VIDEO: Remembering When the Redskins Ran One of the Worst Trick Plays of All Time Against the Giants
In the modern NFL, executing the so-called "Swinging Gate" play is generally a terrible idea.
With superhuman athletes on defense, shifting your offensive line to the opposite side of the field and leaving your quarterback unprotected will lead to disaster unless you have Mission Impossible-esque disguise. On December 21, 2019, Washington Redskins head coach Jim Zorn went for it anyway.
Redskins Trick Play vs Giants Video
The decision-making that led to this play was bafflingly stupid. In 2009, kickers made 78.6% of their field goals between 35-40 yards. Instead of taking the three points to make it a three-possession game, Zorn decided to try to score a touchdown. Only instead of trusting his offense to throw a Hail Mary, he decided punter Hunter Smith should do it — without any blocking in front of him.
Obviously, things went awry, as the ball was intercepted and got run back past midfield as the crowd erupted in boos. The Redskins ended up losing the game 45-12.
Jim Zorn was fired at the end of the season, with Washington finishing 4-12, but he could've been fired at halftime of this game and it would've been justified.
This play was a precursor to the most embarrassing trick play of recent memory—the Indianapolis Colts' failed Swinging Gate fake punt against the New England Patriots. Both plays have reached legendary status, highlighting why NFL teams shouldn't run the Swinging Gate play.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.