The Green Bay Packers beat the Miami Dolphins with a touchdown pass in the final seconds that was set up by Aaron Rodgers fooling everybody with a fake spike that turned into a completion to the 5-yard line.
It was a gutsy play. It was also foolish and nearly cost the Packers a chance to win the game.
The play came after a first down that took the ball to the 15-yard line. After signally to everybody that he was going to spike the ball, Rodgers took the second down snap with 12 seconds left in the game.
At this point, if Rodgers spikes the ball, the Packers will have at least two shots at the end zone from a very reasonable spot on the field.
Instead, Rodgers throws a pass to a surprised Davante Adams who didn’t even move after the snap until he saw Rodgers starting to throw the ball.
The problem with this decision is that it was a huge risk for only a little reward.
With Adams catching the ball at the 14-yard line, even with the Dolphins defence getting a slow start, there is no way Adams is going to score. So the only benefit is to get closer to the endzone and instead of two guaranteed shots at the endzone with 12 seconds left, the Packers are taking a risk they will only get one shot with six seconds left.
At the same time, the Packers were out of timeouts. If Adams is tackled in bounds, the clock would have almost certainly run out and the game would have been over.
This is where Rodgers and the Packers got lucky.
Dolphins corner back Cortland Finnegan took a step towards the sideline to try and tempt Adams to the middle of the field. But he didn’t go far enough, leaving enough space for Adams to get to the sideline and get out of bounds.
If Finnegan shifted a little closer to the sideline, Adams may have never gotten to the sideline and the game would have been over without the Packers getting a single shot at the end zone.
In the end, the play worked and the Packers won. But this may be one of those situations where the coach congratulates the player in one breath and then tells him to never do it again in the next.
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