Patrick Mahomes has gotten attention for improbable throws, but Philip Nelson went a step further in AAF action Sunday night.
Pro football was back in San Diego on Sunday night, as the AAF’s San Diego Fleet hosted the Atlanta Legends in their home opener. The Fleet also won the game, 24-12, as Philip Nelson got the start under center for Mike Martz’s squad.
Nelson completed just 14 of 30 passes for 142 yards, as the Fleet ran for 185 yards in a rain-soaked game. He targeted tight end Gavin Escobar three times, with two completions for 12 yards. But one completion to Escobar is the lasting moment from the game.
On a second-and-15 play in the third quarter, Nelson was quickly flushed from the pocket to his left and after briefly finding a bit of daylight he was surrounded again by Atlanta defenders. At that point taking a sack and living for third down would have been easy, but Nelson got spun around and:
The behind the back completion went into the books as a one-yard loss, but that’s beside the point. Nelson acknowledged the pure randomness of the behind the back throw, saying he dismissed it as a throw-away in the moment before hearing it announced as a completion. Adding “I hope I don’t get cut.”
When asked about Nelson’s no-look pass, in true buzzkill coach fashion, Martz said “Yeah, we’re going to talk about that. We’re going to have a long discussion about that.”
Nelson had a well-traveled (and at times troubled) college football career, going from Minnesota to Rutgers to East Carolina, and he was never close to latching on in the NFL. That makes him an ideal fit for the AAF, where he can at least be seen playing football somewhere where NFL scouts may be able to notice.
Patrick Mahomes has pulled off a left-handed pass, a no-look pass and multiple throws from arm angles more befitting of a major league shortstop. But after Nelson’s pass Sunday night, the reigning NFL MVP has something to strive for in the realm of improbable throws.