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More Dumb Coaches 9 November 2008

by Tony Medley

There's 1:24 left in the first half. Pittsburgh is leading 17-7. Indianapolis has been woeful. Third and four inside Pittsburgh's 15 yard line. Indianapolis has burned all its timeouts. What do you do? You run the ball, burn off 30-45 seconds and punt, hoping that Indianapolis' ineffective offense can't drive 30-40 yards to get in place for a field goal, right? Not Pittsburgh's coach. He calls for a pass play! From his own 15! Interception, putting Indianapolis in easy field goal position without having to do much of anything.
Now it's time for Indianapolis' coach to be stupid. He runs the ball with 20 seconds left. The guy is tackled with 13 seconds left. It takes Indianapolis 4 seconds to figure, "Gee, we better call a timeout." But with 9 seconds left, Indianapolis throws a TD pass.
If Pittsburgh's coach just runs out the clock and punts, there's less than a 50% chance Indianapolis will get in position for a field goal. Instead, they got a touchdown and instead of a fairly commanding 10 point lead at half time, dominating the Colts, the Steelers dragged their behinds into the locker room with a bare three point lead and facing a huge momentum shift.
And you think coaches and managers know anything about the games they run?