The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the NFL playoffs on Sunday night. The winning touchdown was an amazing (and amazingly rare) play: a 98-yard fumble recovery by a defensive lineman. Local boy Sam Hubbard made the heads-up score:
Look at Sam when he starts his rumble: he’s got three teammates nearby, with two opponents trailing them.
The teammates just run alongside Sam Hubbard. As if they think the Bengals will get bonus points if four guys reach the end zone. (Spoiler: they won’t.) This happens all the time on turnovers… teammates run alongside the dude with the ball.
Instead of forming a convoy, they should turn around and block one of the pursuing opponents:
At midfield, one teammate is even clapping – I think he wants Sam to lateral the ball to him… Save your clapping, pal, and put your pads on a Raven.
Ravens tight end Mark Andrews busted his butt trying to catch up to Hubbard. Sam’s teammates finally try to block him, but they’re lucky they didn’t get called for a block in the back – which would’ve negated the score.
I see this all the time in games. And a lot of times, an opponent actually catches up to, and tackles, the runner, while the runner’s teammates do nothing to impede the tackler’s progress.
Running alongside the guy with the ball does no good…. you can celebrate with your teammate all you want AFTER you block the only guys with a chance of tackling him.
Thus sayeth Grandpa, the team player. Now get off my lawn!