As any soccer player can tell you, the art of flopping is a delicate one. Flop too much and you just get laughed at. Flop too little, and you won’t draw the flag you’re seeking. Worst of all? Getting caught mid-flop. That’s just cringeworthy for everyone involved.
Philadelphia Eagles punter Braden Mann attempted to get a little theatrical on Sunday afternoon, and it was a wise idea, backed up almost at his own end zone. But you can’t do a full-on flop if you can’t hit the turf, and the Giants’ Cam Brown made sure that Mann’s act never hit Broadway:
You can see Mann beginning the arm-whirl when Brown first hits him, and if Brown hadn’t grabbed Mann around the waist, this would’ve been a roughing-the-punter flag. But the official standing right at the goal line just looks on impassively, the flag remaining firmly un-thrown.
Philadelphia struggled mightily against the Giants in the first half, going down 24-0 and looking utterly unlike the team that had posted a 10-1 record earlier in the season. Mann’s flop was just a symptom of a much larger problem.
The Eagles have struggled in the season’s final weeks, and will need a lot more than just artful punting performances to succeed in the playoffs.
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