Having watched the replays from multiple angles for a good 15 minutes, I came away with two thoughts on Mike Thomas’ miraculous Hail Mary catch that won Sunday’s Texans-Jaguars game for Jacksonville.
1) Glover Quin’s “knockdown” of the pass from David Garrard has broached the topic of whether it’s the right play to try to knock that sort of pass down, as we always hear players are coached to do. He obviously would have been better off catching it. But Quin knocked the ball away more than he knocked it down. The angle was more out of the end zone than it was down to the ground, and that’s what created the possibility of Thomas catching the ricochet.
“That’s what you’re taught to do,” said Jaguars safety Sean Considine, whose forced fumble got the Jaguars the ball seconds earlier. “I think there might be some coaches reconsidering that right now.”
Jack Del Rio said Monday that his take on the knock-it-down philosophy is “being re-evaluated right now.”
2) Officials might have missed a penalty against the Texans on the play, though I know they are loathe to throw a flag against the defense in such circumstances. Side judge Mike Weatherford was stationed right at the front corner of the end zone and he understandably focused on the ball. But right in front of him, struggling Houston rookie cornerback Kareem Jackson face-guarded Mike Sims-Walker all the way into the end zone.
That’s OK, but the bump that knocked the receiver down and Jackson’s failure to ever turn his head could have been judge pass interference. If the ball fell incomplete and the call was made, Jacksonville would have gotten one untimed down from the 1-yard line.
David Garrard’s 50-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Thomas as time expired was retribution eight years in the making for Jags fans. Jacksonville was victimized at home by the last game-winning pass of 50 yards or longer in the last 10 seconds of the fourth quarter, from Tim Couch to Quincy Morgan, giving the Browns a 21–20 win in 2002.
From Elias Sports Bureau:
Game-winning touchdown catches of 50 or more yards with 0:00 left on clock in the fourth quarter of regular season games:
•Mike Thomas, 2010 Jaguars, 50 yards
•Quincy Morgan, 2002 Browns, 50 yards
•Kevin Johnson, 1999 Browns, 56 yards
•Jim Gibbons, 1960 Lions, 65 yards
5) Here’s Gus Johnson’s energetic call of the play for CBS.