What did Matt Flynn (Packers), Andrew Luck (Colts), Geno Smith (Jets), Nick
Foles (Eagles), Carson Palmer (Cardinals), Mike Glennon (Buccaneers), and Eli
Manning (Giants) all have in common on Monday morning after Week 13? All were
pretty sore as all were sacked so often they lost on average at least 1 yard
per pass attempt. Ouch. That hurts. At least Luck, Foles and Manning came away
with a win for their physical sacrifice.
Two weeks ago doubters of San Francisco QB Colin Kapernick were starting to get
loud. But the last two weeks against Washington and St. Louis Kaepernick has
generated infinite productivity and looked like his Super Bowl-self. It will be
interesting to see if he can maintain that level of play when Seattle makes its
last visit to Candlestick Park.
As readers of the QuantCoach know, a head coach can commit no greater sin than
to be a mere spectator. Still, frequently, it's perfectly fine for a coach to
just watch a field goal attempt. As QC's 8th Commandment holds, the play design for a field
goal attempt has been perfected so there is really nothing for a coach to do.
So 'Ol QC really does not know what to make of Chicago coach Marc Trestman
ordering up a potentially game-winning 47-yard field goal in overtime from
usually reliable kicker Robby Gould in a dome ... ON JUST 2nd DOWN.
Trestman has been buried for the decision but his logic that he feared that a
negative play or penalty could take the Bears out of Gould's field goal range
is arguably sound. And, he had just seen Minnesota lose what would have been a
game-winning field goal when a face mask penalty and a 3-yard loss on an Adrian
Peterson run turned Blair Walsh's successful 3rd DOWN 39-yard field goal
into an unsuccessful 4th down 57-yard field goal attempt. Trestman probably
over-thought the situation a little and should have tried to get a little
closer. But that is a venial sin compared to the mortal sin of simply watching
and doing what coaches always do without thought. In a nutshell, Trestman's
decision put the Bears fate on a the most perfectly designed play in
football--a field goal attempt--and the execution of that perfectly designed
play on one of his most reliable players (Gould). While it did not work out in
the short-term, in the long-term that is a strategy that will win a lot of