September 30, 2018

Frank Reich Hands OT Win to Houston Texans: Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich just made one of the worst NFL coaching blunders since the Miracle at the Meadowlands. Tied in overtime on fourth-and-four at the Colts' 43 with 27 seconds remaining, Reich went for it instead of punting. An incomplete Andrew Luck pass gave the Houston Texans the ball. Deshaun Watson completed a 24-yard pass to DeAndre Hopkins, they spiked the ball and Ka'imi Fairbairn kicked the game winner.

posted by rcade to football at 05:07 PM - 13 comments

I liked it. These teams are effectively playing for 3rd place in the AFC South and ties suck.

posted by holden at 06:09 PM on September 30

It's too early for them to be giving up in the AFC South. 9-7 has won the division two times in recent years. The Colts don't gain enough with a first down to be worth the risk of losing. They still need another 20 or so yards to be in field goal range.

posted by rcade at 06:18 PM on September 30

City of Houston has been waiting 25 years to humiliate Reich after what he did to them in Buffalo. In overtime. Now they can move on.

posted by beaverboard at 07:46 PM on September 30

Neither of these teams have any chance of making the playoffs anyways so I'm with Reich going all-in on a game his team can win.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:31 AM on October 01

I like what Reich did. By punting, you concede the tie (assuming the Texans don't score in the final :20). By going for it, you give yourself a chance to win. You're telling your QB--considered a generational talent at one point in his career--that you have faith in his ability to get you 4 yards to salvage your season. Andrew Luck had to believe that he could get the yards.

Of course, Luck made a bad throw and the defense allowed the Texans a big gain, so it didn't work. But that's [not really] beside the point!

posted by tahoemoj at 11:55 AM on October 01

If he was going to go for broke, why not do it the first time the Colts lined up for fourth down when the whole stadium was expecting (correctly) that they were just trying to draw the Texans offside?

Reich waited until after a timeout to try it, for minimum surprise.

Why is conceding a tie such a bad thing? The shorter OT means more ties. That half-game in the standings may become a big deal in a couple months.

posted by rcade at 12:39 PM on October 01

Why is conceding a tie such a bad thing?

Because when we look at the Colts calendar 36 years from now, the entry for Sept. 30th will read "kissed our sister".

I think the league wants more ties so they can add a further level of hysteria to the last few weeks of the season as teams jockey for playoff berths and there are more deciding factors in the mix.

posted by beaverboard at 01:21 PM on October 01

Why is conceding a tie such a bad thing?

Because the fans of both teams are going to endure a whole lot of suffering for the next few years and any chance of victory must be the current focus.

posted by cixelsyd at 01:36 PM on October 01

Why is conceding a tie such a bad thing?

I'm really not sure that it is, in and of itself. If you're coming at the question statistically, of course a tie is better than a loss. And you're right that the AFC S is anyone's division. I also agree that the actual play called and the timing thereof was poorly done.

I was looking at it as a negative more in the context of telling Andrew Luck that you don't trust him to get you the yards when they're necessary. By going for the win, Reich was telling his MVP that he has faith in him.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:15 PM on October 01

Because the fans of both teams are going to endure a whole lot of suffering for the next few years and any chance of victory must be the current focus.

A tie that gets you into the playoffs is better than a loss that keeps you out, no?

If I was a Colts fan I'd be angry about the loss, not pleased that Reich made a bet to win with such weak odds. Yes, there are times a coach should show his team he has faith in them to deliver. I don't see this as one of those times. The price of giving up the ball at that yard line at that time was too high.

Is Reich making a name for himself as a coach who takes fourth-down gambles? I haven't watched them play yet other than this OT on RedZone.

posted by rcade at 04:14 PM on October 01

When Barry Switzer coached the Cowboys, there was a game where they were tied with the Eagles in the fourth quarter and handed it to Emmitt Smith on fourth-and-1 at their own 29 with around 8 minutes left. He didn't get it, the Eagles kicked a field goal and won.

The Dallas/Fort Worth media went ballistic. They didn't accept Switzer's reasoning that he would always make that bet on Emmitt and his O-line.

The Cowboys didn't lose again, winning their next five including the Super Bowl over the Steelers.

posted by rcade at 06:44 PM on October 01

Belichick did what he did to Malcolm Butler so the press would quit asking him why he decided to go for it on 4th and 2 from his own 28 in Indy 9 years ago.

posted by beaverboard at 08:09 PM on October 01

I will admit I can never completely hate Lou Holtz for having Rick Mirer go for two at the end of a game in Happy Valley in the snow and win it. Fortuna audaces iuvat and/ or fortune is bald behind, etc.

posted by yerfatma at 12:58 PM on October 03

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