A week after benefitting from the institutional incompetence of the Detroit Lions1 the Atlanta Falcons found themselves on the other side of a victory-swinging cock-up against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. When Bills defensive lineman Jerry Hughes tackled Matt Ryan from behind in the third quarter, the ball was jarred loose and returned by Bills corner Tre’Davious White for a touchdown. The Bills would ultimately prevail over the Falcons by six points so this touchdown was absolutely the difference in this game. The problem, of course, is that replays clearly show that Matty Ice has incredible finger strength: the ball may have shifted in his hand but he never lost control until his arm was moving forward. That means that this was an incomplete pass and that the Falcons absolutely got screwed. But this – the most recent example of the never-ending fumble vs. incomplete pass shitshow – is boring NFL incompetence. We can do better.
Well, Marquette King can do better.
— Football Dungeon (@DuaneLively) October 1, 2017
What you’re watching in that video is Marquette King, the Raiders’ unbelievably entertaining punter, deciding “fuck it” and calling for a fake punt against the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. You’ll note that King decided to do this from his own 33. On fourth and 11. At the tail end of the third quarter. In a game his team was trailing by two scores.
Naturally he got crushed for a three-yard loss.
This type of team-sinking, off-the-cuff tomfoolery might have earned King a shot at this week’s NFL Incompetence throne all by itself. But King isn’t playing for second place and his name is no mistake. He’s the king for a reason.
— Russ Thomas (@Rusty_Bill) October 1, 2017
Yes, after getting destroyed on his terrible punter-vs-the-world gambit, King decided to double down on his godawful decision-making by throwing the football at the player who had the nerve to, you know, do his job and tackle him.2 Which, of course, drew an unsportsmanlike conduct flag. Since this happened on fourth down, the combination of King’s failed sneak and his penalty meant that not only were King’s Raiders giving the ball to Denver but that the Broncos – instead of getting the ball deep in their own zone after a booming punt, as King’s coaches presumably would have wanted – were taking over at the Oakland 15. When punts are said to “flip the field,” this is not what is usually meant.
In fairness to King, though, that was some next-level incompetence on his part.3 All hail the King.