That is fucking awesome.
"We had been working on that play all week," says Brown. "We even watched film the morning of the game. The first time we played them, they killed us with the flare route. They want to run me off and get Reggie matched up one-on-one with a linebacker. So we put in a play where, if the receiver releases, I just sit and then fly up and hit Reggie on the flare." (The Eagles' safety would pick up Copper.)
Jones blitzed, untouched. Brees lofted the ball over Jones's head toward Bush. But Brown didn't backpedal. He read the pass and drove toward Bush, running 11 yards at full speed. Bush reached for the ball and held it for .14 of a second -- a time gleaned from a frame-by-frame study at NFL Films -- before Brown launched himself into the air, driving his right shoulder into Bush's chest and stomach, arms extended. The impact lifted Bush into the air and carried him backward three yards, the two players' bodies floating together until Bush's back slammed into the artificial turf as the ball bounced away.
Bush rose quickly to his hands and knees, then to one knee and then to a standing position. And then back down to all fours, pawing at the ground. "I popped right up," says Bush, smiling at the memory. "Then I was like, Ooooo, I can't breathe, my wind is gone. I better get back down. I never felt anything like that before." Bush sat out one play before returning to the game.
"He was lucky," Brown says. "His elbow was pinned against his body, protecting his rib cage, or else I probably would have broken his rib. What did it feel like? That collision, I didn't feel nothing, because he was pretty much defenseless. It was like running through a cardboard box. Seriously. Cardboard box."