Football games often hinge on a single play. But it's not often that a single play causes an entire team to become unhinged.
That's what happened to the Philadelphia Passion in their Lingerie Football League season finale against the undefeated Bliss in Chicago.
Chicago returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown just before halftime to break open a close game, and the Passion fell apart in the second half on the way to a 46-19 loss at the Sears Centre Arena.
The defeat left Philadelphia (2-2) on the brink of playoff elimination, and allowed Chicago (3-0) to lock up the Eastern Conference Championship and a playoff berth.
The game turned with Philadelphia driving for the potential game-tying score just before intermission. With seven seconds remaining in the half, Bliss safety Kat Johns picked off a pass by Passion quarterback Jackie Danico at the 4-yard line and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown. The score gave Chicago a 28-13 lead at halftime.
The play seemed to leave the Passion dazed, and the Bliss rolled in the second half behind three touchdown runs by Saran Dunmore.
Philadelphia is still mathematically alive for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, but the Passion need a lot of help to get to the postseason. Philly needs the Tampa Breeze to win its final two games, creating a three-way tie between the Passion, Breeze and Miami Caliente for second place in the conference at 2-2. The Passion would then need to win the point differential tiebreaker.
The second place team in the East will square off against Chicago in the Conference Playoffs on February 5. The winner of that game earns a date with the Western Conference Champion in Lingerie Bowl VII on February 7.