There are plenty of bad plays in the NFL on a weekly basis, so it takes something truly abysmal to stand out.
The infamous “butt fumble” incident with former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in 2012 is a classic example of a wildly bad quarterback play being remembered for all the wrong reasons.
An incident that occurred during Saturday’s tilt between the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals at Cincinnati’s Paycor Stadium doesn’t have a snappy name yet, but it’s got all the makings of an all-time NFL blunder.
The Vikings lost in overtime, 27-24, and a critical moment of the game came right before halftime when Minnesota backup quarterback Nick Mullens threw a pass that turned into what Pro Football Focus’ lead NFL analyst Sam Monson called a candidate for the “worst interception” of all time.
Mullens, instead of taking a sack, inexplicably tossed the ball — right into the hands of lumbering Bengals defensive tackle BJ Hill — genuinely one of the worst turnovers you’ll ever see.
Take a look for yourself below:
This might be the worst interception anybody has ever thrown pic.twitter.com/4By1SAXc9E
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) December 16, 2023
(It also needs to be pointed out that even if Hill hadn’t come up with the ball, Mullens appeared to be blatantly violating the intentional grounding rule, wherein a quarterback is penalized for attempting to escape a sack by throwing the ball to nobody in particular.)
Unsurprisingly, the top comment to Monson’s scathing X video made reference to the Sanchez “butt fumble”:
It’s the butt fumble of INTs
— Chimp Magnet (@chimp_magnet) December 16, 2023
“It’s the butt fumble of [interceptions],” one X user quipped.
The play swiftly went viral on social media, with swathes of users piling on Mullens.
The Ringer NFL pundit and analyst Warren Sharp — a consultant for NFL teams and professional bettors on the league and a man who has watched a lot of professional football — wasn’t calling it the worst interception he’s seen. But he did call it one of the funniest.
one of the funniest INTs in history 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/BH0LRgi1Te
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) December 16, 2023
Hill surely won’t mind this slight dig, having come up with his second career interception (in as many weeks!), but he added to the comedy of it all by briefly looking like a young child who just discovered hand-eye coordination as he tried to come up with the ball.
One X user responded to Sharp by digging the knife in just a little deeper, and wanted Hill to get extra credit on the play:
Can we make a case for this play to be ruled both a sack and interception?
— Erik Duerrwaechter (@EDuerrwaechter) December 16, 2023
“Can we make a case for this play to be ruled both a sack and interception?” an X user asked.
As boneheaded of a play as that was for Mullens, the costliness of it was highlighted much later in the game when an incredibly savvy play from Bengals star receiver Tee Higgins scored a touchdown that helped force overtime, where the Bengals eventually won.
TEE HIGGINS JUMP BALL AND THE REACH! WHAT A TD 😱
— NFL (@NFL) December 16, 2023
The loss gives the Vikings, a team that lost Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins to a torn Achilles tendon in October, a 7-7 record with three games left in the season.
Two of those games are against the NFC North Division-leading Detroit Lions, a team that improved to 10-4 after defeating the Denver Broncos on Saturday.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.