Ronnie Brown has nearly 5,000 career rushing yards and 40 rushing touchdowns. He is generally considered a back who has had an above-average career that never met lofty expectations because of injuries.
But for one snap on Sunday, Brown played the part of infamous Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian.
Midway through the second quarter, the Eagles held a seven-point lead over the visiting 49ers. Against a below-league average offense, a 17-point lead before halftime could've nearly put the game out of reach.
With the ball placed just inside the one yard-line, Eagles head coach Andy Reid called for a running play to Brown through the left side of the Eagles' line. A blitzing 49ers outside linebacker, Parys Haralson, came flying through untouched, wrapping up Brown in the backfield.
And then the fun began.
As he was being tackled, Brown attempted to throw a forward pass. With his momentum carrying him away from the line of scrimmage, Brown flung the ball backwards, where it was recovered by the 49ers.
The play was as confusing as it was dumb.
Brown did his best to shed some light on his thought process after the game during an interview with Philly.com
"I've just got to make a better decision with the ball," Brown said. "No matter if it's a pass or a run, I've just got to make a better decision. I was trying to out-think myself a little bit. It was a pass play and I was thinking, once the guy slipped off, just try to throw the ball away and give us another chance for fourth down—not take a loss where we can go for it on fourth down, if possible. I've just got to make a better decision with the ball."
Even if the play was designed to give Brown a run-pass option, a seven year NFL veteran should know better than to attempt a pass while in the grasp of a defender so close to the goal line. Or, really, ever.
Unfortunately for Brown and the Eagles, the play would prove to be even more costly than they initially anticipated.
The Eagles made their way into the 49ers red zone seven times, scoring only twice. They lost the game by one point, 24-23.