The Most Boneheaded Plays, Calls and Quotes of NFL Week 12
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By Week 12, most NFL teams are hitting their stride, and the mistakes are kept to a minimum.
However, it was Thanksgiving in Week 12 of the NFL season, so it was only right that we were treated to an hefty serving of bonehead plays, calls and quotes that left us scratching our heads.
While we saw some amazing passes, runs, catches and defensive plays in Week 12, we may have also seen the worst NFL play of all time thanks to a polarizing quarterback from the Big Apple.
Click ahead to see the biggest blunders from Week 12 in the NFL.
Ndamukong Suh Sack Tap
Ndamukong Suh has started his own Thanksgiving tradition: doing something ridiculous to an opponent that forces the league to take action against him.
Last year it was the notorious "Suh Stomp" on Evan Dietrich-Smith of the Packers, but this year the former Nebraska Cornhusker went out of his way to take it a step further.
It was hard to believe initially that a 300-plus-pound defensive lineman would have the presence of mind to extend his leg on his way to the ground to kick an opposing quarterback in the crotch, but after watching the video it is apparent that this was in fact the case.
It would be easy to give Suh the benefit of the doubt if he didn't have a rap sheet longer than a housewife's grocery list, but he has been the focus of a lot of attention for incidents like this.
There is a reason that Suh is the reigning dirtiest player in the NFL, as voted by his peers in a Sporting News players poll.
Jim Schwartz's Botched Challenge
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The Lions and Texans game featured one of the most bizarre sequences of the season.
Houston running back Justin Forsett was clearly down around his own 25-yard line, but after not hearing a whistle, he got up and ran all the way to the end zone.
It was so obvious Forsett was down that Lions head coach Jim Schwartz immediately took his red challenge and threw it onto the turf at Ford Field, but in doing so he assured that the play would count.
Scoring plays are reviewed automatically, but if a coach throws a challenge flag like Schwartz did, the review is negated and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty is assessed.
Even though there was evidence that would have surely brought the play back, Schwartz's overreaction cost his team a touchdown and probably the game.
This play was boneheaded on many levels.
First, Justin Forsett was obviously down during the run.
Second, Schwartz should have known the rules.
Lastly, it's a really dumb rule.
“I knew the rule — you can’t challenge on a turnover or a scoring play — but I was so mad that I overreacted,” Schwartz said after the game (h/t Associated Press). “I had the flag in my hand before he even scored because he was obviously down.”
Mark Sanchez Butt Fumble
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Mark Sanchez's fumble—where he ran face-first into the backside of one of his linemen on Thanksgiving against the Patriots—will be the premier clip in NFL blooper reels for years to come.
Sanchez turned the wrong way on a handoff and then collided with Brandon Moore, fumbling the ball that was then returned by Steve Gregory for a touchdown.
The play was part of a 52-second stretch during which the Patriots scored three touchdowns.
"It's mind boggling," former Jets great Joe Namath said Friday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. "Are your eyes closed? You don't see where you're going? I don't know. I really can't relate to that."
The play will go down as one of the worst—and most embarrassing—in NFL history.
Tom Jackson Attacks Jay Cutler for Not Saying Hello
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However, Tom Jackson's rant on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown show about Cutler not saying hello to people around the stadium was just strange.
I just see it. Jay Cutler walks in, in that arrival, he's passing by people he sees every single week outside that locker room door and does not say a word to them. It doesn't mean anything, it's just something.
Deadspin has the video of Jackson's rant.
The statement, which came some five minutes after the actual footage of Cutler aired, seemed out of place that even Jackson's co-hosts gave him blank, strange stares. Jackson was a Broncos lifer, so maybe Cutler's time at Mile High affected how he feels about the Bears quarterback.
How often do we see clips of athletes walking into the building with headphones on, barely acknowledging the camera that is shoved in front of them? Cutler was surely more concentrated on the task of taking on the Minnesota Vikings in a big divisional game than giving high-fives to every stadium worker on his way to the locker room.
An Unexpected Water Break in Miami
In a moment straight out of a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial, the Dolphins vs. Seahawks game was unexpectedly interrupted by rogue sprinklers in the third quarter.
Due to a computer glitch, the stadium lawn sprinklers turned on, dousing most of the players and officials on the field. However, one official did manage to get out of the way.
After a short delay, everybody toweled off, and play promptly continued.
"You know what? In all my years of football, that's a first one," Dolphins running back Reggie Bush said after the game (via Adam H. Beasley and Steph Rogers, The Miami Herald). "It kind of reminded me of the old 18th hole trick where you send a rookie out there at 9 p.m. and the sprinklers come on."
Peyton Hillis Misses the Mark
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You would not have expected that the first Peyton in the Kansas City and Denver game to throw a ball would be Chiefs running back Peyton Hillis, not Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, but that was the case Sunday.
Hillis attempted to throw the ball back to quarterback Brady Quinn on some kind of wheel route after receiving a direct snap. The throw was across Hillis' body and ended up being a few yards short of the wide-open Quinn.
The play call came on third down and led to a Ryan Succop field goal. What makes the play even worse is that if Hillis would have committed to running the ball, it looked like he may have picked up the first down.
Hillis is now 1-for-3 for his career passing the ball. The other two attempts came with the Browns in 2010 when his current offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, was the offensive coordinator in Cleveland.
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Fourth-and-26 is the commonly used name for a famous play on Sunday, January 11, 2004. During the play, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb found wide receiver Freddie Mitchell behind the Packers defense to convert on the huge yardage. The Eagles forced overtime and eventually won.
Sunday, the Ravens and Ray Rice one-upped that play on an incredible 4th-and-29 conversion.
Things looked dreary for the Ravens offense with the clock ticking down under the two-minute warning with one timeout left and the first-down marker just under a mile away. However, Raynell Maurice Rice had other ideas.
Like most people, I was looking for the remote after Joe Flacco dumped the ball off to Rice about 25 yards short of the first down, but the Rutgers product took off, leaving San Diego defenders in his dust.
Three Chargers missed him at the 50 before Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason finally brought him down. Rice and his 5'8" frame willed the ball past the first-down marker, and a huge block from Anquan Boldin didn't hurt either.
This is about bonehead plays though, so for how brilliant Rice was, the Chargers defense was equally disastrous.
Bad teams find a way to lose. Uninspired teams find a way to lose. The Chargers are both of those things.
The win against the Ravens would have been the Chargers' landmark victory of the season, and it would've allowed them to maintain their outside shot of making the postseason. Now, the team will have to replay the the longest fourth-down conversion in over a decade as they ponder the loss.
Frank Gore Dances Twice, Impresses No One
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San Francisco running back Frank Gore is not known as an outspoken or flashy player. The former Miami Hurricane takes the carries he is given and picks up the tough yards.
Sunday, Gore decided it was time to show off some of his finer moves on two celebrations.
The first came on a six-yard pass from Colin Kaepernick where Gore decided to bust out these moves (via SBnation), which led to both the ref and Kaepernick giving Frank a strange look and dismissing the dance and walking away.
This becomes even more embarrassing because the play was called back due to a holding call.
Gore is a great back and has been the centerpiece of the 49ers' No. 1-ranked running game. However, maybe he should take some lessons from veteran teammate Randy Moss or free-agent wide receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson on how to do a celebration that will be remembered.
I think Ocho and Owens have some time on their hands, so they would be more than happy to oblige.