Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Thursday night football kicked off with a bang with two 6-2 teams facing off. The Ravens looked flat to start and it had the makings of a blow-out, but wound up being an exceptionally entertaining game. It also came with several story-lines at the end of it. Wow, Matt Ryan morphed into an elite QB before our eyes! Wow, the reffing in the game was questionable! Wow, Joe Flacco can't get off to a good start on the road! Wow, the Ravens defense is no longer one to be feared!

Lost in the shuffle of the hoop-la was a terrible decision by Mike Smith that almost wound up costing the Falcons the game. Early in the 4th quarter, Ryan dumped the ball off to Roddy White for a touchdown that seemed like it may have been the nail in the coffin for the Ravens. The score put the Falcons up 19-7 with 11:39 to play.

And Mike Smith sent in the kicking team to kick the extra point.

If you've been watching this season at all, you know the end of the story. Matt Ryan leads a terrific, final minute drive; capping it with a perfect down-field TD pass to White. But the decision to go for one instead of two in that spot should be under far more scrutiny than it seems to be.

11:39 is precisely the spot where a team should always go for two points when taking a 12 point lead...
- There isn't really enough time for a team to get a TD, xpt and two field goals.
- There is plenty of time for a team to get two TDs.
- The team losing will always need more than a TD and FG to tie or win the game.

And had the Falcons lost the game, the decision could easily have been argued to have been one of if not the most critical one that cost the Falcons the game. Go for two and make it, and you're at least going to force OT, rather than be required to drive the field or face a loss. It's one Smith should probably be taking more heat for than he seems to be.

It also seems to be a shining example of how results oriented the media is when it comes to sports.

1 comment:

  1. We had a famous finish just two weeks ago where a team was down 14 in the 4th, and didn't go for 2 either.

    Both of these are clear math errors. You only don't go for 2 down 14 in the 4th if you're < 40% to make it [as described here earlier], and no team with an All-Pro/All-World RB is < 40% to make it....ROT rules the day.



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