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Anatomy of a Play: The Day Bryce Petty Almost Died

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I was in the stands that evening at MetLife Stadium, and was willing to testify in the homicide if necessary.

Miami Dolphins v New York Jets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

On the 1st play of the 4th quarter in the Week 15 match-up between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, Bryce Petty fell victim to a snap count miscommunication and it nearly cost him his life. After Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh’s impact, I fully expected to see Petty’s intestines randomly scattered across the NFL logo on the field.

Winning 34-10, MetLife Stadium had already been taken over by a sea of aqua and orange. This play made me cringe and I was sitting in the nosebleeds. A collective “ooh”, with accompanying facial twitch, overcame the crowd to empathize with the pain - it must have felt like getting hit by Mike Tyson in “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out” and a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick at the same time.

Ryan Fitzpatrick came out and put up a whopping 17.1 QB rating for the rest of the game and the rest was history. Dolphins win.

But wow, this play was almost as bad as Mark Sanchez using his face to wipe Brandon Moore’s butt.

Let’s break down the tape/break down what I would’ve said in court had I been summoned to testify:

Lawyer: “Mr. SUTTON, what did you witness Saturday night at MetLife Stadium?”

Me: “I witnessed Mr. Suh and Mr. Wake kill Mr. Petty. I also saw the Jets sucking and the Dolphins not sucking.”

Lawyer: “And by what means did they use to (air quote) kill Mr. Petty?”

Me: “I thought it was a fun formation that created a little confusion: Suh and Wake at DE, Jason Jones (DE) at DT, Andre Branch (DE) at DT standing up, LB’s pressing the A gaps. On this play, the Jets offense communicated about as well as Chewbacca enunciates - and it was in between quarters when the Jets conceivably had more time to not have that kind of dumb s*** happen, but, you know, it’s the Jets, that type of stuff happens all the time. #76, #83, and #67 literally touched nothing but air on the play. The only reason #71 touches someone is because Jason Jones runs right into him.”

Lawyer: “(snickers fairly loudly, coughs/clears throat, realizes he has to remain composed during the proceedings and not reveal his Dolphins loyalty) How would you describe the cause of death, sir?”

Me: It was a collision sandwich. He was smushed to death. Of all the people to not only not block, but have a free sprint at your QB, you let it be Suh and Wake simultaneously?

Lawyer: Thank you, nothing further your Tannehill, I mean, your highness.