Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein laid the oblong pigskin on its flank, planning for an onside kick to entire one particular of the most improbable comebacks this facet of Tremendous Bowl LI. Evidently, this procedure has a title: The Watermelon kick.
“That is what we simply call it,” Cowboys quarterback Prescott explained to Peter King after the game. “The ball just type of sits there like a watermelon, not on a tee.”
Zuerlein booted that watermelon like a major, spinning the football diagonally throughout the AT&T Stadium turf. Five Falcons surrounded the ball, none diving on it, although 4 Cowboys hovered waiting for the spinning rawhide to get to the demanded 10 yards. The moment it breached the barrier, corner C.J. Goodwin pounced. Dallas ball. Existence!
Falcons followers continue on to scratch their heads, questioning why no a single swooped in and snatched the ball. Prescott relayed one particular chance to King.
“I requested our punter, Chris Jones, why [the Falcons] would not just dive on it,” Prescott stated, “and he claimed the way it spins would make it definitely really hard to do that. They have been possibly scared that if they jumped on it, it might get unfastened and we might recuperate.”
The alternate was to wait and give the Cowboys a likelihood to pounce. And they did.
The Falcons experienced every benefit when Zuerlein at first booted the ball. They had the quantities, the time. Rather of proactively attacking, they huddled all over the ball like Boy Scouts at a campfire.
Absolutely sure, it’s attainable one of the Atlanta players dives before it hits 10 yards and the ball squirts cost-free, allowing Dallas to get well. The choice that seemed to unfold was Falcons players praying the kick simply would not go 10 yards.
Getting rid of teams hope the other side fails. Winners get motion.
To the outside earth, the Falcons’ response to the watermelon onside kick was to be perplexed at what was getting place. Coach Dan Quinn confident following the intestine-wrenching 40-39 decline that his players did know they could go just after the ball ahead of it reached 10 yards.
“We have got to go capture it when the instant arrives. … From where by I saw, it was a slow roller and a person that we must make the intense go to go get it,” Quinn reported, by way of the Associated Push.
“The entrance a few are commonly blocking as the high bouncers go to the second side, so the front line, commonly on an onside kick, they are wanting to get a block initial, then the large hop goes to the upcoming player,” Quinn extra. “So when that instance takes place and it is really not a person that’s a superior hopper you transfer in and you go to your ball. … They undoubtedly know the rule.”
Perhaps they know the rule, but it didn’t appear so at the time. At the pretty the very least, the players did not glance organized for this sort of onside kick. The collapse, coupled with the embarrassing onside enjoy, doesn’t seem very good for Quinn, who scarcely hung on to his career after final year’s bad commence.
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Credit rating Prescott and the Cowboys for beating their very poor start and generating plays immediately after the onside recovery to hard cash in the golden ticket and steal a earn. It can take two to tango, and the Falcons bent more than backward to accommodate their host’s astounding comeback.