As Jakobi Meyers wound up to whip a 10-yard backward pass to Mac Jones, he was hoping to make New England Patriots history.
He did just that—but not in the way he was hoping.
The all-time gaffe wound up in the hands of Las Vegas Raiders defensive end (and former Patriots defensive end) Chandler Jones, who threw a vicious stiff-arm to the face of Mac Jones and scampered all the way to the end zone for one of the most improbable walk-off wins in NFL history.
Speaking to Peter King of NBC Sports, Chandler Jones described what was going through his mind as the play unfolded:
"It was a desperado situation, and that was a team that would try to do anything to advance the ball for a touchdown. They'll throw the ball, pitch it, lateral it. I knew that was a possibility to happen. I thought they would do a hook-and-lateral, or something like that. They had a random run.
"I actually missed a tackle on [Rhamondre Stevenson]. I went to go punch the ball out on that play and I missed. The guy kept running. By the time I stood up, I realized that the ball was being pitched around.
"They were playing hot potato now. Instead of pursuing the ball, I just started playing back into saying, 'All right, who's the next passer? Who could they possibly throw it to next that's behind the line of scrimmage?' Because they're playing this whole hot potato game. Sure enough, I saw Jakobi Meyers kinda look back at Mac Jones, the quarterback. He was standing in the middle of the field. I literally just jumped up when I saw the ball coming, intended for Mac. Mac was kind of standing there, looking at me with big eyes.
"I literally just jumped up and intercepted it. I just gave Mac a nice stiff-arm with my right hand. The rest was history."
"I don't think I've thrown a stiff-arm in practice," Jones told Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. "When I caught the ball, he was there, I was thinking, You know what, I could try to put a juke move on. I could try to outrun him. I don't know, maybe I could outrun Mac Jones. But whenever defensive players are running for touchdowns, they always get made fun of for getting caught by the quarterback. So I thought, I'm not gonna try to outrun him. I'm just trying to run over him. If I fall and trip, I'll pitch it. Because there were guys behind me."
There was no logical excuse for what transpired. The game was tied 24-24 and seemingly headed for overtime.
The odds of Meyers completing a 10-yard lateral were already low in any situation. Throwing the pass to Mac Jones, who is certainly not the fleetest of foot, lowered the odds of success by an exponential degree. There was no world in which Jones was going to scamper 50 yards for a touchdown, so the options were going to be limited even if Meyers did complete the attempt at a miracle.
Instead, the result was perhaps Chandler Jones' greatest individual play of his career and arguably the most embarrassing moment of Bill Belichick's coaching career.