Eagles vs. Bears – Run the Clock.

The Bears are up by two scores (31-19).  They have 3rd and 9 at their own 23 and the Eagles are out of timeouts with 4:30 left in the game.  Run the ball and kill more clock.  You can waste 40 more seconds.  Instead the Bears throw an incomplete pass and give the Eagles a glimmer of hope.

Panthers vs. Browns – How Does That Happen?

The Panthers are trailing 24-23 with :12 left.  They have no timeouts.  They have the ball at their own 48 yard line.  The only have two options.  Throw to the end zone or throw a pass and get out of bounds.  All the Browns have to do is protect the end zone or protect the sideline.  What do the Panthers do?  Complete a sideline pass for 28 yards to the Browns 24 yard line which stops the clock and allows the Panthers to set up the game winning FG.  Of course, they missed it to bail out another coaching mishap.

Packers vs. Falcons – Coach Gets Bailed Out After Making Big Mistake.

The Falcons were leading the Packers 17-10 but the Packers were driving for the game tying touchdown late in the 4th quarter.  On a 3rd and goal play from the 6, the Packers completed a pass in bounds for one yard.  The clock was moving.  The Falcons had one timeout left.  It was 4th down and goal to go.  If the Packers didn’t get a TD, then the game was over.  If the Packers did get TD, then the Falcons would need to try for a winning score.  So, one would presume they would want as much time as possible to do so.  CALL TIMEOUT after the third down play to give yourself 40 more seconds if the Packers score.  Atlanta Head Coach Mike Smith failed to do so.  A terrible clock management mistake.  However, he did get lucky because after a great kickoff return and penalty on the Packers, the Falcons started at the GB 49 with :49 left and were able to get a game winning FG.  The irony was they finished the game with their single timeout.

Georgia Tech vs. Georgia – Way to Let Them Score!

Great job by Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson to let Georgia score in order to get the ball back to give his team a chance. to tie the game.  Georgian was ahead 35-34 after a missed GT extra point.  Georgia took the ensuing kickoff and drove down the field.  Georgia had 2nd and 12 at the GT 20 with 1:35 left in the game but GT had no timeouts left.  They could have watched Georgia run out the clock on 2nd and 3rd downs but instead let Georgia score on 2nd down to get the ball back.  Of course this begs the question why was Georgia handing the ball off?  Taking a knee twice would have nearly killed the entire clock.

Boise State vs. Nevada – Nice Job in a Losing Effort.

Yes, Boise State lost the game.  But I have to commend them on a very smart play that few team seem to get.  After Nevada tied the game 31-31, Boise State got the ball back with :09 left at their own 38 yard line with one timeout left.  Time for one play and a FG attempt or 2 plays total.  On first down, the Broncos throw DEEP and the ball is caught for a 53 yard gain at the 9 yard line.  Unfortunately, the kicker missed the 26 yard field goal to win the game and probably a Rose Bowl berth but at least they did the right thing.  They understood what they had to do.  I attribute that to a very smart coach in Chris Petersen.

LSU vs. Arkansas – How did that happen?

There are 3 seconds left in the first half.  LSU has just punted to Arkansas and the Razorbacks have 1st and 10 at their own 20 yard line.  Somehow, they manage to complete a pass and run for 80 yards and a TD.  How does LSU let that happen?  And I’m a little surprised Arkansas even tried to a pass to score from that field position with that little time left.  That’s bad coaching to allow a TD in that situation.