Trick plays are memorable when they work to perfection, and they’re even better when the stakes are high. Here’s a look at some of the NFL’s most successful trick plays:
MUSIC CITY MIRACLE
The Titans called the play Home Run Throw Back and practiced it at Saturday walk-throughs closed to reporters. They pulled out the play Jan. 8, 2000, against the Buffalo Bills in an AFC wild-card game. Lorenzo Neal fielded the kickoff and handed the ball to tight end Frank Wycheck, who threw a lateral back across the field to Kevin Dyson. He went up the sideline for the winning touchdown in a 22-16 victory. That play sparked the Titans’ run to their lone Super Bowl. http://www.nfl.com/videos/tennessee-titans/09000d5d81d991bc/Music-City-Miracle
MARINO’S FAKE SPIKE
Miami quarterback Dan Marino fooled everybody. Well, almost everybody on Nov. 27, 1994. The Dolphins needed a touchdown with the clock running out, and the Dolphins sprinted to line up, with Marino yelling, “Clock, clock, clock.” Marino faked spiking the ball to stop the clock , only to hit Mark Ingram with a touchdown pass for a 28-24 win.
FAKE SPIKE AND RUN
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford topped Marino by taking the ball in himself against Dallas on Oct. 27, 2013. With the clocking ticking down, Stafford ran toward the line of scrimmage motioning to his teammates. The instant the ball was snapped, Stafford kept it and went up and over the goal line for the TD in a 31-30 win.
Ben Roethlisberger handed the ball off, setting off a play in which wide receiver Antwaan Randle-El hit Hines Ward with a 43-yard pass. That clinched a 21-10 victory over Seattle on Feb. 5, 2006, and Ward finished as MVP.
HOOK AND LADDER
The Dolphins didn’t win their 1981 divisional playoff game against Kellen Winslow and the San Diego Chargers. The pass from Don Strock to Duriel Harris, who flipped the ball to Tony Nathan with perfect timing on the hook-and-lateral for a touchdown before halftime, still stands as one of the best trick plays in league history in a classic postseason game.
In Sunday’s loss at Dallas, Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill pulled off perhaps the play of this season. On the final play of the first half, Hill caught an easy toss from Alex Smith at the Cowboys 42 and started toward the goal line with three blockers in front.
The speedy Hill motored around Orlando Scandrick at the 25, cut behind two blocks from Demarcus Robinson inside the 10 and sidestepped overpursuing linebacker Anthony Hitchens to finish the stunning TD.
Remarkably, it appeared Hill was untouched all the way, with only safety Xavier Woods getting close with an outstretched left arm. Fellow safety Byron Jones ripped off his helmet in frustration as Hill crossed the goal line.