The Throw Of My Lifetime, Courtesy Of "Fitzmagic"
Last night I think I saw the best throw I've ever seen in a football game.
The Dolphins had just given-up the go-ahead touchdown to the Raiders with 19-seconds remaining in the game. The ensuing kick-off and touchback left the Dolphins at their own 25-yardline with those same 19-seconds left. Their playoff hopes pretty much hanging in the balance.
The Raiders were facing playoff elimination in this one, as well. Just keep the Dolphins scoreless for 19-seconds and they are alive heading into week-17.
38-year old Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game in the 4th-quarter after rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa failed to produce much of anything in the passing game to that point.
That set the stage for another episode of "Fitzmagic".
The Dolphins were 35-yards away from any real chance at a winning field goal, so one would assume they were going to try to complete a deep pass near the sideline in order to pick-up a chunk of yardage and stop the clock.
The Raiders defensive-backs apparently weren't playing under that assumption.
On 1st-down Fitzpatrick launched a 34-yard completion to WR Mack Hollins. The amazing part about the throw was that Fitzpatrick had his head turned completely sideways during the throw because Raiders DL Ardon Key had a hold of his facebook as he launched the desperation pass.
"I didn't know that it was complete, initially. My face mask was getting pulled, and my head was getting ripped off. I turned around to make sure they saw the face mask, then [Dolphins right tackle] Jesse Davis or [running back] Myles Gaskin had to tell me it was completed." - Fitzpatrick said after the game.
Check-out the throw here:
Why the Raiders defensive-backs played that Hail Mary situation like that is beyond me.
The cornerback just let Hollins run right be him down the sideline and the Safety was in the middle of the field, too far away to make a play on the lofted prayer that Fitzpatrick chucked in desperation.
I don't remember seeing a better throw than that one. Ever.
The accuracy in which he threw it - deep and in-between the two defensive backs, and the fact that he was unable to even look at his target when his arm was in motion as he made the throw because his head was being yanked around by his facemask.
Combine those things with the fact the this was almost a "must win" situation for both teams if they were going to be playing in January's playoffs.
The Raiders are now eliminated because of they're defensive collapse and the Dolphins maintain their grip on the final AFC playoff spot. If they beat the Bills next week, who may rest players because of nothing to play for, they clinch that last spot.
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has already name Tua Tagovailoa the starter for next week, but one thing is for sure, if it's some late-game magic that's needed to rescue a victory from defeat, and a playoff spot from the jaws of elimination, Flores knows he has the guy that can make it happen.