Friday, November 20, 2009

Take a Knee, MJD

I'd really like to update this blog more, but about 47.2 college papers get in the way every week. Seriously, I'm dying to burn through my thoughts on the Jags/Jets game (which I attended!) and the angstiest fans around. Seriously, listen to Jets Radio after a loss--all the call-ins pretty much follow the same formula: "Wana wana waaah! Our team sucks. Not even our defense is good anymore. Why does Brett Favre have to be an MVP candidate THIS year?" Better yet, the radio announcers maintain this cute sense of hope throughout the hole ordeal: "The Jets haven't clicked yet. But it can still happen, and maybe we'll click next week up in New England. Everybody in that locker room just needs to stop looking around at each other and take it upon themselves. Then things'll click. Or maybe they won't click till next season, I dunno."

Anyway, I thought it'd be worth my while to throw in my dice on Maurice Jones-Drew's controversial kneel down at the 1-yard line. My dad and I watched him stumble from our seats down around the 10, and my initial reaction was to slam the panic button. Since MJD's legs normally never stop churning, I thought he tore his ACL or something. As a life-long Jags fan, I've seen Fred Taylor go down more than enough times, and I've come to expect unfortunate injuries.

Thankfully, 'Mighty Mouse' (or 'Pocket Hercules' or 'Bowling Bowl' or whatever the NFL analysts insist on calling him) only took a knee to kill the play with around a minute left on the clock. Once I realized this, I thought it was brilliant. Our defense is gassed, but now the Jets won't get the ball back. Perfect.

Perfect in theory. Coach Del Rio executed the closing minute terribly (even though the Jags did win the game).

See, when you have timeouts, a couple downs to blow, and an opportunity to kick a field goal at the end of the game, there's a textbook way to handle it:

1) Kick the ball on 3rd down, not 4th - If there's a botched snap, at least you have one more try.

2) Leave at least 10 seconds on the clock - This goes hand in hand with #1. If you do botch the snap, at least there will be time left on the clock to allow for one more play. And you know what? If you do make the kick on one try, there's only about five seconds left. And, oh by the way, the Jets' biggest kick return threat, Leon Washington, is on IR.

3) Make sure you have a timeout left - If I remember correctly, they did have a timeout left, but Del Rio ignored my first two points anyway.

So why did Del Rio force Josh Scobee to kick on 4th down with just three seconds left on the clock? He wasn't thinking. And that's why there's debates going on about the MJD-Knee. If Del Rio performed like a clock management maestro, only MJD's fantasy owners would be complaining. Regardless, I loved the call. It just could've been handled better.

Oh, and how about my boy, Mike Sims-Walker? Here's a stat: The Jags are 5-1 this season when MSW gets the start. Give him two years, and he'll be in the Pro Bowl.