After three NFL seasons of kicking off from the 35-yard line, what has been the impact on touchbacks, returns, field position, scoring and injuries? Also, is this rule responsible for a record number of big comebacks?
21 Nov 2005
Each Sunday, the FO staff sends around e-mails to each other, both during and after the games. It lets us share ideas for columns and comments, and get an idea of how teams that we can't watch are playing. Be aware that the material in this roundtable might seem a bit disjointed and un-edited. It also might still show up later in the week in other columns, or in comments in PFP 2006.
By the way, the discussion thread for this roundtable is an excellent place to suggest injuries you would like to see Will Carroll cover in this week's Black and Blue Report. And at the end we'll give you a little preview of what games we're analyzing later in the week.
Michael David Smith: Is everyone sick of hearing me talk about Charles Rogers already? Well, here we go again. Rick Gosselin, usually one of my favorite football writers, wrote this: "Wide receivers Charles Rogers (second pick in 2003) and Roy Williams (seventh pick in 2004) have been slowed by injuries." How could anyone compare the two? Williams has missed five games; Rogers has missed 31 games. Rogers entered the league a year earlier, but Williams has almost four times as many career yards.
Tim Gerheim: Wow, how huge is Roy Williams? On that deep pass where he was covered by Aaron Glenn, he looked like a bear running with an Oompa-Loompa. There's the counterpoint to all the short receivers having big years.
Michael David Smith: I hate to say it because I want Kevin Jones to do well, but at this point I think the Lions need to acknowledge that Shawn Bryson is the better player right now. Make Bryson the main RB and Jones the change of pace, not the other way around. But the more I watch the Lions the more I think play calling is a bigger problem than anything. How do you have your receivers running six-yard comebacks on third-and-12?
Tim Gerheim: Will and others say it all the time, but people in and around the NFL are way too cavalier about concussions. Dallas RT Rob Petitti got up after one play woozy and unstable on his feet, but he convinced the official to let him stay in. On the replay you could see that just after he fell down he got kneed in the side of the head. Nobody on the Cowboys sideline took him out, and before the next play Bledsoe called time out. Petitti could barely stand up. It boggles my mind that 1) nobody took him out when he was staggering around initially, and 2) they put him back in for the next play after the time out.
Michael David Smith: Bryson runs the ball on third-and-3, clearly gets beyond the first-down mark, but for some reason they spot it about a yard short of where he went down. Then they bring out the chains, and the nose of the ball is just past the stick. Somehow, Ed Hochuli says it's not a first down. Huh? So then the Lions go for it on fourth-and-an inch, and Cory Schlesinger loses about six inches. But they spot it about eight inches ahead of where Schlesinger fell, so the Lions get the first down. I think Hochuli needs to have a talk with his line judge about spotting the ball.
Tim Gerheim: I swear I saw a game recently with a chain measurement where the ball was past all the chains but not yet to the stanchion, and they called it a first down. Never did I think it would matter whether the post itself was part of the 10 yards that make up the chains, but of course it does.
Tim Gerheim: Wow, three cheers for Houston having a night game. There's nothing like turning on the noon game on CBS and not hearing Don Criqui or Ian Eagle. Dick Enberg just sounds like football. All is right with the world.
Michael David Smith: Rich Parson of the Redskins just had a 35-yard gain, after which the announcers informed us that he had been seriously considering quitting football to become a marriage counselor before Joe Gibbs moved him from the practice squad to the active roster. I think the Eagles should have signed him to see if he could mediate things between T.O. and Donovan McNabb.
Michael David Smith: Nathan Vasher already has two picks, and the thing I can't figure out is why Delhomme is throwing in his direction. He's not covering Steve Smith on most plays, so it's not like Delhomme doesn't have other options.
Chicago's Carl Ford just downed a punt while standing three yards deep in the end zone. Shouldn't the punt gunners know not to cross the goal line?
Mike Tanier: The Bears defense doesn't have any major weakness. They get a lot of pressure with the front four. But they also generate a lot of coverage sacks and force opponents to check down to the third or fourth option.
The offensive line is also very good. Lots of push and plenty of blocks on the second level. Terrence Metcalf and Fred Miller were on the right side and they won most of their battles.
Michael David Smith: The officials need to be more consistent about when they call late hits on QB slides. Chris Simms just did a feet-first slide and two Falcons jumped on him. No flag. Neither Falcon hit him hard, but I've seen plays where the QB slides and the defensive player barely touches him and they throw the flag.
