FanDuel - WFBC

October 09, 2007

Nick of Time: Folk's 53-Yard Field Goal Caps Dramatic Comeback : While there seems to be different versions of the story, there is a theory that Wade Phillips was eventually fired in Buffalo because of the Music City Miracle some seven years ago. So it was only fitting that is in his first trip back to Buffalo as a head coach, Phillips and the Cowboys pulled out a miracle of their own

posted by BornIcon to football at 08:22 AM - 42 comments

First it was Mike Shanahan of the Broncos, then it was Lane Kiffen of the Raiders. This time, Bills head coach Dick Jauran tries to 'ice' a kicker with a ridiculous timeout just as Cowboys kicker Nick Folk made his first attempt at a 53-yarder. I know that this tactic isn't against the rules but I'm getting real tired of these officials allowing a timeout to take place after the kick is made. Regardless, Folk made good on his second attempt at the 53 yard field goal and the Bills were last seen with their tail between their legs knowing that they let the game slip away.

posted by BornIcon at 08:38 AM on October 09

Simple answer: go back to having only the players call timeouts. It seems so nefarious — a coach lurking in the shadow of a referee, then springing out at the last moment to make his call. I'm waiting for the next kicker who misses a second try to go after that opposing coach.

posted by jjzucal at 09:07 AM on October 09

I don't like the timeout after the kick either. The coaches are calling the timeout at a time when they know the ball will already be kicked by the kicker. I don't think they should get a timeout if the ball gets snapped before the refs stop the play. I know it's not against the rules but it seems like it shouldn't be allowed if the kick is going to be away before anyone but the coach and one ref know there was a timeout.

posted by Familyman at 09:08 AM on October 09

I agree, but I think it will end once it backfires on a coach, i.e. kicker misses first attempt, but gets a second shot and cashes it in. The coach will get blamed for the loss, and other coaches will think twice about it. It's only a matter of time before it happens.

posted by TheQatarian at 09:37 AM on October 09

The timeout is only allowed if it happens before the snap. The coaching tactic is to wait until seconds before the snap. They alert the official beforehand to let them know they will be calling one. Usually in a close game the kicking team doesn't realize the timeout until after the kick. You can see Jauron on the sidelines calling it before the kick and asking for it seven or eight times before the ref makes the signal. I do not agree that only players can call timeout. It wouldn't change anything in this situation. You would just have a player stand next to an official, warn him you will be calling timeout and do the same thing. I do not like the tactic, but you really can't change the rule. Only offense is allowed to call a timeout on a field goal attempt? What if defense only has ten players on the field? I hope it does backfire on a coach as Qatarian mentioned, but you can't change the rule without compromising a lot of other rules already in place.

posted by urall cloolis at 09:58 AM on October 09

I do not agree that only players can call timeout. It wouldn't change anything in this situation. You would just have a player stand next to an official, warn him you will be calling timeout and do the same thing....but you can't change the rule without compromising a lot of other rules already in place. The rule before was that only players in the game could call timeout. The difference here is that if a player on the field calls timeout, the other players on the field (and fans and coaches and anyone else for that matter) can see it as it happens. Watching a team kick a field goal and then looking around to see if there is an official who thinks a timeout was called even though no one on the field knew it happened and the play was not stopped is ludicrous.

posted by bender at 10:05 AM on October 09

Watching a team kick a field goal and then looking around to see if there is an official who thinks a timeout was called even though no one on the field knew it happened and the play was not stopped is ludicrous. That's exactly it. The rule should be that the official on the field has to blow the whistle before the snap.

posted by bperk at 10:11 AM on October 09

Couple of comments on the kick-timeout thing - While "Jaws" can say it's strategy, I think it's cowardly and the rule will be changed in the offseason - Tomlin for the Steelers had a situation like this before half time and he stood by the ref like he was going to call timeout but never did. Good thing too as the kicker missed the kick and if he would have done it, the kicker would have gotten a second attempt. I think he chose not to do it because he doesn't like it either. - The simple answer is don't allow timeouts on a FG attempt if the clock is already stopped

posted by bdaddy at 10:12 AM on October 09

As to the game itself, best game I've seen since VY in the Rose bowl. Though I'm no cowboy fan, they got hosed on 2 calls (blatant faceguarding on Owens on the 2 pt conversion and the fact that no whistle blew before the snap on the spike play after the Owens catch...that play should have stood since they spiked the ball before a review was called). And what luck on the onsides...if they would have recovered it at the 10 yard spot they probably would have never gotten in FG range with that time left and no timeouts...but it bounces off someone and goes 20 yards downfield setting them up for a couple of short plays to get in range. And why on earth were those 2 five yard out routes so open on the last drive to setup the FG (especially the last one)? You knew that was the only place they could go with the ball and still get a kick off. Buffalo deserved to lose for that alone.

