Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw the ball so high on his game-winning Hail Mary on Thursday night that it nearly hit the rafters at Ford Field.
A fan in the stands who shot the play on his phone and posted it to Instagram gave a good view of just how close the ball got to hitting support beams high above the field. As Jim Nantz noted on the CBS broadcast of the game, if they had been played in Dallas it might have hit the video board 90 feet above the playing field.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy praised Rodgers for throwing the pass not only far enough to reach the end zone, but high enough to give the Packers’ receivers time to get under it.
“When you throw it with that arch you have a chance, because it gives guys a chance to fight for position,” McCarthy said. “That’s the whole design of it, and there’s a design to where you try to get to and the triangle that you’re trying to form [with teammates] down there. Richard is the perfect guy for that type of situation, big body and his ability to go up – you see his old basketball skills – and high-point the football. But frankly, I love those. Aaron can get it into the end zone, but with that much height I was a little concerned. But what a great throw. How far was it? I’m sure you figured it out already. It had to be 70-plus.”
If Rodgers’s pass had hit the rafters, the play would have been a do-over: NFL rules stipulate that if a thrown or kicked ball hits something above the field of play, the play is halted and started over again from the same point. In this case, the Packers would have had another untimed down.