Russell Levine: Tampa Bay mugged the Falcons in the early going. In the first eight minutes, Atlanta had two personal fouls, two false starts, had two players injured (Rossum, who got poked in the eye in a pileup and got flagged for retaliating, and Vick, who got stepped on by his guard and then had Greg Spires dive on him on the ground -- Spires somehow did not get flagged).
They also gave up two sacks, the second of which was a fumble in the end zone recovered for a Tampa Bay touchdown. Not a good play call by Mora to have Schaub come in for an injured Vick and call a seven-step drop on third-and-22 from his own one-yard line. Simeon Rice went right around his man and stripped the ball, at which point Schaub was eight yards deep in the end zone.
After Atlanta's miserable start, they went to more of a rhythm passing game, throwing quicker on three and five step drops and planned rollouts, and Vick settled down. He's looked pretty good the last two drives, both long TD drives to give Atlanta the lead. And there's been a Roddy White sighting; he's made some nice plays down the field.
Everything is a confidence thing for Vick. Bad throws seem to snowball, as do good ones when he's going well.
Bill Moore: Oh, Vick fumbles and Atlanta loses it. Oh, that is bad luck. Or is it?
Russell Levine: OK, credit where credit is due. Vick conducted a clinic on third downs today, mostly delivering the ball from within the pocket, on time and in rhythm. As a result, Tampa Bay couldn't get off the field on defense and Atlanta had points on five straight drives at one point. He even moved Atlanta into position to at least attempt a tying field goal. If he's had a better passing day as a pro, I haven't seen it.
Other notes -- Cadillac is back, or maybe running against Atlanta's defense instead of Carolina and Washington was the biggest difference. Either way, he had his burst back, and showed patience waiting for holes to develop instead of slamming into the line.
Simms didn't do much on the day and threw one bad interception, but with Tampa down late, he brought them down the field (mostly it was running plays, but he picked up a couple crucial third downs) to tie it up. This game can only help his confidence. That's late comebacks against decent teams, two weeks in a row.
Tampa did a nice job for the second straight week going max-protect. Rod Coleman wasn't really a factor. It limits their passing game (Galloway was shut out), but it keeps Simms upright and gives him a chance to make some reads and deliver the ball.
Aaron Schatz: Russell, looking at the numbers I was struck by Tampa's poor passing numbers. Was that Simms having problems or the Atlanta defense looking a lot better?
Russell Levine: I think Simms' numbers were as much about lack of opportunity as anything. He did struggle on third downs for most of the game, but Tamap Bay didn't have the ball much (Atlanta had like five or six straight 10+ play drives) and when they did have it, they ran the ball pretty effectively. Simms only attempted 19 passes, almost none of them downfield. I think that had a lot to do with the max-protect blocking schemes.
But what has happened to Tampa Bay's defense? 34, 35, and 27 points the last three weeks, but more importantly, lots and lots of sustained drives. The safeties have been decimated by injury (rookie Donte Nicholson had to play yesterday, I think he's like 5th string), but I don't know how much a part of the problem that is.
Al Bogdan: Luke Petitgout is a walking holding penalty. He's lucky the officials don't call more on him than they already do. Even when he holds, he's ineffective. Trent Cole just blew right past him, even though Petitgout had his arms completely wrapped around Cole.
I don't think we'll be seeing too many goal line carries for Brandon Jacobs in the future. Three stops at the one yard line. The Giants line wasn't able to open any holes for him, but Jacobs wasn't able to push any Eagles defender out of the way. At least he seemed to be lower to the ground, although it didn't do him any good. Barber was the lone tailback the next time the Giants were at the goal line, when Manning threw a touchdown to Shockey.
It's great to see David Tyree back on special teams. He had a blocked punt, and a Giants punt downed at the one, which was called back because of a penalty, in the first half alone. If he was in the lineup last week, I don't think the Giants give up those two return TDs.
You'd think Terrell Owens was actually on the field with the amount that Joe Buck is talking about him. You're a play-b-play guy Joe, call the action on the field.
This was the game they signed Antonio Pierce for. I can't remember the last time the Giants did so well stopping Brian Westbrook. Sure, it helps that they knew he was the team's only offensive weapon, but it was nice to not see him rip off endless first downs like he usually does. Of course, just as I was writing this Westbrook takes it to the goal line to set up a Mike McMahon QB sneak TD.
