One of the greatest plays in the history of the NFL or any other organized sports league was pure and unapologetic gimmick, but that’s criminally misleading, like calling The Thinker a chunk of rock, or Gravedigger a pickup truck.
Because a 346-pound nose guard swaggering up to the huddle, calling his own play, lining up in the Wildcat, stepping toward the line of scrimmage and then rising up to throw a jump-pass to the second-string tight end for a touchdown is a gimmick the same way the sun is a light source.
Dontari Poe has touched the ball on offense three times in his NFL career. He has three touchdowns, each somehow both hilarious and majestic, which is quite the combination. But none will be quite as memorable as the signature play of the Chiefs’ 33-10 win over the Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.
“Three touches, three touchdowns,” Poe said. “A hundred percent, baby.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid will continue to downplay this part of it, but the play was an undeniable middle finger, either to the bully Broncos who’ve owned this division for years, or anyone (including his star tight end) who last week said he’s too conservative.
“You can’t score enough points against these teams,” Reid said. “So, you can’t take anything for granted.”
He said those words with a straight face, which is actually pretty gangster of him, but the only disappointing part of this, it must be said, is the play’s name.
Maybe this is a problem of precedent. Hungry Pig Right is an all-time play name, the perfect combination of descriptive and memorable for Poe motioning out to the right as a receiver, taking a pass and scoring that touchdown in Oakland.
“I don’t know if I should be giving out that classified information,” Poe said when asked the play-call on his touchdown pass. “I’m just going to say Poe pass.”
Poe is being a good employee, but this kind of information is what you fine readers have come to expect from The Star. So we have the name here, but really, on a day he did so much else well, Reid could’ve done better with the play-call name.
A few suggestions, most of them from Twitter: Pig Tebow, When Pigs Fly, Wild Boar, Hungry Pig Up, Pig in a Blanket, Fat Man Jumping, Air Poe, Poe Montana, Broadway Poe, or, my personal favorite, Hungry Pig Flight.
The play that had the Chiefs laughing and the Broncos fuming?
Tebow Pop Pass. (Reid also referred to it in postgame interviews as “Bloated Tebow Pass.”)
Nice to reference the man who made the jump-pass popular, but kind of a letdown, right? But the play!
“He threw a good ball,” said Demetrius Harris, who caught the pass. “Only I could get it.”
Because we track everything in sports, we know that Poe is apparently the first defensive lineman to throw a touchdown pass, and almost certainly the heaviest man to throw a touchdown pass.
It sounds funny when people say things like what Harris said — he threw a good ball — but the truth is that Poe is a freakish athlete even by the superhuman standards of the NFL.
Sometimes in pass rushes, he uses a crossover move that could work in Division I basketball. Even at a listed 346 pounds — heavier than Refrigerator Perry, when he scored for the ’85 Bears — he can easily dunk. His 29 1/2 -inch vertical leap is higher than around half the participants at most NBA scouting combines, and here may be the best example of his athleticism:
Poe, in practice, peeling off his blocker to chase a running back out of the backfield and intercept the pass.
The scene has apparently happened multiple times, in different practices, and against different running backs and quarterbacks.
“Makes it look like it’s nothing, too,” defensive back Ron Parker said. “You never see a defensive tackle do something like that.”
Never seen a defensive tackle make a jump-pass, either. This is an extreme example, but these sorts of gimmick plays need to be part of what the Chiefs do. It is their best chance of success, both this weekend in San Diego and then in the playoffs. They need to push the boundaries of convention.
Just, next time, hopefully they can come up with a better name.