Originally posted by DaveWilcox:
Originally posted by Cuphalffull:
It is easy to be an armchair OC. The reality is that it is common practice to attempt to run the clock out by running the ball, even if you don’t convert. While I don’t like the results, anyone who knows the game can’t argue the play calling (at least calling a run play). The first two runs were a no-brainer. We needed to use up the clock or get them to use up their timeouts. The last run makes sense as well. We had not had a third down conversion all game, we forced them to use their last timeout, and the defense had played well all game and we would be able to force them to march 80 yards in just over a minute to have to score a touchdown. You throw in that situation and don’t convert and you are in the same situation or you have an incomplete pass and not only do you punt but they have an additional timeout to give them more time.
Granted, they have Farve who has worked miracles in his time but you have to play the odds. I agree with Sing, in that had we won, no one would have questioned the call and we were very close to doing so. That said, if Hill had been handling the pressure on 3rd down at all during the game, it makes one wonder if they may have gone with a pass.
What I don’t understand is why abandon your defensive game plan. They went from being aggressive to playing soft and giving up plays underneath on their last drive. Their success had come from an aggressive pass rush limiting Farves time. He has proven year in and year out that if you give him time, he will kill you. He did just that. I think we should have blitzed the hell out of him. Do what our guys know and play tough no nonsense smash mouth football right up to the end. We have good coverage DBs trust them to control the field for 3-4 seconds instead of doing what we did and giving Farve all day to throw, 10 seconds went of the clock on that last play…… he had way too much time…..
At the risk of seeming like an armchair QB, I will say this. Conventional/conservative wisdom holds, that you run all 3 downs, if you happen to get a 1st down, GREAT, if not, punt and turn the game over to your defense. On the 3rd down, 3rd and 6 I think it was. I think they could have or should have dialed up a play action, read option, where Hill has the option of passing or running. There was absolutely no chance of getting 6 yards against the Vikes D when they were playing 9 in the box.
I see what you are saying and each approach has its risks. If we were to say do a play action pass and the ball fell incomplete the clock would have stopped and they would not have burned that last timeout(Who knows how that would have affected the game but the reality is that you try to limit time available to the opposing offense which is what they did). Now there is also the risk of throwing an interception and really putting your defenses back against the wall. Running the ball three times in a row puts them in a position of having to call all of their timeouts, you stand a chance of breaking one and getting a 1st, and there is less of a risk of a turnover.
Now we can look back and say that he did the wrong thing but I maintain that given the circumstances the way they were, time left on the clock, defense had been playing well, and the fact that it took a miracle throw for them to win they made the right choice. I also maintain that the conservative play-calling on D on that last drive played more of a role in the loss. A defense should be able to stop an offense from scoring when they have no timeouts and less then a minute and a half left. We got away from our aggressive play-calling and went soft.