Do we track penalties by officiating crew? We really should. There were some obvious holding plays today that just weren't called. Runyan had a handful of Strahan's jersey all game and the officials never called anything. Like I mentioned before, Petitgout holds on every other play, if not more often.
Mike Tanier: Guess I'm obligated to provide the Mike McMahon scouting report. He was pretty terrible in the first half, then settled down in the second half and made some good throws. He has a good arm and can run, and he seems to see the whole field. But he has happy feet and is too quick to scramble, and he does the hand pat before every throw, which slows his delivery.
It's difficult watching the Eagles defense collapse late in games. I'm used to watching them be "assignment perfect" for the last four years. This year, everyone leaves their feet when trying to make open field tackles, and cornerbacks with no safety help are letting receivers get behind them. On that Plaxico touchdown, Sheldon Brown has no business peeking and biting on the pump-fake: he has to keep the receiver in front of him.
On a lighter note, Michael Strahan and Keith Adams shook hands and smiled late in the game. If the Giants were to trade for Adams, they could switch to a two-gap defense.
Benjy Rose: I was impressed with McMahon ... in the first half, he looked bad mostly because the Eagles imported Paul Hackett as Guest Offensive Coordinator. Run, run, incomplete on an seven-yard out on third-and-9. Rinse, repeat.
Plaxico made an incredibly sweet move on his 61-yard TD catch. After catching the ball, he slowed down and took some steps outside as if he were running out of bounds. Defender bit hard and slowed down himself, and then Plax downshifted and sprinted into the end zone.
Bill Moore: Who are these FOX announcers? Ron Pitts and Tim Ryan. Must have rolled out the A team for this blockbuster game. â€œBrady wears the gloves for the first time. Brings back memories of their 2001 Superbowl run.â€? Huh? He's worn the gloves since 2001. â€œThe Pats are 29-5 in the last 3 seasons when they score first.â€? The Pats are 29-8 in total. Wow, compelling.
New Orleans is getting burned on the play-action. They are over-pursuing down near the end zone, probably because they have such a weak defense against the run (ranked 28th) and are trying to overcompensate.
During last season I was high on the potential of Pats cornerback Asante Samuel. Maybe it's the lack of experienced personnel on the field, but he just seems lost this season.
Note to Logan Mankins, yo rook, when you give up a sack, you pick up your QB off the ground, you don't walk away.
Aaron Brooks became the all-time TD thrower for the Saints. Well, there's a dubious title if I ever heard one. The list: Brooks, Manning, Bobby Hebert and Jim Everett. Brooks has been blitzed 12 times, and they have got to him 10 of those times including 7 hurries. But, ironically, late pressure off the ends on Brady makes this a close game.
With the exception of one long TD to Andre Davis, Brady's long ball was not particularly good today. A lot of overthrown balls and a couple underthrown balls.
â€œThe runner's buttocks was on the ground prior to the ball coming out.â€? That's a new call.
Final note, Bill Belichick's father passed away last night. Although surely remembered by those who knew him for many more meaningful things, I'll always remember the poignant moment of him getting doused with the Gatoraid container while hugging his son at the end of last year's Super Bowl.
Aaron Schatz: The Saints took a timeout before the second play of the entire game. If you take a timeout after one play, this may be a sign your team has a problem.
The Pats scored a goal line touchdown on the play with Vrabel as a tight end. They run the exact same play every time Vrabel comes in and yet the Saints left him wide open. Has nobody on the Saints staff watched one of the last few Super Bowl telecasts?
I need to go back and count how many times this year a speed rusher has gone right around Nick Kaczur and batted the ball out of Brady's hand for a sack and fumble, but we had another one today.
If you added together all the yards Aaron Brooks ran backwards in one football season it would stretch from the earth to the moon and back five times.
The problem with the Pats secondary is not just coverage. They're having troubles tackling and get easily faked out when receivers juke them after catching the ball. And I'll echo Bill's statement that Samuel doesn't look anywhere near as good this year.
I think they tried the long pass to Andre Davis a zillion times and it worked that once. That once was nice. But then they tried it again on second-and-19 late in the game. When you just need a first down to ice the game why are you throwing the ball deep?
The broadcast of this game was very odd. Either the New England crowd was very docile or FOX forgot to set up the crowd mikes.
The Saints scored their second TD after a clear Delay of Game. I couldn't believe it was not called.
