A day later, Mark Sanchez‘s butt fumble remained a YouTube sensation, one of the most talked-about football follies in a long time.
“It’s mind boggling,” former Jets great Joe Namath said Friday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. “Are your eyes closed? You don’t see where you’re going? I don’t know. I really can’t relate to that.”
Rex Ryan still was trying to comprehend the 52-second stretch that rocked the franchise, a three-touchdown meltdown that included Sanchez’s infamous collision with Brandon Moore‘s backside.
“Obviously, watching the tape, it’s still hard to fathom, the one stretch,” Ryan said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Coaching football or even following football, I’ve never seen anything like that. I don’t know how else to put it. I think I said nightmare (Thursday) night and I’ll stick with that, because it’s just hard to imagine.”
Up in Foxborough, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was effusive as he discussed his team’s 49-19 rout of the Jets, but even Belichick admitted the butt fumble was an absolute fluke.
“Defensively, plays like the Sanchez fumble, we didn’t really have a lot to do with that play,” he said Friday, probably smiling to himself as he discussed it on a conference call with reporters. “That was more a mistake on their part than it was a great defensive play, but we were able to capitalize on it, take advantage of it.”
In case you missed it (really, how is that possible?), Sanchez got clotheslined by Moore’s backside. Sanchez made a mental error — he turned out the wrong way on a handoff — and he scrambled forward. There was some room to Moore’s right, but for some reason, he ran directly into the right guard’s bottom and went down hard, coughing up the ball. It was returned for a touchdown.
Just like that, the Jets had a season-defining play.
“I just can’t tell you what’s going on in Mark’s mind when he admits to having thought of another play when he turned out the wrong way,” Namath said. “Are they giving him too much to think about at this stage? I don’t know where his head is, man.”
Well, we know where his head ended up — and it wasn’t pretty.