Andrews broke quite a few records in a career-best 2021 season, and among his varied and impressive achievements lies a rather strange but rare feat: the double octopus.
Sports Illustrated’s Mitch Goldich came up with the football term “octopus” three years ago and describes it as the following:
"“An octopus is when the same player who scores a touchdown also scores the ensuing two-point conversion. No, being a quarterback and throwing the ball for a TD does not count. You must be the one who secures the ball in the end zone on both plays.”"
In Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts, Andrews achieved the double octopus with two touchdowns and two ensuing two-point conversions in the fourth quarter.
Ravens fans were probably more excited about Baltimore completing a triumphant comeback in a thrilling overtime victory (that included a blocked field goal!) over Indy, as the team trailed by as many as 19 points in the third quarter of the game.
But football nerds may be intrigued by the niche octopus statistic, especially given how uncommon it is. In 2021, there were only seven octopi, down from eleven octopi in 2020.
With his Week 5 performance, Andrews became the 27th player in NFL history with multiple octopi, trailing Randy Moss (three octopi) and Todd Gurley (four octopi).
Ravens’ Mark Andrews achieved a rare double octopus in Week 5 of 2021
When told that he won the 2021 Octopus of the Year award, Andrews delivered a light-hearted acceptance speech at the request of Goldich:
"“I just first off want to thank God. I want to be thankful for our head coach, going for two, thankful for Lamar, thankful for my teammates having the trust in me to go out there and make the plays and score an octopus. And obviously two octopi in that one game. I’m just extremely thankful. Thankful for you, Mitch, for awarding me this. And my parents and everybody else, man. This is awesome.”"
As dominant as Lamar Jackson was in that Colts game, Andrews has head coach John Harbaugh to thank the most since Harbaugh called both of those two-point plays.
Other coaches may have made the same call if their team was down 16 points in the fourth quarter, but Harbaugh in particular had a penchant for two-point conversion attempts last season.
The Ravens had eight two-point attempts in 2021, ranked fourth in the league, and Andrews’ two against Indy were the only successful conversions.
Fans may more vividly remember the Ravens’ failed end-of-game attempts against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, resulting in two pivotal losses that dashed the Ravens’ postseason hopes.
Granted, Harbaugh may have adopted more aggressive tactics last year given the team’s plethora of injuries — had he merely settled for a tie (assuming Justin Tucker makes the field goal), the Ravens arguably lacked the offensive firepower and stamina to win in overtime.
Come 2022, the Ravens should rebound with a much healthier roster featuring the returns of Lamar Jackson and J.K. Dobbins, to name a few, and may alternatively play it safe in clutch situations.
Yet we also wouldn’t be surprised if Harbaugh had a few two-point conversion plays up his sleeve, much to Andrews’ glee. Andrews has his eye on all the prizes — team leader in receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns, and yes, even octopi.