Bill Moore: Yeah. So clear that when the ball was hiked, I swear that Brooks, who was in shotgun formation, caught the ball, paused a moment, realized the play wasn't whistled dead, and continued on.
Ned Macey: I can't wait to get access to the play-by-play data. The Titans rank among the worst in the league against #1 and #2 receivers according to DVOA. But, like many teams, they play their cornerbacks on the same side of the field every play. The Jaguars continually attacked Reynaldo Hill but did it with both Jimmy Smith and Ernest Wilford. I am not saying Pacman Jones is playing well (although he is finally making plays in the return game), but I think teams are certainly picking on Hill.
By the way, Byron Leftwich is really tough, but maybe he should consider getting rid of the ball a little sooner.
Ryan Wilson: Without a doubt, Tommy Maddox is a difference-maker ... in a very bad way. Both defenses played pretty well, while Maddox and Boller battled for the "Worst QB Since Heath Shuler was a Starter" award. Chester Taylor is a really good running back, and if the Ravens re-sign Jamal Lewis, they deserve everything they get as a result. Both Taylor and Lewis will be free agents, and I'll actually be surprised if Lewis gets a bigger contract heading into 2006.
Last week, the Jaguars defense basically said they were concered about two guys on pass routes: Derrick Mason and Todd Heap. Apparently somebody on the Ravens heard the soundbytes, because for the first time all season, they successfully threw some balls to first round pick Mark Clayton. Still, this might have been the most boring game of the day -- exacerbated by overtime -- and thankfully, Matt Stover made a field goal to end it.
If anybody still thinks that Roethlisberger isn't an important part of this offense, I'd direct you to the Jags and Ravens game tapes. The Steelers now have to play Indy and Cincy and then the NFC North. They have their work cut out for them.
Mike Tanier: Seriously, let's talk about QB Antwaan Randle El, or however the hell it's Sp EL led. He ran the option ineffectually, threw a shovel pass and one other that I didn't see. Basically, he ran the plays Mike Mularkey put in for him a few years ago. I'd like to see him go back there and throw a few slants or hooks: that would get the defense on its heels.
Aaron Schatz: Ryan or anyone, what happened to turn the slightly above-average Maddox of 2002 and the slightly below-average Maddox of 2003 into the Most Hated Backup Quarterback Alive (TM) of 2004-2005? What is he doing differently?
Ryan Wilson: I have no first-hand knowledge, but I think that Maddox is still suffering from last year's arm injury that introduced Roethlisberger to the NFL. Maddox injured his elbow during Week 2 in 2004, and in the limited playing time since, he hasn't been able to complete a 20-yard out. Seriously. In 2002, 2003, he could throw the ball down the field. In 2005 he has been off-target, and often well short. He's still able to take a sack, however.
Tim Gerheim: This Colts-Bengals game is going to be a combination of that 38-31 (if I remember correctly) Indy-KC playoff game a couple years ago and the 58-48 Cincy-Cleveland game last year. I would be shocked -- SHOCKED -- if there were a drive that ended with anything but a score or a turnover all day.
Defintely neither defense is good. In other news, water is wet. But Indy's defense isn't as self-destructive as Cincy's. The Bengals seem to be playing defense with a certain desperation, like they know that they really can't stop the Colts, and their only hope is some kind of big play. The long pass to Dallas Clark should have been a medium-length play, but Ifeanyi Ohalete tried desperately to strip the ball instead of make the tackle. He almost got it, but Clark got past him and ran another 20 yards or so. I'm assuming that he did it because he thought just tackling him would be of no use, since Indy would just run some more plays and score. He was right, but that probably doesn't make it the right decision. Also, it's hilarious listening to Nantz and Simms fail correctly to pronounce Ohalete's name.
Mike Tanier: Was it an optical illusion, or was the cheerleader Chad Johnson proposed to on the sidelines taller than he was? I mean, after he stood up, of course.
The Bengals were playing lots and lots of Cover-2. They were picked apart. I'm not sure what the answer is against the Colts, but vanilla coverage with semi-experienced linebackers ain't it.
Tim Gerheim: Here's one of TMQ's "hidden indicators:" through three, the Colts have lost yardage on the last play of each quarter (including the half-endin kneeldown). If by some miracle they're trailing and trying to make a comeback at the very end, look for a Willie McGinest-class sack.
Postscript: Kneeldown. Much less dramatic. But it held to the trend. I wonder how often that happens, and whether anyone cares.
