Mike McDaniel, Kirk Cousins, and John Harbaugh clarify themselves

The real crime, I feel, was the hat.

The true crime, I really feel, was the hat.
Picture: AP

Hey, what a SUPER Wild Card Weekend, am I proper? We’d not have seen nice NFL soccer, or nice officiating, and even nice decision-making from gamers and coaches alike, however we did see loads of chaos. And, as everyone knows, chaos is the place the actual enjoyable begins — until your group is the one fumbling round at the hours of darkness regardless of the tough glare of the nationwide highlight. However with apologies to Vikings, Dolphins, and Ravens followers, let’s check out a few of yesterday’s truly-terrible-but-als0-kinda-hysterical game-ending choices.

Gotta get the play in, Mike

We’ll begin with the primary sport of the day, Dolphins – Payments. Might Miami survive and advance with out Tua? Is Josh Allen the following Patrick Mahomes? Is that this lastly the yr the Payments Mafia will get their final reward? Properly, perhaps. And this one was loads nearer than it in all probability ought to have been, thanks to a few turnovers from Allen. However, America waited, breathless, on the sting of its seat… as Miami head coach Mike McDaniel inexplicably let a minute expire with out getting a play in. Look:

So what did McDaniel need to say for himself afterwards? Reader, he said this:

“There was some crowd noise that needed to do with mishearing some studying of digits of the wristband. There was some points inside the huddles of communication and attending to the road of scrimmage.

“And there’s the excuse that you simply don’t use, that may be a actual compounding variable, that there’s a a number of quantity of various folks within the huddle, the place speaking — while you’re in a pleasant routine, or perhaps there’s a gaggle of offensive linemen which are being communicated to by the identical particular person. When you might have flux like that, it occurs, it shouldn’t occur as a lot because it did.

We have been deploying a gaggle of gamers for the first-and-10 name. It was articulated that, no, it was fourth down. That miscommunication — that’s all of the stuff that you simply do on this enterprise. You by no means cease discovering the issues that you may enhance on. And it was a bit of the rationale why have been unable to come back out with a victory. However it positively wasn’t the one motive.”

That’s actually extra of an outline of what occurred than a proof, however okay. The worst half was that McDaniel mentioned all of this whereas nonetheless carrying a very horrible Dolphins’ hat, which I get was purported to look distressed and edgy, however simply wound up trying like a number of folks had sweated in it a number of occasions. Yarg.

Kirk Cousins: By no means not conservative

Up subsequent, we’ve got the Vikings and Giants, and kudos to our Jon Hoefling for calling this one appropriately. The Vikings by no means regarded nice (although Kirk Cousins truly performed fairly nicely), however at no level did they give the impression of being worse than on the ultimate play:

So, there’s no approach this was the precise play name, proper? This needed to be a test down. And for those who’re going to test down on a play that has the whole season using on it, what do you even have Justin Jefferson for? Looks like the time to let one fly and hope Jefferson grabs it was within the closing seconds of a sport with the postseason on the road, no? Alas. It doesn’t even matter how nicely Cousins performed on Sunday — that is the one play anybody goes to recollect.

Here’s what Cousins had to say:

“Yeah, it was only a shell learn there. I noticed single-high (protection) and tried to work Justin (Jefferson) and didn’t be ok with placing it as much as Justin. And after I went to progress, I simply felt like I used to be about to get sacked. I felt I needed to put the ball in play. I couldn’t go down with a sack.

So I simply kicked it out to T.J., and I had thrown in need of the sticks on a number of events within the sport and going again a number of weeks. I simply felt like throwing in need of the sticks isn’t the tip of the world, and it was clearly tight protection. However I felt like I used to be going to go down and take a sack and put it out.”

Comprehensible, I suppose, however you possibly can’t dance round post-win shirtless in big chains after which take the secure choice when it issues. Cousins has all the time had a popularity for being too conservative by half (on and off the sphere), and Sunday’s resolution isn’t going to alter anybody’s thoughts.

Lastly, we convey ourselves to the ultimate Sunday sport, Ravens – Bengals. All of us knew Lamar Jackson was on the bench for this one, which was the supply of some disappointingly low-key beef amongst former gamers. Nonetheless, even with out Jackson on the sphere, Baltimore had an opportunity.

What the hell was John Harbaugh doing?

Head coach John Harbaugh was off to tough begin in Ravens – Bengals, having been an entire jackaass to sideline reporter Melissa Stark earlier than halftime:

Harbaugh’s unhealthy day continued, along with his group going into the huddle TWICE in the course of the closing minute of the sport, trailing 24-17. Not solely that, Harbaugh left TWO time outs on the board till there have been solely 8 seconds remaining within the sport. After which Harbaugh took a day trip with the clock already stopped. What within the title of all that’s holy…

Guess what occurred? THEY RAN OUT OF TIME. QB Tyler Huntley heaved one in the direction of the heavens that Baltimore nearly got here down with. Think about what they may have achieved in the event that they’d truly, oh, I don’t know, used a day trip to reset and name in a play? Have we not reached the purpose in American soccer the place youngsters spend years studying clock administration by way of Madden? Isn’t there anybody on Harbaugh’s workers below 40?

Anyway, right here’s what Harbaugh had to say:

“We wished to save lots of the timeouts for the pink zone. The factor that killed us was the holding penalty. That knocked us again. The concept was, we wished to maintain these timeouts to throw the ball. So, we tried to pop a run there, we have been gonna name a timeout after that, and we might nonetheless have a run/go choice. We wished to attain with out giving the ball again. We expect we’re going to get within the pink zone, we expect it’s going to be a sure variety of performs, and we’re going to work proper right down to the tip of the sport. Relatively than rating with 30, 35 seconds left, you give them an opportunity to go kick a area purpose on the finish.

“So, I believe we performed it proper. Didn’t work out within the sense that after that, we had incomplete passes. In case you full the passes, you get the ball within the pink zone, you name the timeouts. So, I believe that at an elementary stage, you possibly can say, ‘Ah (expletive), they need to have used the timeouts.’ However we had the timeouts labored proper.”

Within the iconic phrases of J. Peterman, that definitely is a whole lot of phrases. I don’t actually know what to say besides that nothing about that closing minute “labored proper,” there’s no approach Harbaugh goes to persuade anybody it did, and saving your timeouts for the pink zone solely works for those who can truly get to the pink zone.

I can’t wait to see what tonight brings.