Jalen Ramsey vs. Golden Tate: 2020’s Hit of the Year?
(Sarah Snyder/LA Rams)
The NFL brings us spectacular highlights every week of the season: superhuman throws, incredible catches, dazzling runs, and bone-crushing hits. If you’re like me, certain plays are so incredible that they lodge themselves in your memory bank, never to be forgotten. On a crucial 3rd down during the 4th quarter of the Rams-Giants October 2020 matchup in Los Angeles, Jalen Ramsey made one of those plays.
The Rams were clinging to a 10-9 lead with 10 and a half minutes left in the game, but the momentum seemed to be shifting in New York’s favor. So far, the Rams’ three second-half drives had resulted in a grand total of 35 yards and three punts, and the Giants looked to be driving. Running back Wayne Gallman had just gashed the LA defense with a 26-yard scamper, setting his team up within sniffing distance of a go-ahead field goal. A couple more Gallman runs set the stage for our play in question, a 3rd & 3 at the Rams’ 47-yard line.
Wide receiver Golden Tate lined up on the left side of the Giants’ offensive formation, opposite from star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, creating what just happened to be a uniquely personal matchup (in fact, the long-running public beef between these two resulted in a postgame brawl). The ensuing play would be one of the most electrifying defensive sequences of the year.
Before the snap, quarterback Daniel Jones called for Tate to come in motion, a concept designed to make the veteran wide receiver look as if he would be involved in an end-around. But just after the ball was snapped, Tate put on the brakes and reversed course, setting up a dump-off pass in the left flat.
Running back Dion Lewis was in position to throw a lead block after emerging untouched from the Giants’ backfield following a play-action fake. Looking at a freeze frame as the ball leaves Jones’ hand, it seems like the play has a chance of succeeding: If Lewis can just apply a halfway decent block against Ramsey, perhaps Tate gets to the edge and gains the necessary yardage to move the sticks. Unfortunately for the Giants, Jalen Ramsey is a bad, bad man.