posted by bdaddy at 10:17 AM on October 09

My problem with "icing the kicker" with those TOs is that it seems the play should never take place to begin with. There should be a system in place that as soon as a TO is taken, the play is DEAD. I realize that the coach is on the sideline, but it is so covert that nobody on the field has a chance to covert. That's my problem with it. Fix the rules for sufficient communication and warning so no play takes place after a TO.

posted by jmd82 at 10:29 AM on October 09

The timeout rule should depend on whether officials are notified in time to whistle the play dead. If a coach waits long enough that the officials can't communicate the timeout fast enough, no timeout. Those timeouts are bad TV. They take one of the most exciting plays in the sport -- the last-second field goal, and reduce it to an officiating challenge. I was disappointed the announcing team said nothing about faceguarding on the missed two-point conversion. Wade Phillips even put his hand on his face to tell the refs the call should have been made, but all they could talk about was how great the defender's play was. As an aside, Tony Kornheiser is the worst announcer in the history of MNF. No in-game insight at all and jokes that are so telegraphed Henny Youngman wouldn't have told them. Dennis Miller and two of his clones could call a better game.

posted by rcade at 10:44 AM on October 09

As an aside, Tony Kornheiser is the worst announcer in the history of MNF. He seems to live in his own world where he is the only one thinking what he says is relevant. A bit of a Fool on the Hill. What a game. Buffalo was all over it and didn't deserve to lose. My Cowboys must have eaten a busload of Lucky Charms before the game.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 11:08 AM on October 09

I'm no Cowboy fan but that was a great game. The whole time I was watching the game I was telling my son that Buffalo was going to loose the game. In a game where every call, fumble, and lucky break is going your way and you are sill unable to put away the other team, only bad things can happen. It was pretty fun to watch those Buffalo players, doing their end zone dances, holding up their we're one fingers acting like they one the Super Bowl after every good play, only to see them walk off the field stunned. Hopefully next time they will realize to save the celebrating for the locker room after they actually win. Dallas deserves credit for never giving up and staying calm when everything was going bad. Romo showed great poise in forgetting about what happened a play earlier and doing what needed to be done now. How bad of a team do you have to be to get 5 interceptions, return two for touchdowns, score a kick return touchdown and still manage to loose? With the exception of the defensive and special team scores the real key was Buffalo's offense only put 3 points on the board. Pitiful, I have never seen a team so deserving of defeat as the Bills were last night. I totally disagree with Texan_lost _in_NY. Buffalo deserved to loose that game. I wasn't Dallas that was lucky last night it was Buffalo. Every point Dallas got was hard earned. On the other hand Buffalo was handed 21 points and still couldn't win. The total faceguarding that didn't get called on the two point conversion, the rightfully overturned reception, the cheesy time out, every possible dagger to the heart of Dallas couldn't help those looser Bills avoid the defeat. They didn't deserve to win, not because they didn't make some big plays, but because they couldn't do anything else. If it weren't for Dallas' bad luck they would have outscored Buffalo 42 to 3.

posted by Atheist at 11:35 AM on October 09

I'm still trying to figure out how this is a "miracle." It's not like the Cowboys were down 35 points with a minute left to play and scored seven straight touchdowns in 55 seconds. Now that would be a miracle. The Cal - Stanford kickoff return was a miracle. The Music City Miracle was, well, that would be a redundant miracle, but you get the point. I agree, it was a thrilling game, and certainly more competitive than I thought it was going to be, but a miracle? Hell, that wasn't even the longest field goal in the league this week, much less this year. When the rook trots out and nails an NFL record 65-yarder to win with double zeros on the clock, I might go with "miracle." Otherwise, I consider last night's game merely a "thriller," or possibly even a "nail biter," both of which I would still rank as pretty good.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:59 AM on October 09

