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Joe Gibbs and the Spike

Is it unfair to still rant about this? Maybe. If Betts had scored on third down would anybody even remember the first-down spike? Probably not. Should an offense be able to score from the one-yard line with three chances? Sure. Have I ever called an NFL play with time running down and the game on the line? Heck no.

But I made the point yesterday and I want to make it again today: the Redskins might have been able to run four plays, and instead chose to run three. This is what Gibbs said in his detailed explanation yesterday:

"You could try and quarterback sneak. If you miss the quarterback sneak and you don't get the yards, then you would be spiking it on second down. The other thing you could do is run a [power run]. The risk there is if you don't get it, you have to spike it on second down."

I don't believe this to be true. The spike came with 51 seconds left. If they instead ran a running play that failed on first down, the clock would have still had, what, 35 seconds left (and counting)? At least that much. Within an additional 20 seconds, the offense could have run another pass play, which, if it failed, would have still left 10 seconds on the clock, and then....

You know, forget it. I'm not going to argue this point. I just believe that an offense can run four non-harried plays within 45 seconds, without a timeout, and that at least one of them can be a rushing play, and that in the absolute worst case scenario if you don't get off a fourth-down play, you still would have had three plays, which is all you got anyhow, but you could have been attacking a reeling defense. And I believe that a spike helps the defense there more than it helps the offense.

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 25, 2007; 1:57 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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