November 15, 2009
There was only one way the New York Jets were going to get the ball back late in their game with the Jacksonville Jaguars today and it involved letting Jags running back Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) score a touchdown. Despite holding a one-point lead with under two minutes remaining, the Jets were without a timeout and were conceding a Jags score in hopes of returning the kickoff and driving down for a game-winning score of their own.
MJD wasn't fooled.
Instead of running into the end zone for a 10-yard TD run on first down with 1:48 left in the game, Jones-Drew alertly fell at the 1-yard line to keep the clock moving. Two kneel-downs later, the Jags brought out kicker Josh Scobee(notes), who booted a game-winning 21-yard field goal as time expired.
It was reminiscent of the play in 2007 when Brian Westbrook(notes) did the same thing to preserve a Philadelphia Eagles victory. However, Westbrook's was a less-obvious move (the Eagles would have been up two scores had he scored). MJD's was just good football strategy (unless, of course, Scobee misses the kick), but that didn't stop him from apologizing for the move. After the game he said:
"We knew they were pretty much going to let us score. So the coach said to just take a knee. Sorry to my fantasy owners, I apologize."
Coming into today, MJD was the No. 1 overall fantasy running back in most Yahoo! leagues. Therefore, if MJD is going to apologize for anything it should be for bailing on the touchdown celebration he planned with Yahoo! last week and pulling a turtle from his pants (see the video after the jump):
Update: Yahoo! Sports had the foresight to discuss this very type of play with Maurice Jones-Drew before this week's game. He remembered the Brian Westbrook play and shook his head, lamenting the fantasy implications involved:
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