November 09, 2009
The peculiar clock management tendencies of Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid are well known. Sunday night was hardly the first time we've seen the Eagles involved in a winnable game, but without timeouts (or any apparent sense of the passage of time).
Following Philly's 20-16 loss to Dallas, Reid offered this:
"I guess if hindsight is 20-20, I'd probably like to have those [challenges] back. It didn't go as I anticipated it."
He was referring to the two timeouts he burned in failed efforts to get officials to re-spot the football – and honestly, Reid had a solid case on the second challenge. The refs gave Philadelphia a terrible spot on Donovan McNabb's(notes) fourth down plunge with 10:49 remaining.
But when that particular ruling was upheld, the Eagles had exhausted their supply of timeouts and the Cowboys had the ball in excellent field position, with the score tied at 13. Four plays later, Miles Austin(notes) was in the end zone. Philadelphia trailed by a touchdown with 8:04 remaining.
On the Eagles' next drive, for reasons known only to Coach Reid, they attempted a 52-yard field goal with 4:33 on the clock, unwilling to go for another fourth down conversion. (OK, they needed 11 yards; it wasn't a layup). David Akers'(notes) kick was good, though it ultimately helped only two parties: His fantasy owners and the Cowboys.
Philly kicked off to Dallas trailing by four, still in need of a touchdown, and with no way to stop the clock.
Here's more Reid:
"I thought we could get the ball back and win the game. But it didn't work out that way."
Most of the Monday second-guessing will focus on the challenges that didn't work and the field goal that did (which, again, only cut the deficit to four points). But let's not forget the way Philadelphia spent its first timeout of the second half. Michael Vick(notes) entered the game midway through the third quarter, handed off to LeSean McCoy(notes) for a gain of three, then left the field. McNabb returned, but the Eagles were not moving with alacrity so they had to stop the clock.
Rotating Vick into the game for a 3-yard McCoy carry cost the Eagles a timeout, one that Reid probably would like to have back. But hindsight is 20-20.
According to Washington head coach Jim Zorn, Clinton Portis(notes) was apparently "knocked out and a little woozy" following the pair of helmet-to-helmet hits he sustained early in the loss to Atlanta. Portis suffered a concussion and his availability for Week 10 is in doubt. Ladell Betts(notes) is the necessary add. The longtime handcuff gained 93 total yards on 16 touches in Portis' absence, and he found the end zone once. Betts was outstanding back in '06, leading many of us to virtual titles with a stellar second half. [Washington Times]
More news from DC: At halftime, Zorn reportedly "went off" on his team, which may have played a role in the 'Skins' 17-point offensive explosion. (For them, 17 is an explosion). "'He hasn't done that before, not like that, anyway,' said one veteran player who requested anonymity." [Washington Post]
Austin Collie(notes) checked out of the Colts' narrow win over the Texans due to a fourth quarter neck/head injury of as-yet-unknown severity. We await updates. Collie caught just two passes for 26 yards before departing. [Rotowire]
"I'd have probably felt better if somebody would have been man enough and walked up to me and told me what the situation was," he said, "but I had to walk back in the locker room and find all of my stuff gone."
To be fair, Ken Whisenhunt claims that he was sufficiently manly:
Two witnesses to Whisenhunt's conversation with Boldin said the receiver would not look at the coach during the conversation.
You won, Anquan. Just let it go. [The Arizona Republic]
We should also note that Whisenhunt authored the highlight of the day during his postgame press conference. He is not who we thought he was. It turns out he's much funnier. [Shutdown Corner]
Isaac Bruce(notes) is nowhere near the top of the Niners' wide receiver hierarchy right now, in case you were wondering. He's behind both Josh Morgan(notes) and Jason Hill(notes). "It was nice to have [Hill] out there," said quarterback Alex Smith following the loss to Tennessee. "He and I got a lot of work together the first six weeks of the season, working out there on the scout team together. I’ve got a lot of trust in Jason, and it showed out there today." Hill caught four passes for 50 yards and two scores against the Titans. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]
Photo via AP Images