Aaron Schatz: I don't know what to say that hasn't been said about the absolutely crazy playcalling in this thing. Third-and-1 near the goal line and Cincinnati passes when they are running on the Colts at will? Blitzing eight when the Colts are at the goal line, leaving Manning with an easy open man for a touchdown? Manning throwing three incomplete passes when the Colts had to run out the clock to keep the Bengals from trying to come back?
It should be recognized that Manning was picking on Tory James all day (who was on Reggie Wayne) while Deltha O'Neal was doing an excellent job on Marvin Harrison. Also, I think the Bengals miss Madieu Williams -- Ohalete made some pretty egregious errors in judgment like his attempt to strip the ball from Dallas Clark that Clark avoided, running for 30 extra yards.
Ryan Wilson: Another egregious error was selling his #26 to Clinton Portis when he was still with the Redskins for a case of Bud Light and one of those "Mr. I Don't Know" outfits.
Ned Macey: I wonder how bad these defenses really are. I think they are better than they looked. In their previous 18 games combined, only Brady has really had success throwing the ball. Plus, the second half was 10-10 which is not exactly outrageous.
The first half looked like a 2004 Colts game. The Bengals decided to bring pressure. Have they not learned anything from the rest of the season? The Colts offense is great regardless, but making them grind out drives is much better than letting Manning beat you over the top.
Two great performances were turned in by Cincy players (besides the obviously dominant performance from Chad Johnson). First is Deltha O'Neal, who more or less shut Harrison down and broke up a pass in the end zone that would have ended the game. Second is Levi Jones, who dominated Freeney and did not receive as much help as tackles have been getting against Freeney recently.
For the Colts, the crucial drive was their first drive of the second half after the Bengals had cut the lead to one. The Colts ran James 7 straight times at one point and 10 times overall.
The biggest play of the game may have been on the next drive when facing a fourth- and-1, the Bengals called a sweep to Chris Perry. Yeah, because the Cots really struggle with team speed on defense but are real tough on runs up the middle.
Al Bogdan: Phill Simms was all over Marvin Lewis' decision to use the team's second time out to set up Shayne Graham's field goal attempt with 1:23 to go instead of rushing the field goal unit onto the field. It left the Bengals with only one time out, which meant they had to recover an onside kick to have a shot at tying things up. Now, the Benglas had a really sweet onside kick attempt that almost worked, but it's just terrible time management.
By the way, Flavor Flav has just eclipsed The King as my favorite spokesperson for the 2005 season.
Mike Tanier: My buddy Frank the bartender has Shaun Alexander in fantasy football, so I got to see the first half of this game. The Seahawks offensive line is outstanding. It's hard to evaluate anything with the 49ers. When the quarterback is no good, you can't really judge the receivers. When the passing game doesn't work, it's hard to muster a running game. When the offensive line is weak, opponents just blitz and blitz. That said, they stayed in this game thanks to decent defense, two big plays, and a long pass interference call.
Al Bogdan: Wow, the Jets are screwed. Bollinger gets a concussion in the first half and is puking on the sidelines. Vinny hurts his leg again at the end of the game. Next week could be the beginning and the end of the Kliff Klingsbury era in NY.
The Jets offensive line is awful. There were at least three botched center-QB exchanges. Scott Gragg was in at RT today and played terribly. He left Ian Gold untouched on one sack in the second half. How do you leave him untouched? When Gold rushed, Gragg literally stepped out of his way so that Gold would have a clear shot at Testeverde. He was worried about Lynch rushing in from the outside instead of the man lined up directly in front of him -- Gold. Curtis Martin was lined up on the right side ready to pick up the blitzing Lynch, but Gragg decided to leave his man anyway.
Like Mike said about the 49ers, it's hard to evaluate what Denver did because the Jets were just so bad at every aspect of the game today. They couldn't stop the run, the pass, special teams, pass rush, the Broncos cheerleaders, etc. You name it, they couldn't stop it.
Had Denver needed to pass the ball, Rod Smith would have had a huge game. He caught every pass Plummer threw at him.
The Jets' second-round selections aren't looking to hot right about now. There's the Nuge, of course, but Justin Miller also has played poorly. He's fumbled returns in consecutive games and was picked on pretty easily by Plummer when he needed to throw the ball.
Benjy Rose: Ouch. I think Bollinger was puking on the sideline because his team sucks, not because of the concussion. This actually hurt me to watch. The one positive was that the play-by-play guy on CBS (I don't recall the name) named the defensive formation, who was on the line, who dropped back in coverage, etc. before each play. I'd never heard that before, and it was quite nice to know. More announcers should do that.
