Dirk Koetter got lucky.
He got advantageous that he still had one abeyance left. He got advantageous that his kicker, Chandler Catanzaro, was unfazed by a delay. He got advantageous that he won an NFL d afterwards alive the rules. On Sunday, the Buccaneers exhausted the Browns in overtime in a d amid arguably two of the affliction coaches in football, a d that saw Koetter accomplish a aberration Hue Jackson would’ve been appreciative of.
As the Buccaneers lined up for a 59-yard acreage ambition on fourth-and-15 with 1:55 actual in overtime, their drillmaster threw his claiming flag.
The d paused as the admiral ran over to Koetter to acquaint him that all reviews in overtime charge be accomplished by the booth. He wasn’t accustomed to claiming the comedy — a 14-yard achievement to DeSean Jackson that confused the Buccaneers into the bound of field-goal range. Aloof as the d was about to resume, the admiral appear that the Buccaneers were docked their final abeyance as a aftereffect of Koetter’s infraction. Afterwards the blend got sorted out, Catanzaro nailed the bang to accord the Buccaneers an overtime win over the Browns.
Koetter got lucky. He got advantageous his red banderole didn’t aftereffect in a chicken flag. If the Buccaneers had been out of timeouts, that actionable claiming would’ve resulted in a 15-yard amends that would’ve pushed the Buccaneers out of field-goal range.
From the NFL rulebook (emphasis added):
A aggregation may not claiming a reviewable play:
If a aggregation initiates a claiming aback it is not acceptable to do so, it will be answerable a timeout.
Penalty: For initiating a claiming aback a aggregation has exhausted its timeouts: Accident of 15 yards
If the Buccaneers had been out of timeouts, they would’ve been penalized 15 yards to accomplish it fourth-and-30. Instead of aggravating a 74-yard acreage ambition or activity for a fourth-and-forever, they would’ve been affected to punt, giving the Browns a adventitious to win or clearing for a tie.
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Koetter additionally got advantageous his article didn’t absence that kick, because if he had missed, we’d be spending the aing anniversary talking about Koetter accidentally icing his own kicker. And if the Buccaneers had absent that kick, the Browns would’ve been in accomplished acreage position to go win the d with a bang of their own. The Buccaneers accepting a abeyance and authoritative the bang shouldn’t acquit Koetter, a arch drillmaster for two-plus seasons, of not alive the rules.
Normally, this cavalcade will be bound to controlling mistakes, but an barring will be fabricated for Ravens article Justin Tucker, who absent an added point that would’ve angry the d with beneath than bisected a minute to comedy in their d adjoin the Saints.
Kickers absence added points. It happens. Aback they absence game-tying added credibility backward in the fourth quarter, they become abnormally notable. Aback that absence marks the aboriginal absence of a arguably the best article in the NFL history’s career, it becomes an absolute story. That absent added point was Tucker’s aboriginal absence in his career, which has included 222 makes afore the end of Sunday’s game, and it amount the Ravens a adventitious to exhausted one of the best teams in football.
They were aloof as abashed as you were.
So often, Tucker has been the Ravens’ best abhorrent weapon. On Sunday, he was their downfall.
To his credit, Tucker handled the after-effects in the best accessible way. And let’s face it, if there’s anytime a article to absolve off a absence of that magnitude, it’s Tucker. If anyone deserves a pass, it’s Tucker.
About that Ravens’ loss. Let’s allocution about John Harbaugh’s acceptance of challenges.
He austere both of his two challenges on the aperture drive of the game. The Ravens didn’t accept any challenges afterwards the 6:31 mark of the aboriginal quarter.
Harbaugh acclimated his aboriginal claiming of the d on a atom that gave the Saints an aboriginal third-down conversion. He absolutely won that challenge, which set up a fourth-and-short, but it didn’t amount because the Saints went for the fourth bottomward and best up a aboriginal down. On that aforementioned arresting series, Harbaugh challenged that Saints active aback Alvin Kamara fumbled. He absent that challenge, which meant the Ravens were out of challenges for the of the game.
That’s not ideal.
After watching Justin Tucker absence his aboriginal added point to draft the Ravens’ game-tying drive, it’s accessible to accept why Mike Vrabel went for two at the end of the Titans’ one-point accident to the Chargers.
I’ve got no issues with the accommodation to win the d in adjustment instead of arena for overtime adjoin MVP applicant Philip Rivers. If the Titans had fabricated the added point, they still would’ve bare to stop Rivers and the Chargers from scoring at the end of regulation. If they affected overtime, their fate might’ve been bent by a bread toss.
The accommodation to go for the win can be defended. The Titans’ play-calling, however, can be alleged into question.
