You simply can not win in the NFL if you are afraid. That was put on full display in yesterday’s two Championship games. It’s not a surprise that the teams who took chances to win, actually won. While the coaches who coached scared, lost in embarrassing fashion.
Take the first game of the day, Bucs and Packers.
Nevermind the questionable play calling throughout the entire game, wasted turnovers or the fact that Aaron Rodgers was seemingly AFRAID to run the ball almost all day.
With just over two minutes left to go in the game, at the 8-yard line, down by 8 points, Matt LafLeur inexplicably decided to kick a field goal. There are layers to this type of stupidity.
A field goal is worth 3 points. You are down 8 points. Simple math tells us you’ve cut your deficit down to 5 points. Meaning, YOU STILL NEED A TOUCHDOWN TO WIN! You have accomplished NOTHING! I guess now you won’t have to go for two if you score? But who’s to say you even get another chance! Spoiler alert, they didn’t With no guarantee you can get the ball back, you go for the touchdown when you’re that close. That’s winning, championship football.
Another reason you don’t coach like a hufflepuff is because you are going against THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME! We’ve all seen how this movie plays out! A team goes conservative in crunch time and Brady makes you pay. Every. Single. Time. It’s what he does. It’s part of why he’s the GOAT. Everyone in the world knew the Packers weren’t getting the ball back in that game. Well, everyone except LaFleur apparently.
And even if, worst case scenario, you go for it on 4th and don’t get it, you still set the Bucs up deep in their own territory! Which is better than if you kick your worthless field goal and kick it off back to them! There was literally no worst thing you could do in that situation other than go for a field goal. And that was the nail in the coffin for Green Bay.
But fields goals reared their ugly head in the night game too, don’t you worry!
Sean McDermott loves field goals. In fact, he was so obsessed with kicking them yesterday that I think he has some strange fetish with watching a football go through the uprights. Because he had no interest in scoring touchdowns in that game whatsoever.
During the Bills first drive of the game, they move the ball all the way down to the Chiefs 33 only to get forced into a 4th and 3 situation. NOW, in a regular season game, you take the points and move on. But you’re playing Patrick Mahomes with a chance at a Super Bowl berth, you can’t play conservative. You know the Chiefs aren’t in the business of kicking field goals. They like 7’s. But what do you do? You lose your balls and kick for 3.
Okay, this can be explained away I guess. You get that close, you take the points against the Chiefs cause you need as many as you can get. I agree. That’s why you should’ve attempted to keep the drive giong and go for a touchdown. But oh well.
Fast forward to the end of the half. The Bills are losing big, 21-9. Clearly you are going to need touchdowns to beat KC, but not in McDermott’s mind.
You are at the Chiefs TWO YARD LINE on 4th down, and you….kick a field goal? Making the score 21-12 which, using simple math again, STILL KEEPS IT A TWO SCORE GAME! The Bills coaching staff either failed out of elementary school math or they’re a group of brainless, spineless idiots. Those are the only choices.
And what was his reasoning for taking field goals instead of trying to get touchdowns?
“We were having trouble coming up with points, and I wanted to at least have something to show for it going into the half, especially knowing they were getting the ball after half.”
THIS IS EXACTLY WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE TRIED TO SCORE A TOUCHDOWN! Correct me if I’m wrong, but 7 is more than 3, correct? Okay, so if you know your offense is having trouble scoring, and you finally get WITHIN 10 YARDS OF SCORING, why would you take less points knowing how tough it’s been for you to score?
If you don’t get the 4th down conversions, guess what, it makes no difference! You’re still down multiple scores. If you DO get the conversion and the subsequent touchdown, you have scored MORE points and you’ve actually impacted your teams chance of winning. THIS WASN’T A DIFFICULT DECISION!
And since the Chiefs are getting the ball back, and will likely go down and score, you are going to need all the points you can get. So your own reasoning doesn’t even back up your idiotic, scared play calling.
The better teams and better coaches very clearly won last night. Moral of the story being you can’t win in this league with field goals when you’re going up against talented offenses. It’s that simple.