Interesting games yesterday. The Colts got through, but Manning was typically underwhelming as is his wont in the postseason. Three interceptions after only throwing nine in the previous sixteen games doesn’t bode well for a matchup with the Ravens. The Colts defense did a nice job of containing Larry Johnson, although Herm Edwards and the Chiefs offensive coordinator were equally important in keeping Kansas City from getting anywhere on offense.
Not the greatest game, I told the WB that it was game over after the Chiefs came away with no points from Ty Law’s first interception return. Harrison may have caused that INT, but he did a great job getting back to keep Law out of the end zone, foreshadowing Babineaux’s amazing play on Romo. Both plays were great lessons on how crucial it is to keep playing, especially given the way Gramatica could have given Romo the step he needed if he’d only slowed Babineaux down a half-second.
And speaking of the NFC game, I’ve never been a big Mike Holmgren fan, but I thought the Walrus outcoached the Tuna last night. I liked his decision to go for the touchdown instead of kicking the field goal, that safety that resulted from the failed TD shot wasn’t mere luck, it was a reasonable possibility given the fact that he was handing the ball over to what is essentially a rookie quarterback on the one yard line in the fourth quarter of a playoff game. That was a better play than taking the field goal and hoping for a defensive stop with Dallas starting from the 35.
Drew Bledsoe even called that safety before it happened in his live blog of the game.
Parcells, in my opinion, made a serious mistake in going for the field goal, although not because Romo happened to botch the hold. Even though Dallas had successfully drawn all of Seattle’s timeouts, handing the ball over to Hasselbeck with 1:30 and hoping that his underwhelming secondary is going to keep the Seattle offense from driving the forty yards they’d need for the game winner was simply not a good probability play.
I’ve noticed that NFL coaches, even the good ones, often lack the ability to go for the kill after they’ve put themselves in a position to take it. Seattle was definitely the better team last night, and without the good fortune of the first playoff kick return in Dallas history, the Cowboys aren’t even in the game at the end. If you get that last shot, you have to take it!
Going for it on fourth-and-goal to force Seattle to go 65 yards to score a TD in 90 seconds instead of 40 for an FG is worth the risk, especially since a two-point conversion has them likely playing for OT and not the win. I suspect Parcells went with the field goal because Marion Barber has a surprisingly horrible record on third- and fourth-and one, two of twenty-two if I heard correctly last night.