Sigh. Will Buffalo ever cheer again, in any sport? Gotta feel for the fans.

posted by diastematic at 12:29 PM on October 09

I was disappointed the announcing team said nothing about faceguarding on the missed two-point conversion. Wade Phillips even put his hand on his face to tell the refs the call should have been made, but all they could talk about was how great the defender's play was. Absolutely, and I was thinking the same thing. "Why aren't the announcers talking about faceguarding?", then when I saw Wade Phillips wave his hand in his face I said "At least Jaws will recognize what that means and mention the facegaurding", but he was too busy "joking" with Kornheiser. Heaven forbid they actually pay attention to the game. Now I do like Kornheiser, but he doesn't add much of anything to the game itself. He's simply there for the comedic value, which is fine, but it distracts the real analyst (Jaws) from his input.

posted by bdaddy at 01:03 PM on October 09

I'm still trying to figure out how this is a "miracle." It's not like the Cowboys were down 35 points with a minute left to play and scored seven straight touchdowns in 55 seconds. Now that would be a miracle. The Cal - Stanford kickoff return was a miracle. The Music City Miracle was, well, that would be a redundant miracle, but you get the point. I don't see the difference between say the Music City Miracle and this game. Dallas scored 9 points in 20 seconds to win the game. To even do that they got an onside kick that took an incredible bounce to get them closer to FG range. They then completed 2 passes with under 18 seconds and no timeouts to give a rookie kicker, whose career long was 47 yards, a shot to win the game, which he did TWICE. That's way more miraculous than a kick return gadget play in my book.

posted by bdaddy at 01:09 PM on October 09

Those timeouts are bad TV. They take one of the most exciting plays in the sport -- the last-second field goal, and reduce it to an officiating challenge I have to agree with that sentiment. I'm still trying to figure out how this is a "miracle." It's not like the Cowboys were down 35 points with a minute left to play and scored seven straight touchdowns in 55 seconds. Now that would be a miracle. Considering that the Cowboys looked flat from jump street, the miracle is that my 'Boys still found the will & heart to continue to play and look what happened, a miracle!!

posted by BornIcon at 01:22 PM on October 09

It may have been 100% legal and "the way things are done these days," but that doesn't mean there wasn't a cheapness to it. I agree that the hidden time-out trick is bad TV, and it completely messes with what should be the climactic moment of the game. But the NFL does that a lot. A coach whispering time-out into an official's ear isn't entertainment, and it sure as hell isn't in the spirit of the game. It's just sneaky and weaselly, and I won't like it any more the next dozen or more times we see it this year.

posted by chicobangs at 01:47 PM on October 09

I'm still trying to figure out how this is a "miracle." I think if you had pulled phillips to the side before the game and said "you have to win this game, but fyi your quarterback is going to throw 5 interceptions with 2 returned for touchdowns, he's going to lose a fumble, and you're going to have a kickoff return for a touchdown against you" his response would be "it will take a miracle for us to win". And this isn't even getting into the rookie kicker having to kick his longest field goal ever not once, but twice. Espn is saying this is the first time in history (as far as they can tell so far) a team has ever had two interceptions and a kickoff returned for touchdowns and still won the game. In fact, I'd say when you look at the big picture this is far more of a miracle than some fluke play at the end of a game. And I agree with chico, legal doesn't mean the timeout wasn't cheap.

posted by justgary at 01:52 PM on October 09

It's just sneaky and weaselly... Totally agree. And it really wouldn't be too hard to change the rule while still allowing teams to call a timeout if they legitimately need one. Just say on a field goal attempt in the final minute of a half, only a player on the field can call a timeout. You could even designate which player that has to be. At least then other players on the field would likely see it. I like the idea of no timeouts on a field goal if the clock's already stopped. It's more drastic and could actually punish a defensive team, but it would be a lot better for viewers.

