A move straight out of the video game football playbook is gaining popularity in the actual NFL.
DeSean Jackson capped the Philadelphia Eagles’ December 19, 2010, victory over the New York Giants with a little extra running around. Jackson’s game-winning touchdown was the final component of a 28-point fourth-quarter comeback. His little dalliance was arguably as much celebratory as it was strategic but ensured the Giants wouldn’t have a chance to return fire.
Wide receiver Brandon Stokley pulled off that move after his improbable Immaculate Deflection.
Who knew Tecmo Bowl was teaching vital football skills? In a high-powered shootout, coaches have been known to try anything to keep the opposing offense off the field. In Super Bowl XLIV, Saints Coach Sean Payton began the second half with an onside kick. Other times, teams have actually let the opposition score so they would have enough time to mount a drive. In a world where letting the other team score has become good strategy, we shouldn’t be surprised video games are getting mined for ideas.
Football video games, especially the older ones, didn’t exactly have complex defensive schemes. A contest between two evenly matched players often came down to which one had the ball last. That player would then run around a few extra seconds before scoring to run out the clock.
Jackson’s TD was like something out of a video game itself. He didn’t even field the punt cleanly. Once he had a good grip on the ball, it looked as if he was playing Madden on Rookie difficulty level.
Speaking of Madden, The New York Giant special teams can probably expect to lose a few ratings points in the next roster update.