Monday, November 27, 2006
Why do some NFL coaches play it so conservatively? Why does it seem like these guys are playing not to lose badly as opposed to being in it to win it? What’s the difference between losing by 20 points or losing by a single point? Both still end up in the “L” column. I saw two calls yesterday that I thought were so weak. If you don’t show any confidence in your team, than who will? In both cases, teams had a chance to either tie games or put them away late in the game and instead opted for easy field goals. The first one happened in the Rams-49ers game. The Niners were leading 14-13 with 3:54 left and were looking at a 4th and 1 deep in Ram’s territory. A touchdown in this situation would have put them ahead by 8. You could have even gone for the 2-point conversion after scoring the TD in that situation to take a 9-point lead and put the game completely out of reach. Instead of going for it, 49er coach Mike Nolan decided to let Joe Nedney kick a 24-yard field goal, which gave Ram QB Mark Bulger more than enough time to take his offense all the way down the field for the winning touchdown. The 49ers were running through the Ram’s defense with ease all game long, and then at the very end Nolan loses his juevos and it costs him the game. Pathetic. The other instance of a coach wimping out occurred in the Bears-Patriots game. With the score at 17-10 with 3:36 left, the Bears had a 4th and 6 at New England’s 14-yard line. Instead of going for the touchdown, Bear’s coach Lovie Smith decides to let Robbie Gould kick a 32-yard field goal. What the hell good is that? You need a touchdown to tie, not a field goal. What Lovie Smith was telling his offense (and more specifically his QB Rex Grossman) was that he had a lot more confidence in his defense than he did in his offense. What a great way to build team morale! What a joke! What ended up happening is that by the time Chicago got the ball back, it was a desperate situation, and Grossman threw another interception. The man’s confidence, if he had any, was broken and I don’t blame him. Lovie Smith showed no guts and deserved to lose. I hate it when coaches play that conservative game. Get out there are roll the dice and go for the decisive win rather than try to avoid looking bad. You’re paid to win, and sometimes that means taking chances!