Originally Posted by Beantown Bronco
Normally I'd agree, but in this case, what if Manning told you that they called for a pass, but Baltimore was in a dime defense and was playing pass, so he audibled to a run?
Because that is NOT what happened that's Why!!! Foxy admitted today in the post mort that on that series in question his main objective was indeed to drain clock time and not so much to get a first down!!
Nothing strange or unpredictable here folks, its Fox ball, conservative to the core at the end of games and sometimes at the end of halves and HIGHLY predictable such that he would run the same series of plays 10 times out of 10 times as he also noted today, regardless of past outcomes the previous nine times!!! I think that quote should define the word 'STUBBORN" in Websters new edition dictionary!
As the beginning of this thread notes, there are some defensible reasons and historical stats supporting such a philosophy. And in many game situations it may well be the right call and has been, but you HAVE to know where you are in a game of this magnitude and how the momentum and time element is either working for you or against going so 'safe' and playing not to lose as Foxy clearly did.
The problem is, those stats are not taking into account context and the moment in the game, the type of game ... freezing cold long game against a seasoned playoff hardened opponent with a strong armed Hail Mary completing QB that you are trying to punt the game back over too with 1:15 left after you fail to both get the first down AND not run out the clock leaving enough time for said LONG BALL Chukker Frozen Joe to heave at least two, maybe three, long bombs! The Ravens will take those odds any day of the week thank you and made it work out fine .. with a little help from Moore ... much to our demise!
If they are incomplete or knocked down he still has time for another try and one of three things will happen, two of them good or at least neutral for the Ravens .. a neutral outcome in one option at least until they get to the last throw where time runs out if they don't make a TD:
Joe completes the Alley Ooop Hail Mary past a hapless Broncos Rahim Moore and a confused Tony Carter who let JAcoby streak past while he considered whether he might try to run with him and Moore was drifting back in the general direction of where Jacoby was heading but apparently was dreaming of his Bahamas vacation about to start rather than making a real effort to get a better angle on the ball and come in from at least behind the WR to either jump and knock the ball down or INT is and if all else fails and the Jones catches it at least be there in position for a guarantee tackle to also end the game.
No way the whole team, including all the fatties on the Oline recover from the shock of actually completing that pass and all get down there and lined up properly to snap the ball for a FG attempt in 18 seconds left which is what would have been left at most after the long route was run, pass caught and tackle made!
But NOOOOO! Moore at the critical point of his life to date was totally out to lunch..... this is why Fox, in all his "play it safe statistical odds' bet against PMFManning trying to deliberately get that first down on the last three plays we had the ball before punting to Ravens, for the win and to end it all right there rather than leave it up to either Jacob Hester or Ronnie Hillman trying to run over Haloti Ngata, Suggs and Ray Lewis on 3 successive DIVE PLAYS to save the day .... I know I would bet on Manning any day over Hillman or Hester for a 7 yard dive play between guard and center into the teeth of the Ravens front 7 when they all know it is coming!
...Or, god forbid rely on the porous weaker members of our secondary when a smart Ravens OC sends Boldin and Smith out to the left side of the field to draw Champ and Harris out of action and then toss the called play to the right deep sideline to speedy Jones with only Carter and Moore anywhere near the play at all!
Its very clear the Ravens knew how to take advantage of our very POOR situational awareness error in trying to follow the simple 'Stats rule' described in the first post of this thread, and forget what kind of game you were in and the fact that Manning is one of the best in the NFL history at grabbing a first down when the team really MUST have it!
the Pass is incomplete or we knock it down, that works as a neutral outcome on maybe two Hail Mary attempts max for the Ravens leaving then one last Hail Mary attempt to tie the game.. each incomplete stops the clock.
. Rahim Moore instead of crapping the season away actually makes the play that Champ later swears he makes 99 times out of a 100 in practice and shares Hero status with Manning and DT for winning the game and keeping us alive for another week at least.
Alas, we all know what happened.
Insight-fully Elway said today that as long as everyone on the team takes this pain and the lessons learned from their mistakes and does NOT GET TOO DEFENSIVE and instead really digest what happened and determine to improve and not make the same mistake again, then this game can really serve as the spring board to bigger and better things.
But if they (See Fox in his interview) just brush off the hard questions and not address them head on and acknowledge and learn from the lost opportunities, then we are more likely going to have to experience them again!!
I really hope Foxy and the players got the not so subtle message from The Duke who finally learned them well after the 1996 Jags game and will take it to heart!?