We’ll alpha with the comedy that got the Titans to aural a point. Why the Titans were calling a low-percentage casual comedy on the better comedy of the d is aloft explanation. They could’ve acclimated a or some array of zone-read comedy with adaptable quarterback Marcus Mariota. They were advantageous to alike account the touchdown that put them in a position to go for two. They bare a bamboozlement t to get to that point.
But they denticulate a touchdown nonetheless. Afresh they went for the win. And this was the play-call.
They went shotgun from the 2-yard line. And afresh Mariota had to clutter about for eight abnormal afore throwing a prayer.
A amends in the end area gave the Titans additional life. The brawl was confused to the 1-yard line. So what did the Titans do?
They went empty, not alike presenting the apparition of a active play.
In situations like these, teams should consistently ask themselves: What would Bill Belichick do?
Belichick would’ve alleged for a quarterback sneak, because it’s as best as a comedy alarm will anytime get. You’re one awful backyard away. Don’t get cute. Don’t get fancy.
At the actual least, accomplish the aegis account the blackmail of a run. Don’t go abandoned on the ambition line.
The Chargers won, but Anthony Lynn’s administration during that final arresting alternation deserves scrutiny.
Lynn bare to be advancing for the actual acceptable achievability that his aggregation would accept a adventitious to account credibility to win the d late. What he bare to do was bake his timeouts to accord Rivers a adventitious to arise a game-winning drive in the accident the Titans angry the d or took the lead.
Again, the Chargers led by seven. They had all three of their timeouts remaining. On the added ancillary of the two-minute warning, Titans active aback Derrick Henry agitated the brawl from the 12-yard band to the 8-yard line. Aback he got tackled, 1:56 was assuming on the d alarm as the Titans able for a third-and-4. Instead of calling timeout, endlessly the clock, and abrogation as abundant as accessible for Rivers to adverse the Titans’ closing account with a account of his own, Lynn let the alarm beat down. On third down, Mariota completed a canyon central the 5-yard band to aces up a aboriginal down. Aloof over a minute remained. Lynn still banned to booty a timeout. The Titans let the alarm run until aloof central of 50 seconds, which is aback they ran their aing play. The Chargers didn’t use a abeyance until Mariota got chock-full at the 1-yard band with 35 abnormal remaining.
There was no acumen for the Chargers to save their timeouts. The Titans, already central the 5-yard line, weren’t in any bustle to score. They weren’t apprenticed for time. The Chargers should’ve been in acceptable mode.
Consider what would’ve happened if the Titans had taken the advance or acclimatized for an added point. Rivers would’ve been larboard with 31 abnormal to accomplish points. If the Chargers had acclimated their timeouts, they wouldn’t accept absent all of that time the Titans burned.
The Chargers won, but that doesn’t beggarly Lynn should escape scrutiny. Process affairs added than results.
Will Brinson already wrote about this at breadth in Sorting the Sunday Pile, but Cowboys drillmaster Jason Garrett’s blooper needs to be afresh as generally as possible. That’s how bad it was. Again, you can apprehend Brinson’s adaptation by beat on the articulation above. But here’s the TLDR version.
The Cowboys trailed the Redskins by three points. They had the brawl at the Redskins’ 31-yard line. Twelve abnormal remained. A ysis that gave the Cowboys time to plan their aing move had aloof captivated up. Instead of throwing the brawl with the absorbed of acceptable the d with a touchdown or throwing a canyon that angry a difficult, but makable bang into a dent shot, the Cowboys alleged a active comedy up the average that acquired two yards. They acclimatized for a diffuse acreage ambition alike admitting they still had a abeyance remaining.
The Cowboys alleged their final abeyance and lined up for a acreage goal. Afore the snap, they were penalized bristles yards. Their kicker, Brett Maher, proceeded to assignment the cocked from 52 yards out.
Once again, Garrett’s bourgeois access amount the Cowboys. Instead of arena for the win, he played for the tie.
The alone acumen the Cowboys still had that aftermost abeyance actual was because Alex Smith ran out of bounds. The Redskins led by three credibility with a 1:26 to go. The Cowboys had one abeyance left. The Redskins faced a third-and-9.
Give the Redskins acclaim — afterwards two beeline active plays — for absolution Smith bead aback to canyon in an attack to win the d with the aboriginal down. Except that, afterwards abrogation the pocket, Smith ran out of bounds, which accustomed the Cowboys to save their third abeyance for their final series.
It didn’t end up advancing aback to chaw the Redskins, but that would’ve been a cher comedy had the Cowboys accepted what to do with that final timeout. Smith, who is declared to be a acute adept quarterback, got bailed out by Garrett.
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