Patriots guard Cole Strange's efforts to keep his team's chances alive against the Dolphins on Sunday were great but fell just short. Photo Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots guard Cole Strange (69) runs the ball during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

A last-ditch comeback attempt from the New England Patriots fell short when, after review, their left guard was ruled short of the first down marker.

That might sound like the climax scene of a really weird sports movie. In fact, though, it was what happened on Sunday night as the Patriots lost to the Miami Dolphins.

With exactly one minute left and no time-outs remaining, New England faced a fourth-and-four. If the Patriots didn’t convert, the Dolphins would ice the game. Mac Jones completed a pass to tight end Mike Gesicki. But Miami’s pass rush caused Jones’ pass to be underthrown, forcing Gesicki to come back to catch it. Not only was he now short of the first down marker but all of his momentum was in the opposite direction.

Miami’s Justin Bethel grabbed onto Gesicki. And while Gesicki outweighs Bethel by 50 pounds, he could not break free from the Dolphins cornerback. The tight end had one trick up his sleeve. Before going down, Gesecki had one more trick up his sleeve and lateraled the ball to his teammate — offensive lineman Cole Strange.

While Strange doesn’t have a lot of experience as a ball carrier, you wouldn’t have known it on Sunday. Strange plowed forward, seemingly getting the first down.

Of course, the play was reviewed. And upon further review, Strange was ruled short, something NBC rules analyst and former NFL referee Terry McAulay said was “obvious.”

Regardless of the overturned call, football fans praised Strange for his remarkable effort, despite being the NFL’s version of a fish out of water.

Replays were not working in New England’s favor on Sunday but sure were memorable.

If we’re wondering where Gesecki got his inspiration for that lateral, we don’t need to look far. As a member of the Dolphins in 2018, Gesecki saw the Miami Miracle work to perfection against the Patriots.

While Sunday’s play wasn’t as successful, it will be hard to forget this one.

About Michael Dixon

Michael is a writer and editor for The Comeback Media. He is Bay Area native living in the Indianapolis area. Michael is also a big nerd when it comes to sports history and to a slightly lesser extent, all history. Beyond that, loves tacos, pizza and random Seinfeld quotes.

Feel free to voice your agreements or disagreements. If you do so respectfully, Michael will gladly respond in kind.

Twitter: @mfdixon1985 (mostly personal but a lot of sports)/@mdixonsports (All work/sports related)