A lot of NFL fans have probably watched so many collective hours of football that it’s easy to just sort of anticipate what’s going to happen and watch along passively. (Some would argue NFL officials do a LOT of this, calling what they’re expecting to see rather than what they do see, but that’s a different topic.)

So it stands out when what looks like one of the most boring possible plays (even on fourth down), an interior short yardage run, springs to life suddenly. This Broncos fumble against the Eagles is one such play; it starts with one of the fun/stressful fan moments, where we even though we can’t see the ball we know it’s loose by how players are reacting.

Then, after the routine play had already been shaken up once, Darius Slay emerges with the ball, fumbles it again as he tries to gather it, begins a return, and sends the whole thing into another dimension.

What an incredible turn of events. Plays like this might actually be the best part of football; scoring usually happens with more of a buildup, and almost always with the scoring team starting the play on offense, at least. Going from Denver being aggressive (the right choice, down seven points and inside the 25), picking up the yardage, and then wait, nope, actually the Eagles are going to have a 14-point lead now is a lovely swing, unless you’re a Denver fan or bettor.

Philadelphia would go on to win 30-13, so it’s pretty clear that play was a line of demarcation in this one. And credit Slay for making the best out of a play that could have easily gone just as wrong for him, had he failed to scoop the ball cleanly or lost yards attempting the return. Just good work all around.

Except for the Broncos, obviously.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.