The Steelers found themselves inches from a game-winning touchdown down 20-17 to the Chargers with five seconds left and a timeout. They had one play for the win, and had to hope it didn't take more than five seconds. They wouldn't go with anything crazy, right?
NOPE, THEY DID SOMETHING CRAZY. AND IT WORKED:
The Steelers lined up out of a wildcat formation -- the QB, Michael Vick, is at the bottom of the screen, and Le'Veon Bell took a direct snap and looked to the outside.
What makes the wildcat a wild call here is the fact that it's a play that takes a while to develop. A running back dive would've started with a snap to the QB and the RB running straight forward. If a RB dive had failed, the Steelers still might have had a second on the clock to call timeout and try again.
A wildcat play starts with the running back seven yards deep, waiting for the ball to get to him, and then running. And since that extra time allows for the defensive line to get some push, the play can't go straight up the middle. That takes more than five seconds. When Bell got tackled, there were zeroes on the clock. If he didn't make it into the end zone, they would've lost.
Bell's second effort won it for the Steelers: After looking like he'd been stopped at the line, leading to a loss, he bounced further outside and reached the ball over the goal line.
This wasn't the first time the Steelers ran wildcat -- they ran a few plays out of it earlier in the game -- but going to it when a FG would've sent the game to OT is gutsy.
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