After reviewing the play-by-play recaps for today’s NFL games, there weren’t any big major mistakes made. However, there were some minor mistakes that I thought I’d summarize in one post.
Bears Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz showed some restraint Sunday by calling Matt Forte’s number to run the ball for over 200 yards. However, with the Bears up 27-23 with 3:37 left in the game and the Bears facing a 2nd and 6 at the Panthers 36, he proceeded to call consecutive passing plays which were both incomplete and stopped the clock. RUN THE BALL. It had been successful all day. In fact Forte had just run for 20 yards two plays earlier. Why over think it?
The Cowboys were leading the Lions 30-27 with 4:22 left in the game. They had 1st and 10 at their own 20. Tony Romo had throw two interceptions returned for TD’s already in the game. Maybe running the ball or some safe passes would be in order? Instead, Romo throws 20 yards downfield and the ball is intercepted and the Lions eventually score the game winning TD.
The Saints were up 23-10 on the Jaguars and called a timeout with 2:09 left after a 59 yard play to the Jaguars 18 yard line. Maybe there was a reason for it that didn’t show up in the box score but it didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. Then the Saints proceeded to throw two incomplete passes and took a sack on another down. This wasn’t smart clock killing strategy considering they were up by two scores.
The 49ers are trailing the Eagles 20-3 just before halftime. They gain a first down and call timeout with :01 left. But they have the ball at their own 32 yard line. Why bother to call timeout? And then on the next play, they throw a 1o yard pass. What did that accomplish? Do they not remember what happened to the Cowboys vs Redskins in the opening game last year? A similar situation led to a fumble and Redskins TD on the final play of the half that cost the Cowboys the game and sent them in a downward spiral for the season.
The Cardinals had 3rd and 1 at their own 29 yard line with :46 left in the first half and had all 3 timeouts left. They threw an incomplete pass which stopped the clock and gave the Giants enough time when they got the ball back to drive down and get a FG. How about a running play to get the first down? If they don’t get it, they force the Giants to use a timeout? If they do get it, they can use a timeout to stop the clock.
Later in the same game, the Cardinals are trailing 31-27 and are driving in Giants territory. On 2nd and 1 from the Giants 29 with 1:21 left, Cards QB Kevin Kolb is sacked. You can’t take a sack there. You have to get rid of the ball. Just a bad play. This isn’t really a clock issue but just something I had to point out.
Finally, I’m making this statement from only reading the play-by-play summary. If the Seahawks had one timeout left, they should have used it somewhere in the last 5 minutes to stop the clock, whether on defense or offense. The play-by-play shows they wasted two timeouts (one in the 3rd quarter and one early in the 4th quarter) but didn’t see where the third one was used.