Okay, maybe I am just too much of an amateur .I admit it was a bad play. But " The worst play in the history of the NFL ?!" I think back to when the Saints were caught trying to intentionally maim and cripple opposing quarterbacks ( WITH a $50,000 BOUNTY if they succeeded )! I think back to blatant obviously intentional facemasks !I think back to Superbowls being lost by "The best kicker in the NFL" missing a 29 yard field goal ! I remember a "hidden ball play that resulted in a touchdown, but it was disallowed because the play was SO GOOD that the Umpires has blown the ball dead, thinking it was at the bottom of a pile ! I think back to games where I saw quarterbacks left in the game, when they obviously had nothing more to give ( and proved it ) ! I recall a game where the ball was thrown to a running back , who stood there, arms wide, and made NO ATTEMPT to catch the ball. Later he said " I am a RUNNING back ! I don't CATCH footballs !" So , like I said, maybe an just to inexperienced, but it does not seem to me that this was "The worst play in the history of the NFL !"
I kind of agree, context matters and there was no context to Pagano's Brainfart. It didn't cost the Colts a game, they were already training, Pagano was trying to drive down the field and did something stupid in a situation where there wasn't very much to lose anyway.
When it comes to the worst play in NFL history I think it starts with Matt Ryan dropping back and getting sacked out of field goal range in SB51 and kind of goes from there. That one has it all, terrible idea, bizarre execution (including a holding call that pushed the Falcons back 10 more yards) and terrible consequences, since it paved the way for the comeback that defined the game.