I think we need to spend our high first-round pick on the entire USC roster.
Al Bogdan: What the hell happened in St. Louis? How does Steven Jackson only have 6 rushing yards, especially with Jamie Martin forced into action?
Ned Macey: The answer to Steven Jackson's problems is that Arizona blitzed a safety on almost every play. They dared the Rams to beat them deep. For a while, the Rams stubbornly ran Jackson into the line, but once they adjusted they moved the ball at will. Over three consecutive drives, they ran 17 out of 21 times and scored two touchdowns, with the other drive ending on a Jackson fumble. On the next drive, Bulger was injured.
Kurt Warner just can no longer throw the ball deep, but he is very accurate on short passes. Against the Rams that is all you need since they have no run defense. Even Arizona ran the ball effectively at times.
One player who was impressive for Arizona when I was watching was CB Eric Green. Very solid play for a rookie who the Rams were clearly trying to pick on.
Tim Gerheim: Watch a normal team play, and when three defensive players start running free toward the QB about two seconds after the snap, you can bet the farm that it's a screen pass. Not so the Texans. They threw a 10-yard out to a wide receiver on a play that looked exactly like that. It's honestly depressing.
Mike Tanier: Just to hammer it home, Tim, I am fairly certain you are the only one watching this game. Not just the only Outsider, but maybe the only person in America. 'Tis a lonely vigil...
Tim Gerheim: Lewis Sanders is having a fantastic game for the Texans. Which is good, because they need somebody to. Well, Jerome Mathis is having a great game too, but since he's been relegated to the fifth WR position with Andre Johnson's return, he's basically only a kick returner. But Sanders got a block on Mathis' return TD, I think he made a great tackle on the subsequent kickoff, and he defensed a pass, which probably should have been an interception, after jumping a route later in the first half. Then he got an interception off a tipped pass that Tony Gonzalez (I believe) probably should have caught. That came one play after Philip Buchanon left the game injured, and I'll bet dollars to donuts that Sanders was his replacement.
Am I a bad person because I was kind of glad when Buchanon was hurt, not because I wish him ill, but because I figured it would bring in a better player that they don't feel compelled to play because they traded away two draft picks for him? The announcers commented on some of the things the Raiders said after they traded Buchanon: "He can't cover, and he won't hit." Check, double check. Opponents' offensive gameplans got a little more complicated when Buchanon left the game, because now they can't just tell the QB, "look for the guy that Buchanon's covering, and throw to him."
Michael Tanier: Philip Buchanon : Tim Gerheim :: Charles Rogers : Michael David Smith
Tim Gerheim: I don't know if all teams do this, but when the Texans motion a wide receiver from the wide position in toward the slot, almost to a tight end position, they always seem to run the ball. It has its value, but I'm not sure it's always a good idea. On a second-and-goal run from the five-yard line at the end of the third quarter, they ran out of that shift, and the outside was wide open, since the receiver's block drives the corner into all the defenders who would be trying to pursue to the outside and keep contain. But Davis ran up the middle on that play, and everybody could read the receiver shift to know he was coming. I think they'd do just as well to leave the receiver wide unless they were planning to run outside to his side.
Al Bogdan: I watched pieces of this game too. I'm not sure I've ever seen a bad team celebrate so much after routine plays as the Texans did on Sunday night. One guy made a special teams tackle and started strutting around the field like he had just sacked the quarterback as time expired. I didn't realize stopping a punt returner for a small run back when you're down 20 was such a big deal.
And not that it ended up mattering much, but the Texans were on the five-yard line late in the third quarter and had lined up to go for it on fourth-and-goal. The play clock was running low, however, and Dom Capers sprinted onto the field to call a time out so they wouldn't get a delay of game. After the time out, they decided to go for the field goal instead of the touchdown. If you're going to go for the field goal, why use the time out there? Even with the five yards for a delay of game, you're still looking at a chip shot from 27 yards.
Tim Gerheim: Just for the record, when I started putting Audibles together at halftime of this game, I guessed at the final score: 48-17. At least I didn't have any high hopes disappointed. I know these Texans too well for that.
Tuesday's Any Given Sunday: Bears over Panthers
Every Play Counts off for Thanksgiving
99 comments, Last at 29 Aug 2006, 4:21pm by Adam Connelly