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Dan Orlovsky celebrates Jimmy Garoppolo’s safety blunder
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo stepped out of the back of the end zone Sunday night, allowing NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky to celebrate in hopes fans forget his similar blunder. (Credit: Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

Dan Orlovsky celebrates Jimmy Garoppolo’s safety blunder

SAN FRANCISCO (BVM) –  The football gods were shining brightly upon former NFL quarterbacks on Sunday. During the third quarter of the Sunday Night Football game between the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took a snap from the team’s own 1-yard line and as he went back to pass stepped out of the back of the end zone to give the Broncos a safety and narrow the 49ers lead to 7-5.

This play was eerily similar to one that happened over a decade earlier when former Detroit Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky ran out of the back of the endzone to avoid Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen who was closing in on him. The play, which occurred during the team’s infamous 0-16 2008 season, was the most well known in the former signal-caller turned TV personality’s career and it ended up costing the Lions their best chance for a win as they dropped the game to the Vikings 12-10.

Much like Orlovsky, the Garoppolo mistake also cost his team in the end as the 49ers fell to the Broncos 11-10. While the game itself wasn’t exciting for the average NFL fan, Orlovsky was full of celebrations during and after the contest.

Orlovsky was not the only one to revel in his celebration either. Many outlets and social media accounts shared how they thought Orlovsky might have felt at the moment.

Though Garoppolo’s play resulted in a similar situation for the 49ers, it is fair to say that Orlovsky’s version was the more egregious of the two. Not only did he run out of the back of the end zone rather than just step on it during a drop back, but he also potentially cost his team a major victory as they finished their season winless. Though San Francisco’s season has not gone the way the team’s fans have hoped with a pair of early season losses and the loss of their starting quarterback Trey Lance, the team and Garoppolo have already earned a win this season giving him a slight break.

Orlovsky wasn’t the only former quarterback to get some relief for a gaffe on Sunday either. Former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez also had a blunder that has plagued him after his playing days. During a nationally-televised Thanksgiving game against the New England Patriots on Nov. 22, 2012, a broken play caused Sanchez to run the ball on his own where he ran into his own offensive lineman’s backside and fumbled the football only to be returned for a touchdown by the defense. The play has since been dubbed “The Butt Fumble”.

On Sunday, Miami Dolphins punter Thomas Morstead attempted to boot a punt out from the team’s end zone, but instead sent it into the rear end of teammate Trent Sherfield who was blocking for the kick. While the ball ricocheted out of the end zone for a safety, the Dolphins were able to hold onto the narrow 21-19 victory despite the mistake.

Sanchez, not being the butt of the joke for once, went to Twitter to celebrate the error.

With two new NFL follies making their way to social media, perhaps Orlovsky and Sanchez will be able to avoid the jokes for a while. However, given how funny all the plays are, expect to see each of the four mistakes to continue to play for years to come.