Week 16 of the 2021 NFL season was the week of the offensive lineman. While the big fellas don’t always get the attention they deserve, they were finally thrust into the spotlight on Sunday, when four offensive linemen were able to score touchdowns for their respective teams.
Prior to Week 16, there had been two touchdowns scored by an offensive lineman all season.
The touchdowns weren’t all things of beauty. There is a reason that linemen are called “big uglies,” after all. But they still thrilled NFL fans and gave them a taste of the unusual once again.
Here’s a look at all four of the big-man touchdowns from Sunday’s action ranked from the most to least impressive.
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1. Conor McDermott, Jets vs. Jaguars
McDermott’s receiving touchdown was the biggest standout among the group of four big-man TDs, and it’s not particularly close. He did it all on this play. He started on the left side of the formation, came across the field, worked his way open and then used his 6-9 frame and long reach to grab a pass from Zach Wilson that easily could have sailed over someone smaller than McDermott.
The Jets deserve credit for calling that play on fourth and goal. It was a gutty call, but it panned out in the Jets’ 26-21 win over Jacksonville. Maybe they’ll use McDermott as a goal-line tight end more if he can make catches like that in practice.
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2. Terence Steele, Cowboys vs. Washington
The second and third TDs on this list were similar, but we’ll give Steele the nod as the No. 2 guy here. Steele’s touchdown came off a pretty play-action fake to fool the defense. He acted like he was going to block, but he ran past his man and into the end-zone. Washington’s defense froze, anticipating the run, and Dak Prescott completed the easy pass to Steele.
Dak Prescott delivered a nice throw on this play. He also became the first quarterback to throw TDs to a running back, receiver, tight end and offensive lineman in the same game with this throw, per ESPN’s Ed Werder.
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3. Lane Johnson, Eagles vs. Giants
Johnson’s touchdown is similar to that of Steele. He didn’t disguise it quite as much as Steele did, as the Giants didn’t sell out to stop the run like Washington, but it was still a nice play, especially when Johnson smartly tossed a Giants player aside to get open.
4. Will Richardson, Jaguars at Jets
Credit to Richardson for staying focused on this play. Trevor Lawrence fumbled the ball near the goal-line, and it squirted into the end-zone. Richardson recognized it immediately and jumped into action, covering the ball in the end-zone to give the Jaguars a score.
Why does this check it at No. 4? While it was still a good play by Richardson, it still came off a mistake from Lawrence. It also wasn’t designed to be an offensive line TD, so we gave the nods to the designed plays instead.