Patriots: Remembering the ‘Butt Fumble’ and how it truly ruined the New York Jets
By Jerry Trotta
The New England Patriots can kick their feet up and relax this Thanksgiving. That’s been the case for the last nine years running.
In fact, the last time the Patriots were scheduled to play on the national holiday came all the way back in 2012, and that game just so happened to set the stage for one of the most dominant division runs in recent NFL history.
If that hint wasn’t revealing enough, we’re referencing Mark Sanchez’s famous “Butt Fumble,” when the then-Jets quarterback inexplicably ran into offensive lineman Brandon Moore’s backside, causing the pigskin to be jarred loose.
It’s widely remembered as one of the worst plays in NFL history and has become synonymous with Thanksgiving, probably because it never ceases to make football fans — especially Pats diehards — burst out in laughter.
In many ways, this play was the beginning of the end for the Jets, who, nearly a decade later, have yet to rebound from this national embarrassment.
Remembering Mark Sanchez’s “Butt fumble” against the Patriots on Thanksgiving in 2012.
Gets better every time, especially when you haven’t seen it in a while.
Literally every part of the play is a comedy of errors. First, Sanchez, clearly trying to hand the ball off, was abandoned in the backfield. It looked as though he was trying to give the ball to his fullback Lex Hilliard? Why? Why call a FB dive on 1st and 10 from your own 30-yard line?
Anyway, the play was still salvageable after Hilliard left Sanchez hanging. The Jets’ offensive line, with Hilliard, executed their blocking assignments. The only problem? Sanchez, clearly afraid of getting sandwiched between a pair of Patriots defenders, lost his bearings and got his bell rung by Moore’s tush.
To add insult to injury, Steve Gregory scooped up the free football and brought it to the house to give the Patriots a 21-0 lead.
After the game, Vince Wilfork delivered another iconic moment when he went to town on a ginormous turkey leg.
What a legend.
As we noted earlier, the Jets still haven’t recovered. They have one winning season since then. That came in 2015, when they finished 10-6 thanks to a career year from Ryan Fitzpatrick and STILL missed out on the playoffs.
In the five-plus years since, Gang Green has gone 35-71, good for the third-worst record behind the Jaguars and Browns during that span.
As if witnessing maybe the most boneheaded play in league history wasn’t already a big enough treat for Patriots fans, this game also paved the way for arguably the worst stretch of football in Jets franchise history, which says a lot given how many losing seasons have unfolded in East Rutherford.