Monday, November 9, 2009

Let's Figure Out How We Can Lose This Game!

Great to see a coach of a football team, have some BALLS with the line on the game. Paul Johnson of Georgia Tech, is in a overtime struggle with Wake. Down 3 points in OT, he's got 4th and 1 at the 4 yard line. He could easily kick a chippy FG and then keep playing in OT.

Nah! Let's go for it.

Jackets convert – despite being 0-3 prior to that on 4th down in the game! - and go on to punch it in the end zone a few plays later for the win.

Huzzah, huzzah, Coach Johnson! If only more coaches had your attitude.


On the flip side, I don't know exactly how the NY Giants fell apart against the Chargers. The game was burning away on one of my “wing” TV's in the 5-Hour energy dome and I wasn't paying much attention.

Suddenly, the Chargers have a shot at the end zone with 20 seconds left, and sure enough, they stick the dagger in!

Rewind to the key play. On 1st and goal at the 4, up by 3 points, with 3 minutes and change left, Chris Snee gets called for a hold. The Giants then throw to the flat to Hakeen Nicks for no gain on 1st and goal from the 14. Predictably, they run safe Brandon Jacobs draws on 2nd and 3rd down from the shotgun formation.

Field goal. 20-14.

So what's the big deal? Being up 6 is better than 3, right?

Most of the time, actually, no. As I like to say: if only a touchdown can beat you, then it WILL be a touchdown that beats you.

Predictably, the Chargers were able to operate smoothly in the 2 minute drill, and move quickly into Giants territory. Why? Well, of course. “Only a touchdown can beat us.”

And so it was.

Had the Giants thrown boldly into the endzone in attempt to score, even an INT wouldn't have been that bad. The Chargers would have then only needed a FG to tie, and thus, the Giants D would have played furiously to keep them out of FG range.

I would have liked their chances very much to succeed.

Also, if the Chargers had moved into FG range, their own aggressiveness to score the game winning TD would have been blunted, likely resulting in a field goal attempt (hell, it's Norv we're talking about!) which may well have missed. Worst case, you end up in OT, not losers.

But.... this won't be the last time you see this game ending dynamic in the NFL. Some things seem to never change...


  1. Hear, hear. Unless it's a tie (and maybe not even then) teams should go for it. The only team I can remember that technique backfiring against was the Dolphins under Marino...if he threw an INT in the red zone, the other defenses could run it back for some reason...I think it had to do with the fact that he wouldn't TOUCH the defensive player after the INT, wouldn't even look at him hardly.

  2. Norv. Funny that aside from Marty he was the best Redskin coach under Synder.