Watson save

We can’t get enough NFL.  Check out the video above that revisits a truly great NFL playoff play. In the 2005 AFC divisional championship game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos, Benjamin Watson stopped a touchdown in the last instant.

Watch the video with your class and use our activity to motivate students to figure out who ran a greater distance by using the Pythagorean Theorem.  

In the video Teddy Bruschi says that Watson must have ran about 120 yards, maybe even more.  Use the video and/or our activity to see if Teddy’s estimate is about right.

What other questions might your student wonder after watching the activity?  How fast was each player running?  How much faster does Champ need to run to have made it to the end zone?


For members we have an editable Word doc and solutions.

watson-saves.doc            watson-saves-solution.pdf

CCSS: 8.G.7, G-SRT.8

Special thanks to Lenny Monson, Math Teacher in Newton MA for the original idea for this activity!

Check out all current Yummymath lessons in one place at our Bird’s Eye View Page

4 comments for “Watson save

  1. Chris Friberg
    October 5, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    What a great application of Pythag and also another opportunity to work on estimation. The only thing that could have made it better was if the Patriots had made the interception! Perfect. Thanks.

  2. PN
    May 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Thank you so much for providing such an original and exciting Pythagorean Theorem problem for my students! So many times when we study this they just can’t quite seem to muster up the same amount of interest as when we used your example. The problems provided on your website are an outstanding selection and will truly address the constant questions from my students about why they have to learn this. Your hard work is much appreciated! Regards, PN

    • May 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks! We are glad your students liked this activity. Thanks for the kind words. We hope our other activities bring the same engagement.

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