Originally Posted by Rohirrim
I think the loss of Moreno was a major factor in that final call. Hillman was going down on first contact. PM had to know, by that point, that he had no play action to work with. It was going to be a straight toss, and probably a heavy blitz. I don't know what the Ratbirds were playing at that moment, but I assume it was at least a nickle package. Maybe even dime? I'm guessing that everything he saw on that field screamed "RUN." Does anybody know the routes that were called on that play? I'm guessing it would be something designed to empty the middle and pull off Lewis? So what do you do? Bubble screen? Dump off to a back? Screen? Flat? Hook route? You've got two out of three chances that something bad is going to happen, and an incomplete doesn't burn any clock.
Agree that losing Moreno at half really effect the Offense flow and rhythm the whole second half until they got it back in sync some of the last two drives learing up to the DT touchdown.
But on that TD drive to DT there was no Moreno and we still managed to combine effective passing and running to go 91 yards and score from deep in their redzone!
And using this reason for why Fox had Manning take a knee with 32 seconds left and 2 TOs from our own 20 is all the more reason why we should have gone for the much simpler 1st down when it was right in front of us and when the Ravens D had was flagging a bit, particular their secondary, after the long 91 yard drive and a quick stop of Ravens O giving us the ball back with something like 3:20 to go!
You get taht last first down and no more scoring or moving up and down the field would ever be necessary and any possibility, however remote it may have appeared on a stats spread sheet would have been irrelevant!
This is what I fault Foxy for, they didnt even consider it. He was conservative not going for it with 30 seconds left in the first half and two TOs then as well trying to at least get in FG range again to allow Prater to make it a 3 point lead at half .. which .. as it turns out would have won it in regulation as well inspite of Flaccos 7 yard Hail Mary TD!!
His first and last instinct was 'to play the safer odds' again with 3:20 to go and a 7 point lead on the line and finally yet again he abdicated for all these seemingly sound and careful rationals expressed in the opening post of this thread! .. But each one of those was the WRONG decision.
It robbed of of three golden opportunites to either put points on the board at the very end of the half or at end of regulation and preventing any more scoring even being needed if we go for a single first down and mean it!
Fox even admitted he wasnt even TRYING to get a first down, only trying to run a bit of time off the clock and eat of their last TOs.
Listen, I like Fox a lot and wouldn;t dream of suggesting he be fired over this, that is idiotic.... But I do want him to own up to just maybe making a mistake in his calls here ... three chances to score or close out the game with PMFM behind center and he takes the calculated conservative way out EACH time!!
There are games when the flow if it and how it has unfolded and the given opponent would make me agree with his philosophy .. this wasnt one of them. Its exactly what I cautioned about in several post game threads after we won big but allowed the other team to score multiple times and made the score a lot closer than it should have been or the how well we trashed the team!
I was concerned for the habit and prescedent set in teh players mind.. That tighten up and play not to lose rather than knowing when to go for it and at least do your best to get a first down,.
some of you act like it is a forgone conclusion Manning woulkd have thrown an INT if we only had 7 yards for a first ( actually I would have told him to mix one run and two passes into those three plays .. whatever mix Manning felt the defense and the circumstance called for to get a SAFE first down.
Any passes could only be those where it was our guy or nobody catching the ball! The Ravens knew what we were going to do, Flacco was warming up and so was their FG kicker on the sidelines before we even started the last series of 3 dive plays and a cloud of dust and then punt!
Stats are fine and whatever cold hard football 'fact' you want to pull out is fine for debates but when the game was clearly on the line and we had a golden chance to NOT give the ball back to Flacco who has the best deep long ball in the NFL and had torched us three or four times on long balls already including two TDs.... it was the riskiest play it turns out to NOT PLAY TO WIN right then and there!
The Odds of Manning risking a difficult and dangerous throw in that particular circumstance was a bout ZERO!.. the odds of him getting a first down when he tells everyone on the team 'Play this play like its your last and we end this game" I will take that chance any day of the year!!