Just how wild was Week 15? Wild enough that this staggering, once-in-a-lifetime finish doesn’t even hold the top spot on this list.
In a wacky contest that saw the Raiders blow another multi-touchdown lead, the Patriots found themselves at their own 45-yard line with three seconds left and the score tied at 24-24. What play do you call in that situation? No play — just take a knee! Go to overtime and let Josh McDaniels’ Raiders beat themselves once again.
But no. New England opted to hand the ball off to Rhamondre Stevenson on a shotgun draw. OK, just go down and head to the extra period, right? Nope. After a chunk gain, with zero seconds remaining on the clock, Stevenson decided to lateral the ball to Jakobi Meyers, and that’s when the Patriots went from irresponsible to incomprehensible. Meyers, a former quarterback, unfurled a cross-field lob that was intended for Mac Jones … but landed directly in the hands of Chandler Jones. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound ex-Patriot proceeded to stiff arm the quarterback into oblivion and rumble into the end zone for the most unfathomable walk-off touchdown you will ever see. I saw it live. I’ve seen the replay approximately 7,000 times. I still can’t believe it.
And I still can’t believe a Bill Belichick-coached team can be that clueless and fundamentally unsound. That’s one of the dumbest plays I’ve ever seen. Totally unacceptable. It’s not hyperbole to say the lack of situational awareness is going to cost the Patriots a postseason bid, as they fell out of the current playoff picture with the loss.
When was the last time a team scored a game-winning TD on a fumble recovery with no time remaining? Back in 1978, when Raiders TE Dave Casper fell on the ball in the end zone to beat the Chargers on the famous “Holy Roller.” This franchise is quite familiar with the theater of the absurd.
The Patriots (7-7) are finished. They cannot recover from this, especially given their remaining schedule: vs. Cincinnati, vs. Miami, at Buffalo. Good for the Raiders, though. At 6-8, they certainly haven’t lived up to preseason expectations, but it’s hard to imagine a more thrilling way to win a game in front of your home crowd.