Budda Baker was going to score.
The Arizona Cardinals safety knifed in front of a Russell Wilson pass and was set to take it coast-to-coast, in one play turning a 20-7 deficit into a 14-13 lead.
Or, he would have had Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf not pulled off one of the great effort plays in football history.
Metcalf raced more than 90 yards to track Baker down at the 8-yard line. Though Arizona eventually won the game, Metcalf gave Seattle's defense to pull out a stop, which they did -- forcing a Kyler Murray incompletion on 4th and goal from the 3. Seattle then marched 97 yards to secure the 20-7 lead they thought they were getting at the beginning of the sequence, the lead that Metcalf's effort saved.
"DK Metcalf is an absolutely freak athlete, and what an effort play by him," Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said after the game. "High school coaches will be showing that one for years—just don’t give up on a play."
FootballScoop can confirm at least one high school coach will queue this play up for his team today -- our own Doug Samuels has it ready to go for his Comstock Park (Mich.) players.
And while we're on the subject, here are a couple examples of a similar vintage.
Clemson safety Tanner Muse -- playing on the same field as last night's Seahawks-Cardinals game -- tracked down Ohio State running back JK Dobbins in last year's Fiesta Bowl, completely changing the tenor of that CFP national semifinal. Muse turned a 17-0 deficit to 13-0 in a game Clemson came back to win 29-27.
In the 2006 AFC Divisional Playoff, Patriots tight end Ben Watson chased down Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, even knocking the ball loose at the 1. In 2020, who's to say this isn't reviewed and reversed into a touchback for the Patriots?
Big dudes aren't immune from this, either. Larry Allen beat his quarterback to a streaking, pick-possessing linebacker on Monday Night Football in 1994.
There is, of course, the gold standard of these plays -- Don Beebe chasing down Leon Lett in Super Bowl XXVII.
All Beebe did was prevent a 52-17 loss from ballooning to 59-17, but that kind of underscores the entire point, doesn't it? Never, ever give up on a play, because you never know what type of fire your effort can spark.