The Tampa Bay Buccaneers came close to pulling off a miracle on Thursday night in Buffalo.
With four seconds left to play, the Bucs were trailing 24-18 and sitting at their own 45-yard line, which meant they really only had one option if they wanted to win. They had to throw a Hail Mary, so that’s exactly what they did and it turned out to be one of the wildest plays of the game.
After taking a shotgun snap, Baker Mayfield scrambled around the pocket for more than five seconds before heaving the ball into the air. It’s not always easy to get off a good Hail Mary throw, but Mayfield definitely managed to do it: The Buccaneers quarterback threw the ball more than 65 yards in the air all the way to the end zone. And that’s when the craziness started.
Let’s go ahead and watch the play so you can fully appreciate everything that happened.
The Buccaneers player who almost came down with the ball was wide receiver Chris Godwin.
As the ball started to come down, it looked like Godwin might have a chance to catch it, but he wasn’t fully turned around. By the time Godwin realized how close the ball was it was too late, and it sailed just INCHES past his right hand.
You can see another angle below.
One thing you’ll notice in the image above is that Cade Otton has no shot at the ball because he was being sandwiched by two Bills’ defenders. NFL officials will almost never throw a flag on a Hail Mary, which is something the Bills’ defense seemed to realize.
If you’re wondering how rare it is to see a pass interference flag thrown on a Hail Mary, it’s only happened twice over the past 15 years, but one of them did involve the Buccaneers. Back in 2020, Tom Brady attempted a Hali Mary against the Vikings on a play where Minnesota got flagged for PI against Rob Gronkowski.
This time around the Bucs didn’t get the call and the Bills ended up winning 24-18. If you want to check out our full takeaways from the game, be sure to click here.