No we are not talking about the Philly game of yester-year, but last Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field where the (5-5-1) Green Bay Packers hosted the (2-8-1) Minnesota Vikings.
Five twenty three (5:23) to go in the game, the Packers are down 10 with the ball at the 27 yard line. You need two scores to win or tie.
The book says you kick the field goal to save time on the game clock. True, if you miss the field goal the game is essentially over just as it would be if you go for it on fourth and one and don’t make it.
However, kicking a FG and missing it is different than going for it on fourth and one and missing it.
On a FG you are at least taking advantage of a scoring opportunity by trying to score right then knowing the clock is your enemy.
You miss going for it on fourth down means you do not take advantage of a scoring opportunity. Going for it with the season basically on the line was a reward not equal to the risk, by a large margin.
On the play in question Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy took the handoff, was nailed three yards behind the line of scrimmage, but the big bruiser kept plowing and spinning and sliding on his way to a first down.
Had it not been for such a Herculean effort by Lacy, the Pack would have had to give the ball over right then and there, with the game, for all intents and purposes, over.
After converting the fourth down into a first down the Packers did eventually go down and score a touchdown using up another two and a half minutes in the process and the rest is history.
So … did Coach Mike McCarthy error in his decision by going for it instead of kicking the FG and leaving much more time on the clock? In the Philly game mentioned above then-Packers Coach Mike Sherman chose not to go for it on fourth and one and I was steamed then for different reasons.
Here the other decision (to go for it) was made and I was steamed again.
Because the risk was just too high compared to the reward this time around. Fortunately Lacy made the first down and we are all happy he did, but when the coach plays with the house’s money he needs to go with the better odds given the scenario in the future.
Do you agree?