Football Nerdery

The Chiefs ran a play from the 1948 Rose Bowl on Sunday, according to Eric Bieniemy

February 3, 2020
Damien Williams
Elsa

Lost in all the chaos that comes with watching the Super Bowl is the actual game that's being played. Between the god-awful commercials everyone force-laughs at, the comically-long halftime show and other party guests assuming you want to engage in something called "conversation," it's hard to keep track of what just happened on 2nd & 7.

But those who were locked in early on may have noticed the Kansas City Chiefs offense run one of the most unique looking plays of the year, and they are an offense that runs a lot of unique-looking plays. But this one stood out, particularly because the Chiefs ran it on 4th & 1 near the goal line. It was as crucial of a play as you could have in the game's opening quarter.

RELATED: Of course Chiefs head coach Andy Reid compared having nine grandchildren to Chinese food

When they first lined up, the formation looked like a cross between the pistol, the wishbone and the wing T, but all four players in the backfield shifted, doing full 360s and getting into a new formation. Running back Damien Williams took a direct snap and plowed up the middle to pick up the first down:

All that for a gain of four? Well, yes, and it actually set up the Chiefs to score the first touchdown of the game, giving them a 7-3 lead. But this is where the real football nerdery comes in. After the game, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said the play came from a 1949 Rose Bowl between Michigan and USC. He actually meant the 1948 Rose Bowl. Here's the full quote:

Naturally, someone went and found video of the play, which might be the biggest upset of the football season (they had cameras back then? I kid, I kid). Credit to Banner Society's Alex Kirshner for digging this one up:

Looks similar, but not exactly the same, right? Well, that's because this wasn't the same play, as Kirshner came to find out when he did more digging / keyboard warriors screamed "THAT'S NOT THE SAME PLAY!" at him. He did end up finding the exact play, and it's a thing of beauty:

Here's a cool side-by-side look:

It's pretty amazing to know how much work went into this play, which, as previously mentioned, totaled all of four yards. But when it works at an absolutely monumental time in the season, it's 100 percent worth it. Incredible stuff by both Andy Reid and Bieniemy, who somehow won't be a head coach in the NFL in 2020.

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