A week after his career-best game receiving, Tyreek Hill looked to add to his already impressive numbers in 2020, including his career-best for a season and NFL-leading 13 touchdowns. Against the Denver Broncos on Sunday night, the Kansas City Chiefs receiver made one of the most unbelievable touchdown catches you will ever see. In fact, it was so unbelievable, Hill didn’t even think he caught it. Neither did the refs. And it will go down in the history books as the greatest touchdown reception that wasn’t.
Tyreek Hill having best year of his career
In his fifth NFL season, Tyreek Hill is undoubtedly one of the game’s best receivers. Being paired up with Patrick Mahomes doesn’t hurt, but Hill’s lightning-quick speed presents problems to opposing defenses on a weekly basis.
After earning All-Pro honors two out of his first four seasons and Pro Bowl appearances all four seasons, Hill continues to improve his game, as evidenced by the numbers he’s recorded this season. Heading into the Denver matchup, Hill had caught touchdowns in nine of Kansas City’s 11 games.
He opened the season with a touchdown catch in four consecutive games. After a couple of games without any touchdowns, Hill started another streak in late October on the road against the Denver Broncos and has been one of the NFL’s hottest receivers since.
During that stretch, Tyreek Hill has hauled in nine touchdowns in five games. His 2020 highlight came in Week 12 against Tampa Bay when he torched the Bucs defense to the tune of 13 catches for 269 yards and three touchdowns.
Tyreek Hill doesn’t realize he caught a touchdown
Facing the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead on Sunday night, Tyreek Hill looked to extend his touchdown streak to six games. With over 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter and the game tied 3-3, Mahomes spotted Hill deep and let it sail.
Hill, who had beaten Broncos cornerback A.J. Bouye, jumped up to catch the ball at the goal line. Hill didn’t initially secure it, and the ball instead caromed into the air behind both players as they fell to the ground. Incredibly, the ball followed the two players to the turf, glanced off of Hill’s helmet, and then precariously rested between his arm and shoulder, never touching the ground.
Tyreek Hill had no clue that he had actually made the catch, and instead of celebrating, he hopped up in the end zone, bowed his head, hit the ball between hands, and casually tossed it behind him as he ran toward the sidelines, all indicative of someone who hadn’t scored a touchdown.
The Kansas City punt team came on the field and punted the ball. The play was never challenged or reviewed.
A stunned audience reacts to the catch
When the NBC broadcast came back from commercial break, announcers Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were both in disbelief at what they had just witnessed.
“Just when you think you’ve seen it all,” Michaels said in amazement.
“It went off of two helmets and two shoulder pads and never touched the ground,” Collinsworth added.
Not surprisingly, Twitter reacted with Tyreek Hill’s no-touchdown catch.
“Tyreek Hill is officially the first WR in the 101-year history of the NFL that did NOT think he caught the ball,” wrote NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano.
Fantasy owners were also understandably vocal about the play.
“We should still get the fantasy points for that Tyreek Hill touchdown,” ESPN Insider Field Yates declared.
Tyreek Hill finished the game with six catches for 58 yards and no touchdowns, snapping his five-game streak. You can be sure in the future if Hill is involved in any catch that might be remotely close to a catch, he’s going to tell Andy Reid to challenge.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.