When Jevon Holland intercepted Tim Boyle’s Hail Mary pass on the 1-yard line, a touchdown seemed outside the realms of possibility, a play so outlandish it was barely worth considering as the second quarter drew to a close.
But Holland returned it to the other end of the field, weaving through the scrambled defense, for an astonishing 99-yard interception touchdown that was symbolic of the Miami Dolphins’ dominance as they defeated the New York Jets 34-13 in the first edition of Amazon’s broadcasted “Black Friday” game.
“When he threw it in the air, I just thought it’s kind of like a long field goal, like drop. So, I’m a punt returner, and people don’t know that, but I am a punt returner,” Holland told Amazon Prime afterwards, according to the NFL.
“Shoutout to my defensive lineman, my individuals out there blocking for me. I couldn’t have done it without y’all … I just got into the zone, man. I could smell it, and then once I made that cut, I knew I was there, and then I had to make it happen.”
It was the first pick-six on a Hail Mary since at least 2006, when ESPN Stats started tracking those plays, and quashed the Jets’ hopes for a comeback. They had just intercepted Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa twice and had trimmed the Dolphins’ lead to 10-6 after an interception touchdown by Brandin Echols.
But Holland’s remarkable play only confirmed the Dolphins’ superiority and set them on course for a dominant win while the Jets didn’t score again until the end of the fourth quarter.
Tagovailoa finished with 243 passing yards and two interceptions, while Tyreek Hill finished with nine receptions for 102 yards and a league-high 10th touchdown which he celebrated by blowing a kiss and tossing the ball to his new wife.
Despite starting with quarterback Tim Boyle in place of the benched Zach Wilson, the Jets’ offensive struggles continued. They only ran 22 plays before the fourth quarter, when the game was effectively already over. In the end, Boyle finished with 179 passing yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
The Jets slipped to 4-7 as their underwhelming season continued, without the injured Aaron Rodgers, while the Dolphins remain top of the AFC East standings.
However, the Dolphins’ victory was marred by an Achilles injury to linebacker Jaelen Phillips who was carted off the field in tears.
“Absolutely devastated, but I feel strength in knowing that this is all a part of God’s plan, and that I have an incredible team and support system around me,” he posted afterwards on X, previously known as Twitter. “I’ll be back stronger than ever. Fins up.”
Per ESPN, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said afterwards that the injury “doesn’t look great, but we’ll find out more tomorrow (Saturday).”