Robert Woods took this screen for a TD after Ronde Barber said "There's no play in the playbook for 3rd and 33." EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – NOVEMBER 5: Robert Woods #17 of the Los Angeles Rams rushes for a touchdown after catching a pass in front of Nat Berhe #29 of the New York Giants in the first half at MetLife Stadium on November 5, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

It’s always fun when announcers make a comment that would be reasonable in most circumstances, only to have immediately disproved by an odd on-field play. That’s exactly what happened in the New York Giants’ 51-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams Sunday. Fox color analyst Ronde Barber said “There’s no play in the playbook for 3rd and 33,” only to be promptly proven wrong by the Rams, who turned a two-yard screen to receiver Robert Woods into a 52-yard touchdown:

And unlike the similar play in the Chiefs-Cowboys’ game, this wasn’t at the end of a half and wasn’t about downfield blocking. This annotated graphic from CBS’ Jared Dubin shows just how many defenders were in front of Woods when he caught the ball:

There were a ton of Giants in front of Robert Woods.

So, Barber’s comment didn’t work out. But it was pretty logical when he said it. The NFL in total was only converting 38.8 per cent of all third downs this season, and while the Rams were the league’s best with a 49 per cent success rate heading into this game, that’s still less than half of all opportunities, to say nothing of ones this long. And amazingly, before this, the last team to convert on 3rd-and-33 or longer was the Giants themselves way back in 1989, with Phil Simms at quarterback:

That’s yet more insult to injury in what’s been a brutal season for the Giants, who fell to 1-7 with this loss.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.