Coughlin's Inexplicable Field Goal Decision Dooms Giants Against Bears
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.--What, exactly, was Tom Coughlin thinking?
The New York Giants faced a fourth-and-15 play at the Chicago 34-yard line early in the fourth quarter of Sunday night's showdown game at Giants Stadium between the NFC's two top teams. The Bears led, 24-20.
Coughlin, essentially, had two viable options. He could leave his offense on the field and go for it on fourth down, or he could punt and try to pin the Bears deep in their own territory.
A field goal wasn't a realistic option. His kicker, Jay Feely, doesn't have the strongest leg and this kick would be into the wind on a damp, chilly night.
But Coughlin inexplicably sent Feely in to try a 52-yard field goal, and the decision ended up clinching the game for the Bears.
Feely's kick fell predictably short. The ball was fielded eight yards deep in the end zone by Bears rookie cornerback Devin Hester, who hesitated, walked to the front of the end zone and then raced to the opposite end zone for a 108-yard touchdown that tied the NFL record set last Nov. 13 by Chicago cornerback Nathan Vasher against the San Francisco 49ers.
"That definitely put the game out of reach a little bit," Bears quarterback Rex Grossman said.
The Bears led, 31-20, en route to a 38-20 triumph that reestablished them as the team to beat in the conference.
"I chose to go for it," Coughlin said, "and that ended up being the determining factor."
Coughlin said he considered a punt but never thought about going for it on fourth down.
"I wrestled with it, yeah," he said.
Hester said his hesitation was by design to see what the Giants players would do.
"If anything opened up," he said, "I was given the green light to go.... It was a close game and both teams were scrapping to get points. I probably would have downed it if I'd seen defenders coming towards me. But I saw all of them just walking off the field like the play was over."
He said he looked forward to joining Vasher in the Hall of Fame.
"Records are made to be tied, in this case," Hester said.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: WTF? | November 13, 2006 11:23 AM
Posted by: AKfaust | November 13, 2006 6:48 PM
Posted by: 99 Yards | November 13, 2006 8:46 PM
Posted by: Redskin Hater | November 13, 2006 8:56 PM
Posted by: seang | November 14, 2006 1:30 AM
Posted by: Cowboys Rule | November 14, 2006 8:56 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2006 1:39 PM
Posted by: WTF? | November 15, 2006 8:05 PM
Posted by: Sizzle | November 16, 2006 2:39 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.