While eagerly anticipating..."/>

While eagerly anticipating..."/>

What Were They Thinking?


While eagerly anticipating tomorrow night’s Eagles-Browns primetime tussle, I spent another Sunday flipping from game to game getting my money’s worth from Sunday Ticket. There were a number of tight games in Week 15, but I couldn’t help but notice some awful coaching blunders that led to losses for the Titans, Chiefs and Redskins. I’ve always believed that football is a simple game but it never ceases to amaze me how Head Coaches make it difficult. Here are three examples:

Jeff Fisher – After being outplayed the entire game by the upstart Texans, Tennessee had a golden opportunity to steal a victory trailing 13-12 at the two-minute warning. Facing a fourth and three at the Houston 32, a 49 yard field goal by Titans kicker Rob Bironas could have won it. Mind you, Bironas was 4-4 in the game, including a 51 yarder. What does Jeff Fisher decide to do? Go for the first down. So, Kerry Collins drops back and floats a deep ball incomplete down the left sideline. Texans take over on downs. Game over. Titans fall to 12-2. Some might call Fisher’s decision gutsy, but when homefield advantage in the AFC is still to be determined, I call Fisher’s choice stupid.

Herman Edwards – I love what Herm did when he was an Eagle, but he sucks as a Head Coach. Entering the fourth quarter, the Chiefs led 21-10 over the Chargers. Kansas City had been moving the ball at will against the Chargers’ defense, mainly via the pass. Instead of continuing to be aggressive and go for more points, Edwards elected to call off the dogs and run on 7 of 8 plays in the fourth quarter. They gained only one first down and scored zero points. In addition, they carelessly took two timeouts with nine minutes left, allowing more time for San Diego to make a potential comeback. What did the Chargers do? They scored two touchdowns in the final five minutes to take the lead. A last second field goal attempt by the Chiefs missed left. Did Edwards suddenly forget his defense was ranked 30th when he chose to play it conservative? I guess this is why the Chiefs are 2-13.

Jim Zorn – Trust me, I’m happy Zorn is such a bonehead, but earlier in the season I thought this guy was pretty sharp. He would stay committed to the run even when trailing by double digits. He recognized his best player was Clinton Portis and would continue to feed his franchise back late into games. Evidently, Clinton’s bitching and moaning this week angered the seemingly calm Zorn. With six minutes left in the third quarter the Redskins had a first and goal at the Bengals one yard line, down by seven points. Common sense dictates you hand the ball to your million-dollar workhorse back. What did Zorn do? On first down he called a pass intended for rookie tight end Fred Davis. It fell incomplete. On second down he called my least favorite play EVER: a “fullback dive” to Mike Sellers. The refs signaled a touchdown, but Sellers was clearly stopped. A Bengals challenge reversed the call. So, on third and goal, needing a touchdown to even the score in a season-saving game you gotta hand the ball to Portis, right? Wrong. Zorn (who calls the plays) dialed up another fullback dive. Sellers not only got stuffed, he fumbled. Cincinnati ball. Game over, season over for the Skins. If by not handing the ball to Portis was Zorn’s way of sending a message to his outspoken runner that he, the COACH, is in charge, I congratulate you Mr. Zorn. Message received, loud and clear. But I have a message for you,  Jim. Your season is over.

There is a fine line between failure and success in the NFL. With that in mind, you would think Head Coaches might utilize common sense, rather than overthink the simplest of decisions. Then again these guys get paid millions, so I’m in no position to criticize their coaching abilities, now am I?