Both the Raiders last week and the Chiefs this week set up in what appeared to be an obvious Hail Mary situation and both threw short. The results, however were quite different. The Raiders play was stopped for 15 yards and the Chiefs scored a touchdown.
Here are those two plays, starting with the Raiders last week, followed by the Chiefs today.
You may notice that the result isn’t the only major difference between these two plays. There were a few more. Let’s lay those differences out.
The Raiders were lined up at the Buffalo 47-yard-line. The Chiefs were at their own 43-yard-line. For Carr to launch a 47-yard bomb is reasonable. For Alex Smith to launch a 57-yard bomb is far less reasonable, bordering on highly implausible.
The Raiders’ called a Hail Mary and Derek Carr opted instead to dump it off to DeAndre Washington just past the line of scrimmage. With no blocking in place, the Bills defense swarmed and Washington was tackled easily for a 15-yard gain and the Raiders headed to the locker room without really even trying to get another score.
The play for the Chiefs was designed the way it was run. Probably in large part due to the aforementioned field position. Tyreek Hill had blockers in front of him and was 15 yards downfield when he caught the ball. Once he got it, the play was basically a short punt return, but easier because the defense was flatfooted instead of charging at him.
Tyreek Hill factor
Already the play is being called a Hill Mary. No offense to DeAndre Washington, but he ain’t Tyreek Hill. No one is. When you have arguably the most electric athlete in the NFL, you have an advantage in a situation like that.
Hill caught the ball, surveyed the field like the All Pro punt returner he is, made the first man miss, and weaved his way through defenders with some solid blocking and used his speed to get the touchdown. It was a perfect play to the perfect player for the Chiefs.