posted by SummersEve at 02:06 PM on October 09

No time outs on a field goal will not work. How do you know it is not going to be a fake? Or what if the offensive team shifts into a shotgun formation? The defense should be able to call a timeout if the formation changes, or even if they are suspicious. I do not like the idea of calling a timeout just before the ball is snapped to ice the kicker, but I have not heard an acceptable solution. Making the players call it may help a little, but it does not stop it.

posted by tjeffrey at 02:41 PM on October 09

The difference here is that if a player on the field calls timeout, the other players on the field (and fans and coaches and anyone else for that matter) can see it as it happens. If the players on the field are looking around at players that might possibly call a timeout they are not doing their job. As I stated nothing would prevent a player warning an official beforehand he will be calling timeout and then just before the snap turning to the official and making the call. The kicking team if doing their job properly would not have the time to see it, stop playing and not take the kick. I do not agree that only players can call timeout. It wouldn't change anything in this situation. You would just have a player stand next to an official, warn him you will be calling timeout and do the same thing....but you can't change the rule without compromising a lot of other rules already in place. Bender- please do not chop up my statements and quote them. Quote them entirely, seperately or not at all or you give the impression that what you quoted was how it was said. Between the ... you quoted me on I agreed that I do not like the tactic and hope that it comes back to backfire against a coach.

posted by urall cloolis at 02:53 PM on October 09

If the players on the field are looking around at players that might possibly call a timeout they are not doing their job. As I stated nothing would prevent a player warning an official beforehand he will be calling timeout and then just before the snap turning to the official and making the call. The kicking team if doing their job properly would not have the time to see it, stop playing and not take the kick. True, but if, say, a lineman stands up and calls a timeout and the official behind the defense blows the whistle and waves his arms before the ball is snapped but the offense still executes the kick, at least everyone in the stadium knows it's not going to count before it clears the crossbar, which is far less egregious than what occurred last night or in Oakland earlier this season. Bender- please do not chop up my statements and quote them. Quote them entirely, seperately or not at all or you give the impression that what you quoted was how it was said. Between the ... you quoted me on I agreed that I do not like the tactic and hope that it comes back to backfire against a coach. Sorry, my intent there was not to gloss over your shared distaste for the rule but rather to connect the two statements you made regarding changing the rules back to the way they were and refute the claim that that couldn't be done without changing other parts of the game. I think this thread has established that we are all pretty well in agreement that we would rather not see this sort of sleazery.

posted by bender at 04:11 PM on October 09

what rcade said doubled. no, tripled. there isn't any value to Tony Kornheiser , comedic or otherwise. i mute the sound on MNF and switch channels when the camera goes to the booth. Did the Cowboys suddenly start playing better or did the Bills engineer the loss themselves?

posted by irunfromclones at 06:31 PM on October 09

No problem Bender...I do hope that they find a way to eliminate such coaching "tactics" which are very sleazy. I just do not want to see them eliminate coaches calling timeouts especially with instant replay in effect (and often the need for your booth coaches to look at something a few more times). Bending the rules is one thing but I agree I do not like the trend that coaches are taking to "ice" kickers. I have no problem with coaches that call the timeout well before the snap to give him extra time to think about it (and often more time to prepare, counterproductive). I have said since game one of MNF w/ Kornheiser that he is the worst ever. Every game proves it more. Just wait for another Redskin game to come on and listen to all the asses he kisses.

posted by urall cloolis at 08:24 PM on October 09

Kornheiser, the worst ever? Really? He may be a cranky old fart, but I'd rather listen to him than Theismann (who Kornheiser hated, urall; I don't know what you meant), or (heaven forfend) Dennis Miller.

posted by chicobangs at 09:04 PM on October 09

As a Bills fan, I have no comment to make about the use of the timeout. How many of these last-second field-goal losses can a fan take?

posted by grum@work at 09:41 PM on October 09

*HOMER ALERT* Kris Brown’s 57-yard field goal with one second left gave the Texans a 22-19 victory over Miami at Reliant Stadium on Sunday. Brown put on one of the greatest performances in NFL history, connecting on field goals of 43, 54, 54, 20 and 57 yards to help the Texans elevate their record to 3-2 That is all.

