The Titans defense managed to stop the Bills’ offense deep in their territory, forcing the visiting team to punt. Titans’ Chester Rodgers was tasked with returning the punt. However, the wide receiver decided to try something a little different.
Rodgers caught the ball and immediately threw a cross-field lateral to Chris Jackson, who ran for close to 20 yards before being tackled by a Bills special teamer.
But officials flagged the play because Rodgers’ initial pass to Jackson had traveled forward. Watch the whole sequence here:
Had the play stood, it would have been a huge momentum swing for the Titans and would have set them up in good field position to start their next drive.
What is the ‘Music City Miracle’ play?
In the Wild Card round of the 1999 NFL playoffs, the Titans took on the Bills at home and were trailing by a point with just 16 seconds left in the game.
Titans wide receiver Frank Wycheck caught the Bills’ short kickoff and threw a lateral to Kevin Dyson, who raced down the field to score a 75-yard touchdown and secure an unlikely win for the home side.
It was later revealed that the play was not drawn up for Dyson to catch the ball. He was put in for a play titled “home run throwback,” and he was in the game because receiver Derrick Mason had a concussion and Anthony Dorsett Jr., the team’s safety, was cramping.
Then coach Jeff Fisher explained that he had to give Dyson a rundown on how the play was supposed to work:
“I went to Dice [Kevin Dyson] during the TV timeout, and said, ‘Remember home run throwback from practice?’ He said he never paid attention to it. So I told him what we wanted was for him to — no matter what — stay 10 yards behind [Frank] Wycheck and outside the numbers, then get ready for the ball and get as much as you can.”
The original plan was for Dyson to pick up a few yards and then go out of bounds so the Titans could kick a field goal, but Dyson saw that he had nothing but green grass in front of him and decided to go all the way.