You remember it happening, and your heart probably skipped a beat (or two or three).
Eagles special teams ace
Turns out, he had a complete understanding of the situation.
“The ball had already been touched by Green Bay, so I saw the opportunity to maybe make a play,” said Anderson. “I knew the rules.”
The rules say this: Had Anderson picked up the ball and returned it for a touchdown, the Eagles would have been awarded the score. Had he picked it up and fumbled it away to Green Bay, the ball would have reverted back to the 16-yard line, where Green Bay originally touched the ball.
Only in one instance would it have been a poor outcome for the Eagles: Had Anderson returned the ball and fumbled it over to Green Bay, and had the Eagles been penalized during the return, then Green Bay would have been awarded possession.
In the end, everything was OK.
“My head coach at Montana was also the special teams coach, so I’ve studied all the rules for a long time,” said Anderson. “I knew the situation there. I just figured it was worth trying to make a big play.”