Five years ago, the New York Jets provided the world with one of the most embarrassing plays in the history of sports when then-Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez ran directly into the hindquarters of teammate Brandon Moore. The impact with Moore’s caboose caused Sanchez to fumble the ball.
And with that, the Butt Fumble was created.
— Joey Biancone (@joeybiancone3) November 22, 2017
The infamous mishap occurred in the second quarter of the Nov. 22, 2012, Thanksgiving Day game between the Jets and Patriots. After failing to complete a handoff because he turned the wrong way, Sanchez barreled ahead — directly into the ample backside of 300-pound Moore.
Sanchez was knocked back onto the ground as the ball squirted out of his hands. It was scooped up by Patriots safety Steve Gregory, who returned it 32 yards for the touchdown. New England wound up rolling to a 49-19 victory.
“It all went wrong when Sanchez turned the wrong way,” former Jets coach Rex Ryan recently told ESPN the Magazine. “That was the first indication that it was going to be a bad play. But we had no idea it was going to be a disaster.”
At the time, an obviously embarrassed Sanchez lamented, “You screw up the play, and I’m trying to do the right thing. It’s not like I’m trying to force something. I start to slide, and I slide in the worst spot I possibly could — right into Brandon Moore. That sucked.”
In terms of the scoreboard, at least, things would only get worse from there for Sanchez, Ryan and the Jets. After a scoreless first quarter, the Butt Fumble scoop and score highlighted a miserable second frame in which the Patriots outscored the Jets 35-3.
“I’ve had my butt kicked several times, but that was the worst,” Ryan told ESPN the Magazine. “I coached for 30 years; that was the worst quarter in the history of my coaching career, and there’s been some bad ones. But not even close to that one. It was brutal.”