David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty
On Sunday, as Dolphins punter Thomas Morstead attempted to punt the ball from within Miami's own end zone to protect a late 21-17 lead over the Buffalo Bills, his kick instead immediately hit Miami wide receiver Trent Sherfield's rear end.
The ball ricocheted off Sherfield's backside, traveling back out of the end zone and was ruled a safety, granting the Bills two points and the ball back on the ensuing kickoff.
The play immediately led to comparisons to the infamous butt fumble, a November 2012 play in which 35-year-old Sanchez, then the New York Jets' starting quarterback, fumbled a ball that was returned for a touchdown after he collided with his own offensive lineman's rear end.
"Woah… stay out of my lane bro @thomasmorestead 🤪," Sanchez, now a Fox Sports NFL analyst, jokingly posted on Twitter within minutes after it happened.
— Mark Sanchez (@Mark_Sanchez) September 25, 2022
The butt fumble, which Sanchez committed during a 49-19 Jets loss to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in 2012, highlighted such an embarrassing loss for the franchise that ESPN retired it from contention into Sportscenter's weekly "Not Top 10" segment in September 2013 because the network believed it would otherwise reign undefeated permanently.
"I guess I was more stunned than anything. It was just like a car accident," Sanchez said about the butt fumble in 2012, according to an ESPN oral history of the event. "I was like, 'Whoa, what just happened, the ball is gone?' It was weird, man."
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Despite Sunday's butt punt breathing new life into a classic NFL moment, the Dolphins did not suffer the same fate. Miami held on to win 21-19 against Buffalo and advanced to 3-0 on the season, allowing butt fumble-involved players like Sherfield, 26, to poke fun at the ridiculous play after the game.
The butt punt was perfectly captured by Jasen Vinlove of USA TODAY Sports pic.twitter.com/ghdupCAweV
— Mitch Goldich 🐙 (@mitchgoldich) September 25, 2022
"My cheeks have a big W tatted on them 😄," Sherfield posted on Twitter Sunday evening. The Miami wide receiver also quote-tweeted the official NFL Twitter account's post of the already-iconic butt punt photo, writing that "indeed it is" in response to the league's suggestion that the photo is the greatest all of time.
After the Dolphins' victory over division rival Buffalo on Sunday, Miami stands alone in first place in the AFC East standings.