Ok, let me just say three things right off the bat.
- GREAT Superbowl – fun, fun, fun and loads of big plays.
- Despite #1 I lost my pool – Doh!
- Clock Management is a HUGE skill that seems to take lots of experience to learn.
Congratulations to the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. It worked out for you guys this time, so no harm no foul, but there is a valuable lesson to be learned.
With around 3 minutes to go and the ball on the 1 yard line, Pittsburgh threw the ball on first down.
I know all about why it sounds like a good idea, but it is, in fact, the wrong move. Decisions like this one should be made on the merits of risk versus reward. A simpler way to look at it is this, “What happens if this goes wrong.”
Throwing on first down was just dumb. Sure, you want to get off the goal line. Sure, you want some room. Sure, it’s a high percentage play and you think they might not be looking for it. But, what happens if it doesn’t work?
We know exactly what happens if it doesn’t work. You are right back where you started and no time runs off the clock. NO! NO! NO!
Run the ball!
If he gets stuffed for no gain, then you have the same result as the passing play, but TIME RUNS OFF THE CLOCK! Or, in this instance, Arizona uses up one of their timeouts.
Instead of 2nd and 10 with 3 minutes to play and Arizona still has 3 timeouts, it is 2nd and 10 with 3 minutes to play and Arizona is already thinking about how to get back to the end zone with no time outs because, they know that you will also be running the ball on 2nd down (timeout #2) and 3rd down (timeout #3) which means they will have zero time outs and barely two minutes. That’s pressure.
Put that together with your #1 ranked defense and I don’t care if they do get the ball at your 40 yard line. No timeouts and less than 2 minutes to play? I like those odds a lot better than them on the 40 with 2 timeouts.