The Play Chris Godwin Didn’t Think Would Work

June 14th, 2021

Explains NFC-clinching play.

Joe recently ran across a video on YouTube with Hall of Fame basketball coaches Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski. In the video, Krzyzewski remarked it’s better to get your five best players on the court at once rather than the best player at five positions.

“You give your best player the ball and good things happen,” Krzyzewski said as Knight agreed barking, “Right!”

It made Joe think of Bucs receiver Chris Godwin.

While substituting for hot-dog-eating-contest-protesting, mock-draft-scowlingL.L.-Bean-wearingSecond Amendment abolitionistMike-Florio-arguingparrot-insensitivechewing-with-his-mouth-opensoup-gulpingCalifornia-train-romancinganti-football proliferationouthouse-admiringairline-nappingsteerage-flyingYogi Berra-worshipingurinal-picture-takingvideo-game-playingTaylor-Swift-listeningpickpocket-thwartingBucs-uniform-frowningAllie-LaForce-smittenBig-Ten-Network-hatingpedestrian-bumpingolive oil-lappingpopcorn-munchingcoffee-slurpingfried-chicken-eatingoatmeal-lovingcircle-jerking, craft-beer-chugging, cricket-watchingscone-loathingcollege football-naïvebaseball-box-score-readingNPR-honkfilthy-hotel-stayingfight-instigatingbarista-trainingBudweiser-tolerantbaseball-scorecard-keeping, pasta-feasting, vomit-dodging scrooge, Kay-Adams-following, Coors-Light-souring, pineapple-upside-down-cake-eating social activist and NFL insider Peter King of NBC Sports, Godwin explained and detailed the play that sent the Bucs to the Super Bowl.

It was a third-down play sent in by Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, Godwin explained while typing King’s “Football Morning in America” column. It called for Godwin to run the ball.

Godwin admitted he was scared that somehow Packers drama queen quarterback Aaron Rodgers would have mounted a last-second comeback to win. And, Godwin thought Leftwich was crazy for calling the play at that moment with the game still in doubt.

What I’ve really grown to appreciate about sports, and being on this team, is that if you work hard and you’re trusted, you’re going to get more chances. We went to Green Bay for the championship game, and you know Florida teams aren’t supposed to win in Green Bay in January. It was freezing. But it was a day Tom kept coming to me. The trust was there, which was huge to me. I caught five passes for 110 yards. But the play I’ll never forget was actually a running play.

This was our 19th game of the season. I had not run the ball once. We were trying to run out the clock with a 31-26 lead at the Green Bay 43-yard line. Third-and-five. We had a five-wide personnel grouping on the field. I said to Mike Evans: “Mike, what are we doing? We got no running back on the field!” We cannot throw this ball. It’s insane to throw it. An incomplete pass would stop the clock, and we’d have to punt back to Aaron Rodgers.

So the play-call came in, and it was a play we hadn’t run in a game . . . a two-point conversion play. I would never have thought they’d try it with five yards to get, at a crucial point of the championship game. But the call was a toss-pitch to me. So let’s go.

I went in motion. Everything felt normal. But when Tom tossed me the ball, everything was in slow motion. Once I caught it, I looked and . . . you know how the first-down marker’s a yellow line on TV? I was seeing the yellow line on the field of where I needed to get to. It was like this weird phenomenon of being in slow motion, seeing the graphic on TV, like the yellow line, and then moving in slow motion. Then I took a couple steps and I finally reached the first down. We needed five yards. I got six.

Godwin said he was overcome with emotion. Of course! He was going to his first Super Bowl. And he quickly remembered all the obstacles the team faced and fought through to get that NFC title.

Most of all, Godwin said he was honored that the coaching staff trusted him so much in the most critical play of the season to that point.

As Krzyzewski said, get the ball in the hands of your best players and good things happen.

That’s exactly what the Bucs did.

22 Responses to “The Play Chris Godwin Didn’t Think Would Work”

  1. Iamabuc Says:

    Aleluya!!…great decision by our offensive staff!!

  2. Bucnjim Says:

    Thats a cool story and after rewatching most of the 2020 games there was someone who stepped up like that most of the time

  3. PSL Bob Says:

    Man, great story directly from the horse’s mouth. Love Godwin! I was a little anxious when I got his jersey last year. Thought it might jinx him or he might be traded, but it all worked out.

  4. Ben the GA Buc Says:

    Highly recommend everyone read the whole article – Godwin did a GREAT job. Love that guy. I don’t say many people should be Bucs for life, but that guy needs to be. All the talent in the world, and HIGHLY intelligent.

  5. Nick Says:

    Lmao @ that long list of adjectives. I love this site.

  6. AtlBuc Says:

    That block by Marpet was cluth, pivotal, crucial and beautiful!

  7. AMI_Chris Says:

    Wirfs pulled and made a great downfield block at the marker.

  8. Aceofaerospace Says:

    It’s so awesome to hear these game time stories. I got chills reading it. Thanks Joe!

  9. Bucshot Says:


  10. All lives matter Says:

    great story!

  11. Curse of Gruden Says:

    Keep ‘em coming Joe! Excellent.

  12. Eddie Marz Says:

    I remember that play, put Tampa in the Super Bowl. GO BUCS!

  13. DoooshLaRue Says:

    2 things were confirmed to me by this article:

    GG 14 is a man.

    ……and Penn State has an excellent English language program.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    Penn State’s program apparently better than Marshall’s

  15. ModHairKen Says:

    Reading his words is about as cool as it gets. The way he describes the moment is amazing – the pressure, the urgency and then the elation with the success of it.

  16. Rico 210 Says:

    Bravo Joe
    This is the greatest sports site period! Thanks
    Go Bucs

  17. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the kind words guys. 👍

  18. Architek Says:

    Hey Joe – can you just call Brady the GOAT instead of the expanded adjectives?

  19. Patrianakos Says:

    If I understand the rules right, we have until July 15 to lock CG14 up longterm and clear some cap space for this year. We *do* want to keep this guy, right, Licht?

  20. Medicated Pete Says:

    Wow, shows that preparation is key. I would’ve crapped my pants

  21. herbiebuc Says:

    i cried that night! i still watch that playoff run and tear up the boys went into BEAST MODE right in front of our eyes! and all i can think of is we came a LONG way from that 56-3 loss on tnf to the falcons. LOOK AT US NOW! true bucs have to feel like they on the top of world right now. @joe what did you do when we won? i been on a hiatus as of late

  22. unbelievable Says:

    I would highly encourage all Bucs fan to read the entire article he wrote.

    Godwin just seems like such a good dude all around, and really appreciate his outlook on life.

    We are so lucky to have TWO legit #1WRs on this team, who both are team-first, zero ego guys with good heads on their shoulders. (And obviously AB is a #1 WR, but not so sure about his head lol)