When Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem, people were surprised to see that he was able to remember accurately a list of his interceptions. The quarterback explained this is because football has been such a large part of his life and personal identity for so long that it’s hard not to recall memories from games past with perfect clarity.
“vividly meaning” is a word that means to remember something with clarity. In the context of this article, the author is talking about his memories of football games he played in high school and college. He says that he can vividly remember every interception he dropped.
Anyone who has played defensive back in the NFL knows how frustrating it is to drop an interception. Few, as former DB Darius Butler recently pointed out, can fully grasp what it’s like to drop one with a Super Bowl berth on the line, like Jaquiski Tartt of the San Francisco 49ers did in the 2021 NFL playoffs.
The San Francisco 49ers’ Jaquiski Tartt dropped a Matthew Stafford throw that may have won the NFC Championship Game.
With 9:55 remaining in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game, the San Francisco 49ers lead the Los Angeles Rams 17-14. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford play-action faked, dropped back, and uncorked a long bomb on first down from his own 14-yard line.
The ball was in between Rams receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Van Jefferson and was short and equidistant. Jaquiski Tartt, a 49ers safety, ran straight beneath the ball’s path.
Tarrt did the unimaginable and dropped the ball with 10 feet of space on each side and a good 20 yards of open field in front of him.
When this occurred, he was on his own 35-yard line with more over nine minutes remaining in the game. If he had fallen right there and Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers had gone three-and-out, the Rams would have had plenty of time to win the game.
The Rams, on the other hand, had no timeouts due to Sean McVay’s perplexing challenge selections. That INT may have also won the game if Tartt had some return yards and/or the Niners offense had a couple first downs, milked the time, and scored.
Instead, Stafford recovered and led his team to a field goal on the drive that Tartt’s drop prolonged, and then led another FG drive to take a 20-17 lead, which would be the final score.
Tartt, his colleagues, and his fans will never forget that moment. It was a scenario that former NFL defensive backs were all too familiar with.
Former NFL cornerback Darius Butler empathized with his fellow defensive back.
After the game, a stunned Jaquiski Tartt went to the microphones and said what he needed to say. He also turned to Twitter to admit fault, stating, “No excuses!!” I am deserving of every bit of criticism that comes my way! I missed out on an opportunity I had hoped for!!! Let down my bros!! It’ll never define me as a person or a player. Will only become better and stronger… #Believdat”
His teammates gathered around him and downplayed the significance of the error.
Former NFL defensive backs like Darius Butler are one set of folks who can relate to the safety. The former cornerback and safety for the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, and Indianapolis Colts joined Pat McAfee on the Pat McAfee Show to discuss the incident:
Obviously, it was a chance to attend the Super Bowl. And, to be honest, they are the most difficult to capture. Those who seem to be suspended in mid-air. Nobody is in the vicinity. … Tartt, dude, you’re a jerk. Every interception I dropped is fresh in my mind. Never on a stage like that. As a result, I can understand what he’s going through.
On Jaquiski Tartt’s departure, Darius Butler says
Several plays later, Butler claimed he could see Tartt still shaking his head, thinking about the drop. It was the worst-case situation for an NFL cornerback, and now Tartt will have the whole summer to think about it.
Jaquiski Tartt, who is he?
Abbie Parr/Getty Images photo of Jaquiski Tartt.
When it occurs under the bright lights of the NFL playoffs, it’s astonishing how one play can convert a relatively unknown guy into a household name.
On the other hand, that’s precisely what happened to Jaquiski Tartt on Sunday.
Tartt is a seven-year veteran of the National Football League who has spent his whole career with the San Francisco 49ers. In the 2015 NFL Draft, the club selected him in the second round (No. 46) out of the minor FCS Samford Bulldogs program.
For the Niners, the Alabama native has appeared in 80 games, starting 64 of them. He has 367 tackles, 21 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, four sacks, and four interceptions in his career.
Tartt is a reliable starting safety. His main concern is his health. Only twice in his career has he played more than 15 games, and three times he has had seasons with nine games or less.
This offseason, the 29-year-old safety, who turns 30 on February 18, 2022, is an unrestricted free agent.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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