Jump to content

Examples of Butterfly Effect in football?


Recommended Posts

For those that don't know, the butterfly effect is when one small seemingly insignificant event ends up having huge ramifications. Like stepping on a spider causes World War 3 or something along those lines. It's also a great movie.

I stumbled upon this YouTube video that goes into detail how a largely forgotten 2011 regular season game between the Jets and Chiefs completely changed the course of the NFL.

What are other examples of the butterfly effect in the NFL?

Edited by biggie.
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are endless. Two I think about in regards to the 49ers are what if Joe didn't get hit by Leonard Marshall? Do the 49ers win that game and beat the Bills orchestrating the three-peat? Does Steve Young then not get his shot to take over for Joe Montana? Joe's injury sidelined him two full years. The other one is what if Garrison Hearst doesn't break his leg on the first play of the 1998 divisional game against the Falcons? Do the Falcons still win? Do the 49ers advance and square off against the Vikings? Do the Vikings still choke? 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In week 15 of 2010, Tampa played Detroit at home and late in the game Kellen Winslow has a TD chopped off on a phantom OPI call. The Bucs don’t score on that drive, we go on to lose the game by 3 and the NFL issues an apology for an obviously incorrect call.

We drop to 8-6 and ultimately miss the playoffs despite finishing 10-6. Green Bay sneaks into the playoffs on a tie breaker as the 6 seed and go all the way.

Packers fans will be better placed to explain how missing the playoffs/ not winning that superbowl would have changed the last 10 years, but maybe McCarthy leaves sooner, maybe it changes draft strategy for the better or maybe they come back stronger in 2011 and go further in the playoffs.

As for Tampa, I doubt much would have changed. We’d have probably lost in round 1 against the Eagles because every good team we played that year comfortably beat us, but it would have been viewed as a successful season going from 3-13 to 11-5. Maybe the Glazers spend money that offseason, rather than making a punter our marque free agent signing. Ultimately, it would still have fallen apart in 2011 as nothing would have happened to change the discipline issues that became apparent that year.

The only thing it could have affected is who coached the Bucs. Morris might have got another year after the 2011 debacle if he’d made the playoffs in 2010 (that’s a big if given how Gruden and Dungy were fired), but I doubt he’d have lasted past 2012. That brings us to the point where Andy Reid leave Philly. Could he have went to Tampa instead of Kansas? I doubt it, but it’s an interesting prospect. Do the Bucs still try to go down the Chip Kelly route if they’re given another year to accept Freeman isn’t the guy? Or would we have ended up going for Lovie Smith a year before we eventually did? 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Jets punter Branden Mann tackling Diontae Spencer probably lead to the Jags getting Trevor Lawrence.

Probably the biggest one is Mo Lewis injuring Drew Bledsoe, which lead to two decades of Tom Brady.

Seems like NYJ are responsible for a lot of these.

Edited by Chops013
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chops013 said:

The Jets punter Branden Mann tackling Diontae Spencer probably lead to the Jags getting Trevor Lawrence.

Probably the biggest one is Mo Lewis injuring Drew Bledsoe, which lead to two decades of Tom Brady.

Seems like NYJ are responsible for a lot of these.

 

2 hours ago, Buc Ball said:

In week 15 of 2010, Tampa played Detroit at home and late in the game Kellen Winslow has a TD chopped off on a phantom OPI call. The Bucs don’t score on that drive, we go on to lose the game by 3 and the NFL issues an apology for an obviously incorrect call.

We drop to 8-6 and ultimately miss the playoffs despite finishing 10-6. Green Bay sneaks into the playoffs on a tie breaker as the 6 seed and go all the way.

Packers fans will be better placed to explain how missing the playoffs/ not winning that superbowl would have changed the last 10 years, but maybe McCarthy leaves sooner, maybe it changes draft strategy for the better or maybe they come back stronger in 2011 and go further in the playoffs.

As for Tampa, I doubt much would have changed. We’d have probably lost in round 1 against the Eagles because every good team we played that year comfortably beat us, but it would have been viewed as a successful season going from 3-13 to 11-5. Maybe the Glazers spend money that offseason, rather than making a punter our marque free agent signing. Ultimately, it would still have fallen apart in 2011 as nothing would have happened to change the discipline issues that became apparent that year.

The only thing it could have affected is who coached the Bucs. Morris might have got another year after the 2011 debacle if he’d made the playoffs in 2010 (that’s a big if given how Gruden and Dungy were fired), but I doubt he’d have lasted past 2012. That brings us to the point where Andy Reid leave Philly. Could he have went to Tampa instead of Kansas? I doubt it, but it’s an interesting prospect. Do the Bucs still try to go down the Chip Kelly route if they’re given another year to accept Freeman isn’t the guy? Or would we have ended up going for Lovie Smith a year before we eventually did? 

This is a good example of a butterfly effect. A franchise QB getting seriously injured isn't a seemingly insignifocant event.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How about just one game? In SB51, if Devonta Freeman doesn't miss the block on Donta Hightower, Matt Ryan hits a streaking Aldrick Robinson for a touchdown and the Falcons go up 34-12 putting the game out of reach and winning their first super bowl. Without that sack and forced fumble, none of the other events in the game even mattered since that was truly the start of the 28-3 come back.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/redskins/longterm/1999/gamerep/playoffs2/skins16.htm 

Quote

TAMPA, Jan. 15 – The Washington Redskins' season ended in gut-wrenching fashion here this evening when a botched snap on a potential go-ahead field goal in the closing moments allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to escape with a 14-13 victory in an NFC semifinal at Raymond James Stadium.