posted by bobfoot at 10:20 PM on October 09

People might talk about how good Dallas is for pulling off the win or how good Buffalo is for almost upsetting Dallas, but all I can say that game's a pretty good indicator of just how bad Buffalo is. 5 INTs, 2 returned for TDs, 1 recovered fumble, 1 kick returned for a TD, up 24-16 with 3:45 remaining and you still lose? As a NE fan through all the bad years, my sympathy is with the Bills fans out there.

posted by kokaku at 10:29 PM on October 09

Dear Buffalo: Kill yourselves. The shaming will never, ever stop. I loved Miller on MNF, it has not improved since he got canned.

posted by Uncle Mikey at 07:36 AM on October 10

I loved Miller on MNF, it has not improved since he got canned. Seriously? The moment he was fired, MNF became so much better, IMO. I enjoyed the "Dennis Miller Show" when it was on HBO but he just had no business being involved in the greatest football shows on TV. At the very least, Tony Kornheiser is a sports personality. Sure, he's there for comic relief but he's still relevant to sports.

posted by BornIcon at 08:20 AM on October 10

I enjoyed the "Dennis Miller Show" when it was on HBO but he just had no business being involved in the greatest football shows on TV. At the very least, Tony Kornheiser is a sports personality. Regardless of how good/bad an announcer he was, Dennis Miller LOVES football. Tony Korheiser casually jokes how he'll sleep through game of the year matchups if they are on the west coast. I'd rather the former in that case, as at least Dennis would have caught the whole face gaurding thing. Kornheiser is a sports columnist and as such means he automatically knows LESS about football than even you or I but then has to pretend his knowledge is unsurpassed (it's a requirement for the job). He really has no business in the booth, though I personally think he's funny as hell (that joke about Dijourno(sp?) pizza was funny :-)

posted by bdaddy at 09:42 AM on October 10

A few words about Dennis Miller.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:48 AM on October 10

As a born-and-raised Buffalonian, all I can do is cry. I guess I'm glad I had a super early morning flight on Tuesday and went to bed at the end of the 1st quarter. My heart could not have taken watching that live. Anyone still rooting for Dallas by the end of that game (excepting REAL Dallas fans - not bandwagon-jumpers) has a chunk of cold, black coal for a heart.

posted by misskaz at 10:09 AM on October 10

I'm a native Dallasite, but I was tempted to root for Buffalo because of those throwback unis.

posted by rcade at 10:59 AM on October 10

I suggested to my wife Buffalo should simply switch back. Same with the Chargers. Both teams classic unis look so much better. Their current ones are hold-overs from the Zubaz 90s.

posted by yerfatma at 01:04 PM on October 10

Seems that Dallas will continue to rip the hearts out of the chests of Buffalo Bills fans again. I have never in all of my 40+ years witnessed a game such as that. I agree that Buffalo did as much as it could to loose as Dallas did to win, but three returns for touchdowns and the opposing QB turns it over 6 times!!!!! I watched every second and a couple extra (trying to freeze a kicker) and jumped for joy when it ended. I thought it was one of the most exciting games ever. You just can't script something like this - ever. I believe the electric atmophere had the Bills playing over their heads, but they obviously need an offense really badly. I liked the QB for Buffalo and he was pretty gutsy, but they were afraid to have him throw more than ten yards - guess Demarcus Ware and Terrance Newman showed why. Oh well, what a game.

posted by Mickster at 08:58 PM on October 10

Regardless of how good/bad an announcer he was, Dennis Miller LOVES football I LOVE football as well, should I apply to be an announcer as well then? I can be witty.

posted by BornIcon at 07:23 AM on October 12

Yeah, but can you make a football analogy that includes Charles Nelson Reilly and Crispin Glover?

posted by tahoemoj at 12:32 PM on October 12

Crispin Glover : Charles Nelson Reilly :: Going for the two point conversion : Kicking a Rouge Do I get the job?

posted by apoch at 12:38 PM on October 12

When rules are manipulated and abused for purposes that they were not created for then they must be changed or gotten rid of. Someone made the comment that "...You would just have a player stand next to an official, warn him you will be calling timeout and do the same thing" yet what coach would take that chance of having his defensive man do nothing on the play thus making it 11 on 10? Make it so only the players can call the TO and stop this practice of coaches making a mockery of the game.

posted by Brahdakine at 12:56 PM on October 12

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