Thursday Night Football tends to strain for quality matchups since recovery time is so short for the players. For the most part, the latest Bills-Buccaneers duel in Buffalo was a snoozefest, as the hosts dominated for much of the night.
That is, until Tampa Bay scored a late TD and two-point conversion to cut the Bills’ lead to 24-18, got a stop, and set the stage for Baker Mayfield and Chris Godwin to connect on a Hail Mary. Except…Godwin didn’t look up in time.
First of all, I understand Baker gets a little heat for being drafted No. 1 overall and not consistently living up to that hype. My take? It’s more of a function of the dysfunction he was around in Cleveland and Carolina. People like to dump on him for not being “talented enough” to be such a high draft pick.
Um…OK. Realizing that he curl hopped into this last-second heave, Baker throws it from outside the Buffalo 40 into the middle of the end zone. That’s 65+ yards in the air. Easily. Oh, and it was an absolute moon ball with plenty of arc on it. That’s flat-out one of the best downfield throws you’ll ever see on a football field.
Unfortunately, Godwin couldn’t get his head around in time to track it and catch it. Dude could’ve fair caught this thing if he was looking.
Chris Godwin was INCHES away from a catching a walk-off Hail Mary. But he didn’t see it in time. Story of the Bucs season this year. pic.twitter.com/4Hq1qHu0BL
Was Godwin getting grabbed a little? Could multiple penalties have been called on this play? Yes and yes. You really think refs are going to hit the home team with that type of infraction in this spot, though? No way.
If officials feared the wrath of Bills fans enough to not flag them for holding against the Giants in the waning seconds, they sure as heck weren’t going to throw the yellow laundry here.
Should the Bills have been called for holding on the last play (a pass in the end zone to Giants TE Darren Waller)?
Yeah, I know. Play better for the other 59 minutes and 56 seconds and you’re not in a situation where you’re banking on a Hail Mary/downfield pass interference penalty to bail you out. I get that. But as a neutral-party spectator, I’d have liked to see maximum drama and an untimed down at the goal line.
Or, you know, Godwin could’ve just turned around and caught the ball. Poor guy. He’ll be beating himself up over this one for a while on the pseudo-bye week. Decent explanation here, however, from a former player who’d know better than most of us what’s really up.
For the “why didn’t Godwin turn around” people here’s what I think:
There are assignments on Hail Mary. Usually a point man, a deep guy, and a shallow guy (for tipped balls). I think Godwin is shallow guy but sees 88 stuck and tries to replace as point. Smart play. Just too late https://t.co/GmzslqCRTP