56 seconds, Dolphins at 2, Titans 3 TOs

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by Alex1939, Dec 20, 2009.

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  1. MJTitans

    MJTitans Chris Whitley look him up Tip Jar Donor

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    Oh, please. First, let me re-state that personally I would have called the timeouts and gone for the win. But you're acting like it's a completely invalid option to take it to overtime. That is what is silly. You're reading your own biased interpretation into the message it sends the team, and then building your argument around that. Don't argue with your opinions - argue with the facts:

    The defense has been on its heels for the entire half. The offense had been stuck, having only gained 30 yards in the entire quarter. We had just lost maybe the most important player on our defense in the 3rd Q. Having backed them up to their 2, Miami just hit a pretty significant 4 yard gain to give themselves some breathing room.

    Taking a TO with about 50 seconds with a MIA 2nd & 6 forces them to try to convert to prevent punting it back to us with favorable field position. Statistically 2nd & 6 is a favorable down for the offense. So playing the odds, taking the TO is slightly more likely to give them the 1st down they need to take a shot than to get us the ball back.

    You make it sound so cut and dry - going into OT was foolish? That is silly. I would have taken my chances - since the odds of them actually going 60+ yards in 50 seconds weren't great. But the other side of the argument is perfectly valid. Going to overtime gives your coaches a little more time to make sure they have the calls they want, and more time to refocus your players - get some oxygen. OT gives the game an entirely new perspective. Forgive me if that sounds like a cartoon to you - but it's called football.
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  2. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

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    Fisher not taking the timeouts in that situation was almost as dumb as Tomlin's decision to onside kick with a lead late in the game. If the Titans lose, I think it could have been the final nail for Fisher.
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  3. SEC 330 BIPOLAR

    SEC 330 BIPOLAR jive turkey

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    remember Marty Morninwheg blowing a lead then winning the overtime coin toss only to elect to take the wind? :ha:
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  4. Gut

    Gut Starter

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    Well, I'd have to go back and look at play by play, but the only relevant factors are that the D was tired and needed to regroup and they didn't get any help from the offense (going 3 and out). If they wanted to make some adjustments to what the Dolphins were doing, they would have need a few minutes. Breaking momentum too is understandable...

    But I think this was a bad idea for a few simple reasons.

    First, the Titans need to stop the Dolphins on 3rd down to get the ball back with a good chance of moving into FG range and kicking the game winner. We had the TO's to do it and Miami was severely backed up and Bironas has a huge leg.

    Second, allowing the Fish to go into overtime made me nervous for 2 obvious reasons. Our offense was no longer moving the ball while Miami's O had been having their way with our D. Perhaps even more disturbing is that I don't have much confidence in our special teams to stop a big return. A 'normal' return would have given the ball to Miami a good 20-30 yds closer to FG range than they were at the end of regulation.

    Third...so you're weighing stopping Miami from getting a first down and not giving up a big play vs hoping you win the coin toss in overtime and hoping the offense can get us into FG range OR they win the coin toss, hope we don't give up a big return, hope the better Field position for Miami is offset by our defensive adjustments and regrouping/momentum busting.

    NFL teams who don't have a Tom Brady, Peyton Manning typically run the ball in Miami's situation. They run it 3 times with the understanding that they are HOPING for a big play...but unless they get a big run, they are content to force the other team to burn it's to's so when they get the ball back, it's more difficult to get into fg range and kick the game winner. It is unlikely that the Dolphins would have thrown a pass on 3rd down and if they did, it would likely be a screen pass so they have a high chance of completing it and keeping the clock running whether they get the first or not.

    The odds were with the Titans using their t.o.'s and playing to win it in regulation...especially after they didn't call t.o. after the 1st down run. Call t.o. after 2nd and 3rd downs and still have one for a deep pass down the middle to get into fg range.

    Plus, if Miami had gotten a first down...say at the 15 or even 20 yd line on a short-medium pass...they still have to go 45-50 yds to have a chance at a very long FG. With 1 t.o. and no Peyton Manning, I take my chances with our D. I'm not gonna kill Fisher because his gamble worked out. But there have been a lot of bizarre coaching decisions made by coaches this season...Belicheck going for a 4th and 2 inside his own 30, Mike Tomlin trying an onside kick with 3mins to play with his team having a small lead, Fisher allowing the Fish to go into overtime where THEY won the coin toss. Funny thing is, the only one that worked (NE getting a first down) got blown by the refs so they lost, but both the Titans and Steelers both won their games anyway!

    It truly is why you have to play the games...anything can happen!

    Gut
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  5. Gut

    Gut Starter

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    Well...