The Redskins squandered a 13-point, third-quarter lead as their usually reliable offense was shut down – particularly in the second half – by Tampa Bay's powerful defense. They still had a chance to win, however, when place kicker Brett Conway lined up for a 52-yard field goal attempt with 1 minute 17 seconds to play.

But center Dan Turk's snap was low and couldn't be handled by holder Brad Johnson, who was tackled as he tried to salvage the play with a pass. The Buccaneers ran out the clock and advanced to next Sunday's NFC championship game, in which they will play at St. Louis or host the Minnesota Vikings.

What happens if Washington plays the Rams instead? Maybe not much, but hey, Kurt might not win his Super Bowl, etc. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MikeT14 said:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/redskins/longterm/1999/gamerep/playoffs2/skins16.htm 

What happens if Washington plays the Rams instead? Maybe not much, but hey, Kurt might not win his Super Bowl, etc. 

The Bert Emanuel rule would never be introduced because the Bert Emanuel play would never have happened. 

That could have changed the outcome of a few games, but I can’t find any decent examples. Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that Dez didn’t catch it. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

That's not the first time that you had huge Butterfly Effect in Jets-Chiefs games.

In 1988, the teams played twice because they finished last in the five-team AFC divisions (East & West) the year before.

In both games, the Jets had double digit leads in the fourth quarter, and the Chiefs came back. In one game, they won, and in the other game, they tied.

If the Chiefs don't make those comebacks, they are 2-14, and Martyball has Troy Aikman at their disposal.

Also, the Jets would have been 10-6, and they would have made the playoffs over the Oilers (they beat them earlier that year, and both teams would have been 10-6). Also, they beat the Browns that year, so they would have hosted them in the AFC Wild Card Game.

I like the Jets to win that one, but their season ends the next week in the Jungle. However, that means that Joe Walton probably stays with the Jets after 1989 (maybe they do a bit better that year because of the success of 1988), the Steelers don't foolishly bring him in to run their offense in 90, and maybe Noll stays on another year or two, butterflying away Cowher Power in the Steel City (or delaying it).

There is also another time that a Jet-Chief game controlled where a QB went (I will talk about that later).

Edited by 7DnBrnc53
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

What if Andrew Luck doesn’t return to Stanford for the 2011 season 

- 2011 draft/Panthers draft Luck or Newton?

- 2011 draft/Broncos at 2 draft Von Miller or QB or trade down with QB needy team?

- 2012 draft/Colts draft RG3? Or stick with Peyton Manning? 

- 2012 draft/Redskins trade that haul to move up to #2 still?

- Broncos after potentially not getting Manning stick with Tebow for one more year? And miss their SB window? 

And much much more

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, just with how strict the timing is for certain things to happen, you could really get as crazy with this premise as you want to. The key change in the Jon Bois video is basically about the Chiefs having or not having a head coaching vacancy at the same time as Andy Reid and Philly going separate ways. But it isn't too difficult to find events for a team with a 60+ year history that would cause a head coaching vacancy to shift forward or backwards a year. If Bernard Pollard doesn't injure Tom Brady, and Cassel never plays, and the Chiefs never have reason to trade for Cassel, maybe they draft/sign/trade for a different QB, and that results in Haley getting fired faster, if worse, or slower, if better. That could also remove us from being able to get Reid. In 04/05 the elite Chiefs offenses under Vemiel started succumbing to age/injury. Holmes got hurt, Roaf got hurt, Welbourn got hurt, etc. That season we had a 3 point loss against the Cowboys, where LJ whiffed on a block when we were about to score, Green fumbles, Dallas returns it ~60 yards and scores just before half. Maybe a healthy Holmes makes that block, we go 11-5, make the playoffs, and Vermeil chooses to keep coaching. Vermeil coaching longer might mean someone else signs Herman Edwards, so we get another guy which could remove us from the running for Todd Haley, etc. Could keep going further and further back and find single plays or single events that could have cascaded in similar fashion. Depending on how cynical you are, this could either make the whole idea more interesting or just completely pointless. But anything that could shift a change in head coach or QB by just a year would dramatically change everything after it, inherently.

 

Though a small one that I actually like, is in 2011. Just one of those truly Chargers moments, for that time. In week 8, the Chargers were tied with the Chiefs, 20-20. With 1:03 left in the game, the Chargers had the ball on KC's 15, we had no timeouts left. The Chargers decided to go as safe as possible, and just take a knee to run the remaining time off before kicking a field goal. Rivers fumbled the snap on a kneeldown, Andy Studebaker recovered, the game went to OT, and KC won on a FG. The AFC West wound up in a 3 way tie at the top, with Denver, Oakland, and SD all being 8-8. Every team in the division split with each other, so everyone had a 3-3 divisional record, and it wound up going to common opponents, which Denver barely won. This put Tim Tebow in the playoffs against the Steelers. So really, Tim Tebow ever having anything resembling success in the NFL was entirely the fault of Philip Rivers.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...