clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Anatomy of a play: The drop heard around the world


September 13, 2016

It was the first game of the 2016 NFL season and excitement for the New Miami was at an all-time high. The Dolphins had just signed new head coach Adam Gase and even though we got a sneak peek throughout the preseason, EVERYONE was excited to see his high-octane offense in action. Miami’s Week 1 opponent was no slouch as the team traveled cross-country to take on NFC West powerhouse, Seattle Seahawks.

Thirty seconds into the second quarter, something big happened. Down 3-0, Ryan Tannehill heaved a beautiful ball 71-yards downfield. One of the league’s most dynamic wide receivers was wide open...


Most fans remember this as if it were yesterday. It may or may not have been the difference in the end, as Miami went on to lose 12-10. What was most impressive is just how wide open Stills was.

Below is what the play looked like pre-snap.

NFL Gamepass

Stills designed route on the play, was a seam down the middle of the field. However, what truly opened things up was Foster’s out-and-up route on the sideline. His route occupied three members of the Legion of Boom. This forces the safety on Stills, who is wide open in the middle of the secondary.

NFL Gamepass

As you can see at the bottom of the screen, Foster’s route allows Stills to break free down the middle of Seattle’s defense. Earl Thomas reacts seconds too late and the rest is pitch and catch for the Dolphins’ offense. At least that’s what we had assumed. Whether Stills was eager to reach the end zone, had a glare in his eyes, just finished eating a greasy hamburger or whatever may had happened, this is a catch he should have made.

In the picture below, we see ho many yards Stills has on the safety. When the ball falls mercifully from Stills’ hands, he has a good 5-10 yards on Thomas.

NFL Gamepass

I’m a big fan of Kenny Stills and have to believe this play haunts him on a regular basis. With the type of roller coaster ride we’ve had thus far in preseason, I felt like this was a better time than ever to revisit the infamous drop from Week 1. Let’s just hope with a new contract and a second year in Gase’s offense, Kenny Stills will have a career year. The Dolphins could certainly use it.