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@GregC @supes2k1 @ZackRakes I think that's a very aggressive approach. Just because you throw there doesn't mean you convert. If the play isn't executed properly, it could be disastrous.
And after looking at Advanced NFL Stats explanation of WP, I'm not certain that they take timeouts remaining into consideration. The fact that the Seahawks had zero timeouts would impact their win probability.
10 months, 4 weeks ago on Monday Morning Moaner: Colts vs Seahawks
@ZackRakes @supes2k1 @GregC :: scratches head :: Didn't AV make the kick??
@GregC @supes2k1 I'm not questioning giving Luck a chance on 3rd down. I'm saying you should secure the points and milk the clock. The odds of winning go up drastically with a six point lead, 1:50 on the clock, no timeouts, from the 20.
Friendly disagreement. Thanks for engaging.
You're questioning giving a solid kicker a chance at a makeable kick -- like I said, he's had the leg on his two long misses, and he's been money on everything he's tried < 50 yards -- and you're doing so *after* he made it. That's what's strange to me.
I could understand being critical if AV missed. But he's been money inside 50 yards. And he hit a 52 yarder in preseason. And a 47 yarder and a 52 yarder in the playoffs against the Ravens. It's not like his leg has suddenly fallen off.
An incompletion on third down makes a comeback by the Seahawks much more plausible. It puts the Colts in 4th and 9, facing either a decision to go for it or a 52 yarder (and again, AV has missed both 50+ FGAs this season). You also are on the plus side of the two minute warning. Now what do you do?
I think trusting Luck is fine, but the rest of the team has to do their jobs as well. A missed block on a pass play results in a sack and pushes the team out of field goal range entirely. An incompletion stops the clock (and that could be a dropped pass or a tip at the line).
Running the ball guaranteed that the Seahawks couldn't benefit from clock stoppages. It resulted in a slightly closer FGA. That made FG forced the Seahawks to start at their 20, with no clock stoppages, needing to go all the way down the field for a touchdown. It was the right move.
And I'm generally in favor of coaches being more aggressive on 4th down, particularly in plus territory, rather than trying long FGs or punting. Especially when they have good QBs that can make plays. Pagano does trend overly conservative, IMO. But under those circumstances, I agree with the call that was made. The kicker came through and the defense came through.
I disagree with the criticism of the third down call at the end.
a) Running the ball on third down ate up the two minute warning. The Seahawks had no timeouts, and ensuring that they wouldn't get the ball on the plus side of the two minute warning was important.
b) Worrying about a kicker missing in hindsight -- after he made the kick -- is silly. He made the kick. And that's part of the reason they chose to run the ball on third down. He hasn't been good from 50+, but has made everything from inside 50. His two misses from 50+ were long enough, but just to the left. He still has the leg. But running the ball gave us a chance to gain more yards (gained three on the carry), and it kept the clock moving. An incompletion means you're facing 4th and 9, and have to choose between a 52 yarder and going for the first down.
c) Putting the defense out there with less than two minutes left and staked to a six point lead, at home, is part of the business. Nothing is guaranteed, whether the defense is playing well or not. But they were clearly fired up late in the game, having made some big plays, and they had the benefit of some rest (some of that coming from the decision to eat up the two minute warning). The defense has to get stops in that situation. And they will be needed to as the season goes on. No sense is trying to shield them from it.
Bonus point: The run play that was called on 3rd and 9 was actually a strong play call. The Seahawks are susceptible to trap plays, and if not for Castonzo and McGlynn failing to block the hole well, Brown might have picked up the first down.