Posted December 29, 2013

Jarrett Boykin scores one of season’s oddest touchdowns off Aaron Rodgers fumble

Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, NFC North
A heads-up play by Jarrett Boykin gave the Packers an early lead.

A heads-up play by Jarrett Boykin gave the Packers an early lead. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

The Packers had to feel pretty fortunate entering Week 17, what with getting Aaron Rodgers back from injury just in time for a shot at the division title against Chicago. They may have received definitive proof that the NFC North is theirs for the taking on a bizarre touchdown in the second quarter.

On a 2nd-and-10 from the Chicago 17, Rodgers was hit from behind on a pass attempt, jarring the football from his hand as his arm came forward. Just about everyone on the field reacted as if it was an incompletion, including Bears LB James Anderson, who failed to scoop the football up on a bounce.

But none of the officials on the field blew the play dead, allowing Green Bay receiver Jarrett Boykin to scoop it up and race to the end zone — after some encouragement from his sideline and Rodgers — for a wild touchdown.

The play, via Bleacher Report:

Referee Clete Blakeman reviewed the play (all scoring plays automatically draw a second look from the replay booth) and ruled that the correct call had been made on the field. That none of the officials blew the play dead was something of a marvel in itself given how much it initially looked like Rodgers had thrown an incomplete forward pass.

However, the Packers benefited from their own heads-up response and Chicago’s lack of awareness to take a 10-7 lead.

6 comments
BruceCSnow
BruceCSnow

Even though Rodgers lost grip of the ball, he was still able to push the ball forward with his hand.  I wonder what this would have been called if someone had caught the ball.

mwr5053
mwr5053

These kind of plays are not good for the game. I'm willing to bet that had a legal receiver caught the ball over the middle (sorry, I still want to call it a pass) it would have gone down as a completion, not a fumble recovery. Also, there is no question that Rodgers slightly helped move the ball forward in the air with his hand/arm follow-through. Why is this then not an illegal forward fumble? That rule once existed and it might be good to bring it back

Craig
Craig

The linked video starts too late, so it's impossible to judge fumble vs. incomplete pass.  Oh well.  The running part is pretty clear.

BosephHeyden
BosephHeyden

That was a play where the team with the ball closest to their sideline was going to score, because not a single person on the field knew what was going on.  Heck, Lance Briggs was staring at the ball carrier as he picked it up and then ran, and he still didn't know what was going on.

RyanWI
RyanWI

@mwr5053It is illegal to bat the ball forward.  A bat is an intentional striking of the ball.  Rodgers' hand pushed the ball forward, but it was an attempt to throw the ball and clearly not "intentional."  It was a forward fumble, not a bat.

RyanWI
RyanWI

@BosephHeyden I absolutely agree.  It wasn't better awareness that gave the Packers that TD.  It was simply dumb luck that it occurred on the Packers' sideline side of the field.