throw the ball across the field and right to Jones.

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Meyers, a former quarterback while in college, has completed all four of his NFL attempts in his career for 88 yards and two touchdowns. And if he was throwing the ball to Chandler Jones, well, it was right on the money. Next Gen Stats showed that the Raiders defender had moved just 18.5 yards after the snap before making the grab.

The play shook up the NFL world, with many calling into question what Belichick and the Patriots were thinking in opting to lateral the ball rather than settle for overtime.


Credit: sportingnews.com

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