Dumbest Play of the Week: Pittsburgh Edition

Football can be a thinking man’s game sometimes.

As we have seen in baseball and in basketball, the powers of good data and sound analysis are coming together to revolutionize how we think about the game and how we play the game. Hundreds of columns with thousands of words have been written to guide both the committed and casual fan to greater understanding of the sport we love.

This is not one of those columns.

Football is a dumb game. And try as many might to enlighten the sport of football, it will always be dumb because sports are inherently dumb. Now, I don’t mean dumb in the “this is bad and I don’t like it” sense. I mean dumb in the “wow lmao how did this happen” sense. This essence is immutable from football, as it is from all sports and it’s high time we celebrate the team that is that dumb essence seven times distilled for smoothness, your Seattle Seahawks.

And so, dear watcher of dumb football, take a weekly journey with me as I attempt to recount THE DUMBEST PLAY OF THE WEEK.


Q4 5:49 1st and 10 (SEA 11) – RUSSELL WILSON aborted snap, recovered by DEVIN BUSH at SEA 14 and returned 11 yards (tackle by JARON BROWN). EPA: -6.51


Some context: The Seattle Seahawks had just slogged their way through an offensive offensive performance in the first half of this game. At halftime, they came to the realization that Russell Wilson is in fact a good quarterback who can throw the football well on plays that aren’t just seven step drops from play action. And so, Russell got the ball out quickly and was deadly efficient, leading three straight touchdown drives, capped by the 35-air-yard dagger to Danny Kelly Metcalf.

NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND. This is a Seahawks game, after all: no lead is safe, no win has been comfortable since that one time we played the Jags in 2013.

On their first play of what is probably going to be a six-minute offense drive (read: run, run, pass on third and long), Wilson takes the snap and begins to hand it off to Chris Carson. Also at the snap, Pittsburgh cornerback Mike Hilton decides to run around, rather than through, Our Friend Nicholas Vannett and attempt an ankle tackle of Carson right as he is receiving the hand off. Because Fumble Luck is the goddamn worst, Carson fumbles the football forward as he goes ass-over-teakettle back to the line of scrimmage.


Of course, Pittsburgh linebacker Devin Bush is there to pick up the fumble and begins running upfield, decides he’s about to run into the arms of three Seahawks, pulls a 180 and starts running back downfield toward Seattle’s endzone. This entire time, noted Fast Person Tyler Lockett is unable to chase Bush down, which adds just a touch of subtle dumbness to an already idiotic play.

As Bush nears the endzone, the ghost of definitely-not-playing-for-the-Ravens-right-now Earl Thomas descends from above in the form of a Jaron Brown tackle to jar the ball loose, which then touches the pylon before being gently caressed out of bounds by a redemptive Our Friend Nicholas Vannett. Because the pylon is both endzone and out-of-bounds, the Seahawks would receive possession at their own 20 yard line, run out the clock and win by two scores on the road.


lol syke Bush was ruled down at the three before the ball came out.

Pittsburgh would score on the next play, leading to a clenching of teeth and buttholes around the Pacific Northwest. Thankfully, Russell is hashtag #elite and safely led the Good Ship Seahawks to shore, running out the clock on the next drive.

And that, folks, was the dumbest fucking play of the week.