With Thanksgiving fast approaching this week, it also means it’s that time of year to celebrate the anniversary of a very special (perhaps iconic) moment in New England Patriots history.
The date was November 22nd, 2012, Thanksgiving Day, and the Patriots were in the New Jersey Meadowlands taking on the rival Jets.
What began as a scoreless draw through the first quarter, quickly turned into a comedy show by the second when the Patriots hung 35 points on the scoreboard on their way to a 49-19 rout of Rex Ryan’s Jets.
During that second quarter, the Patriots forced three turnovers that led to three of their five touchdowns, but it was the “Butt Fumble” turnover fans will remember most.
The Jets, trailing 14-0 and at their own 31-yard line, decided to call a play where Sanchez would fake a toss to running back Shonn Greene running left, while fullback Lex Hilliard would take the handoff from Sanchez and run a dive play to the right.
Instead, Sanchez snapped the ball, but mistakenly faked a handoff to Hilliard and now had to turn and run upfield with no other options.
Needing to do something with the play now broken, Sanchez ended up inadvertently running into the behind of offensive lineman Brandon Moore, who was being pushed backward by Patriots tackle Vince Wilfork, and as a result, Sanchez would fumble the ball near the line of scrimmage and it was scooped up and returned 32 yards for a touchdown by Patriots safety Steve Gregory.
Just like that, the “Butt Fumble” was born.
“I was thinking a different play in my head,’’ Sanchez said after the game. “That was a mental error there. As soon as I realized there was no one to hand it to I started to run toward the line and tried to cover it up and just get down and I slid right into Brandon Moore.
“I was just trying to get down. The play was over. Say ‘Uncle.’ Do the right thing. Get to second-and-10 and live to play another down. I’m not a big believer in luck, but that was pretty unlucky. It was really too bad.’’
The Patriots would return another fumble for a touchdown on the immediate next drive by the Jets to extend their lead to 28-0.
Steve Gregory meanwhile, went on to have a great night for the Patriots, finishing with two fumble recoveries, one for a touchdown, another forced fumble, and an interception during the beatdown win.
So on the nine-year anniversary this Monday, relieve the “Butt Fumble” once again for yourself below.
— Boston Sports Throwback (@BOSthrowback) November 22, 2021
Posted Under: Patriots Twitter
Tags: Mark Sanchez Rex Ryan Steve Gregory