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-KICKOFF COVERAGE’S: HISTORY OF THE 32 IN 32-

-NEW YORK JETS-

2012

BUTT FUMBLE:

 The butt fumble is an infamous play that occurred in a game between the New York Jets and New England Patriots on Thanksgiving, November 22, 2012. In front of a New York home crowd of 79,000 at MetLife Stadium and a primetime television audience of 20 million, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez collided with the backside of his teammate Brandon Moore and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Patriots' Steve Gregory and returned for a touchdown. The play was the centerpiece of a disastrous sequence in the second quarter, as the Jets lost three fumbles and the Patriots scored three touchdowns—one each on offense, defense, and special teams—all in the span of 52 seconds of game time; in that quarter, the Jets held the ball for over 12 minutes (out of 15), but were outscored 35–3. The game and the so-called “butt fumble” in particular are remembered as the low point of the Jets’ 2012 season.

The Jets lined up in an I formation, with Sanchez under center. In the backfield were fullback Lex Hilliard and running back Shonn Greene, 4.5 and 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage respectively. Sanchez had called the play in the huddle: a designed handoff to the fullback. Typically in this formation, the running back receives the ball, and the fullback blocks for him. The play call would attempt to misdirect the defense, as Greene would peel away to the left and Hilliard would take a quick handoff to the right.

When Sanchez took the snap, he mistakenly turned to the left, where there was no one to receive the handoff. Trying to salvage the broken play, Sanchez scrambled forward towards the line of scrimmage. At the 32-yard line, as he tried to slide down to protect himself and the ball, Sanchez collided with right guard Brandon Moore, who was working against Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Moore’s butt dislodged the ball from Sanchez’s right arm. As Sanchez was knocked down and Moore fell on top of him, the football bounced out to the right side of the play, near the 32-yard line, directly in front of Steve Gregory, who collected the ball with his fingertips and ran untouched into the Jets’ endzone