Early in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills faced a third-and-five while backed-up deep in their own territory. Kyle Orton dropped back and threw a picture-perfect pass to a streaking Sammy Watkins. The fourth-pick of the 2014 draft caught the ball in stride near midfield and was all set to race for what would be an 89-yard touchdown, which would have been the longest in the NFL this season.
But as the rookie hit the 20-yard line, he raised his right arm in triumph, completely unaware of New York’s Saalim Hakim, who had been sprinting with him stride for stride.
If you ignore the size of the stage, this is so much worse than Leon Lett. On that infamous play in Super Bowl XXVII, Lett was a large, husky defender trying to outrun a blazing-fast Don Beebe. The only advantage Lett had in the race was its inevitable conclusion at the approaching goal line. Beebe was going to catch up eventually. Watkins, on the other hand, is a speedster. Hakim is fast, but he wasn’t catching Watkins no matter how long the field was. (Heck, Hakim isn’t even a defensive back. He’s a wide receiver thrust into defensive duty because of the Jets’ depleted secondary.
Come on, Sammy. MetLife Stadium is full of scoreboards. Just look up and check your blind spot, man.
Buffalo would go on to score a touchdown on the drive, saving Watkins some locker-room mockery (but only some).