The Play Call
We haven’t forgotten our thought experiment play series. We tool a work break, but just a reminder, take a look at what happened, and the poll results.
46% of you chose:
Set up a roll out to the right, Three near side patterns. Corner of the End zone, under the right upright, and one in the front corner. Throw the open route.
This was an excellent play choice, based on the situation; must pass, on the left hash, ball on the one yard line. The flow to the right will ablate the pressure of the rush, string out the defensive line and force the secondary to cover a bigger area of the field. It does have the negative effect of removing the left corner from the passing equation (if your hotdog QB doesn’t throw one across the field). It does offer a variety of reads, and opportunities to hit the one yard (actually about a 15 to 20 yarder) pass for the 6.
The team doesn’t huddle. The coaches want this one to set up fast. Even though you aren’t going to run, the opposition has no clue, and he’s got his jumbo heavy crew up on the line for a goal line defense. It’s practically a perfect setup for what’s been called. This is 6 in the bag, and everyone on the home sideline knows.
The line sets, and there seems to have been a touch of the butterflies going on in the interior of the line. It’s either that, or your left guard was just told that he was going to get buried and beaten to a pulp... because at the second hut... in the first audible set, he backs out like a nervous race horse in the starting gate.
Yellow flags and whistles end the play before it starts, and the offensive line coach nearly burns a quart of oil on the sideline. The false start was bad enough, but an interior lineman “backing out” is a tell tale sign that a run wasn’t in your play plans.
Starting Again from the 6 Isn’t Really So Bad
This time, there is no “hurry up ambush” going on. So the coach huddles up. There is no point in calling a time out since it’s so early in the game, but the blood pressure needs to go down so that thoughts can be stitched together into a coherent play call. There is a benefit to being backed off 5 yards, though. Since you don’t intend to run, you still have four downs to score some points. Let’s breathe and look at the patterns that were squashed flat by the shorter field position, and see what might be done better.
You decide to call the straight drop back so that the deeper field gives your quarterback a chance to hit either corner, and a couple of drags and digs.
Everyone sets up at with the ball at the 6. The snap goes smoothly this time, but the QB has a bit of the stone hands and between the slight bobble and the rush, he passes to the left corner off of his back foot. It sails over the Wide Reciever’s arms like most fades do. The ball bounces off a Gator cart, and is finally caught by the opposition’s mascot. That was an omen if ever there was one.
So, the coach calls the same basic play, but adds a roll to the right. The snap was low... the Quarterback is tripped by the turf monster, and barely gets a quacking duck to sail out of bounds over the tight end’s head. At least it looked like it was in his direction enough that it didn’t draw a flag for the equivalent of a 7 yard sack.
It’s 3rd down and 6. The special teams coach already has the kicker thumping away into the practice net on the near 25 yard line. The critical down also triggers a “convenient” TV timeout since the incompletion stopped the clock. Everyone is suddenly nervous. The loose crew that managed the audible call for the big slashing gain is suddenly tense. The coach sense that something “simple” needs to be executed, and if it doesn’t work it will keep the ball close for a near guaranteed three.
Tump! Another kick goes into the practice net, reminding everyone that it’s critical to get 6 at this point of the game. A minus 4, will be deflating for the Offense, and could swing some momentum toward the opposition for stopping a sure TD.
Tump! It’s like a loud ticking clock.
The official in red, with the headphones and microphone raises his hand, again. Five Seconds!!!!
This time the team breaks to the line and sets up like the first play. The H-Back goes in motion and stops in the A-Gap between the right guard and the center, just 2 yards ahead of the Quarterback. The snap is good. The H-Back chips a double team block and slips into the zero hole... Someone is actually counting out loud. One-Mississippi! Two Mississippi!... Three Mississippi! The quarterback shovels a mid shoulder pass to the H-Back who’s turned sideways in mid-stride about a yard past the line of scrimmage. There is a gaping hole in the center of the field, under the zone, and so he just puts his head down and runs. For whatever reason, he darts into the endzone from the five without being touched by more than the Tackle that he chipped on the fake double team.
Six! And no Yellow laundry on the turf.
Now “Thumper” can try. Or maybe not... You decide.
You have six on the board. Do you go for two or not?
This poll is closed
I’m not Mike Tomlin... heck no! kick the PAT.
Nope, not worth the risk. Just get the 7 posted, and worry about getting 2 if the need arises.
Look the analytics say that 2 is a good bet.
Take every point you can get while you can get it. Go for two.
We’ll wrap up the series with a final article soon.