Field Goal Tactic Backfires on Shanahan
Hopefully all of the other NFL coaches watched the Denver Broncos' Mike Shanahan out-think himself Monday night and all this foolishness with last-second timeouts before field goal attempts will end.
Shanahan started this nonsense, and he cost his team three points in the final seconds of the first half of the Broncos' victory Monday over the Tennessee Titans.
Titans kicker Rob Bironas was lining up for a 56-yard field goal attempt. Shanahan called a timeout a split-second before the ball was snapped. The play proceeded, and Bironas missed the kick badly. But Bironas got a second chance because the timeout nullified the miss, and made the re-kick.
What, exactly, was the point of pulling such a stunt on a 56-yard field goal attempt? Nerves aren't the issue on a kick like that; "icing" the kicker isn't what's needed. The issue is the distance. Even a kicker as good as Bironas is going to miss more 56-yarders than he makes. Just let him kick the ball and, most likely, miss. If anything, a practice attempt enhances his chances of making the second try.
Shanahan used the tactic successfully early in the season and it was copied by other coaches. Calling a timeout right before a field goal became all the rage. It did work several times, and some observers called for a rule change to keep the maneuver from being used. But others said all that it would take was for the measure to backfire, for a kicker to miss the first kick and then make the second one after being given a reprieve, and that would be the end of that.
Let's hope that's now the case.
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