    Perhaps, but I think Tomlin's was worse...simply because he was already WINNING the game and they are the Super Bowl champs with a good shot at the playoffs if they win out. The Titans coming from 0-6 were not supposed to be in a position to make it into the playoffs without a LOT of help.

    Imagine the fury if the Steelers lose BECAUSE of that onside kick try and miss the playoffs because of it? That and the disappointing play of the team this season could get Tomlin knocked out. He's no Belicheck in terms of job security and Aaron Rodgers is no Peyton Manning.

    While Fish would have taken a lot of heat (and rightly so), I think the fact that the team has come back so well from the 0-6 start would save his job.

    But bad decisions abound this year...

    Gut
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  6. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

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    If anything, this season has highlighted Fisher's weaknesses as a coach more than in season's past. Winning covers up a lot of issues and the Titans haven't done enough with the level of talent they have to cover up most of his poor decisions.

    When a coach is a key part of the reason a team goes 0-6 to begin with, it's hard to give him a lot of credit for a 7-1 turnaround.

    He won't be fired because Bud won't pay out the contract but the thought that the Titans couldn't do better than Fisher is now extremely debatable.
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  7. MJTitans

    MJTitans Chris Whitley look him up Tip Jar Donor

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    I still don't agree that not calling the TO was dumb... with a different result on 1st down I'd think differently. The 4 yard run is enough to make it a toss-up judgment call, IMO. But I agree with everything else. Fisher's decisions put us in the 0-6 hole.

    I'll give Fisher certain credit for the 7-1 turnaround - it's hard to keep a team fighting the way he did. And that's probably one of his strong points as a coach... he generally maintains the composure of the team. But the fact that the turnaround was sparked largely by him finally making the personnel decisions he should have made in the preseason (KR & DB), it's really frustrating. We all knew we needed a kick/punt returner and DB depth, and those positions alone likely cost the PIT game, probably the HOU game, and maybe JAX.

    Now those decisions to me are the dumb ones. The OT decision at least had some logic to it - whether you like the philosophy or not. Cutting your only proven kick returner the week before opening day is mind boggling. Leaving veteran DBs on the market when you have no depth and an aging starter isn't much better - having that starter go down and still sitting on it is inexcusable. And it probably cost us the playoffs in a year when I think we could have had a very good shot.
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  8. MJTitans

    MJTitans Chris Whitley look him up Tip Jar Donor

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    ... and yes, I'm assuming that Fisher was behind all personnel decisions this year. Not true for all teams, but we all know he called those shots.
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  9. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

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    Well, let's play out the situation if Fisher calls the timeout.

    1. The Titans stop the next play making it third-and-something, get a fumble, pick off a pass (which it's unlikely they would throw there).

    2. The Dolphins get the first down.

    If the Fins get the first, then not calling an additional timeout makes more sense. Miami has some room to work and their playbook opens up. But, on their own 15, you bet they'd play for overtime.

    But, if the Titans get them to third down inside their own 10 with two timeouts, the above scenario plays out again. The Titans had an advantage at that point.

    If they stop the Dolphins on third with their second timeout, the Titans force them to punt from their own endzone. Now you get a possible bad snap, blocked punt, return, etc. Even if the Titans were to get the ball on their own 45 with just one timeout, they have a shot to take a shot and give Bironas a shot in regulation.

    Fisher played this as if he thought the odds of Miami taking it down from their own four and have a shot at a FG with just a single timeout was a 50/50 situation. I just don't understand that mentality.

    If Fisher truly thought Miami had three timeouts at that point, then I'm as concerned.

    Most likely, nothing big happens even if Fisher uses the TOs but he didn't give his team a chance. If the goal of good coaching is to put your team in the best position to win, not giving your team a chance isn't good coaching.
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  10. MJTitans

    MJTitans Chris Whitley look him up Tip Jar Donor

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    On their own 15, with maybe 40 - 45 seconds left having just dug out of their own 2... I'd be shocked if they didn't at least take 1 shot down the middle. That's a lot of time on the clock for a team with 1 timeout going against the worst rated passing D in the league in a game where their season is on the line.

    Flip it around - if the roles were reversed... the Titans had been down 24-6 and completely took over in the 2nd half. Just marched for TDs on 2 long drives, gotten the tying 2-point conversion. Dug out of their 2 yard line with a first on their own 15 and 45 seconds left. And then kneel on it and play for OT. Everyone here would crucify Fisher for not at least taking 1 or 2 shots, right? I would.

    If so, then why assume Miami wouldn't have taken shots? I would have liked to see Fisher stop the clock and challenge the defense to give Bironas a chance. But under the circumstances I have trouble saying the decision was so clear cut. Maybe that decision was symbolic of other poor conservative decisions he's made - I just don't see this one as unreasonable.
    #60
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