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Mike McDaniel, Kirk Cousins, and John Harbaugh clarify themselves


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The real crime, I feel, was the hat.

The actual 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 — except your staff is the one fumbling round at the hours of darkness regardless of the cruel 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 recreation 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 12 months the Payments Mafia will get their final reward? Properly, perhaps. And this one was rather a lot nearer than it in all probability ought to have been, thanks to 3 turnovers from Allen. Nonetheless, 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 should say for himself afterwards? Reader, he stated 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 just 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 — once you’re in a pleasant routine, or perhaps there’s a gaggle of offensive linemen which can be being communicated to by the identical individual. When you will have flux like that, it occurs, it shouldn’t occur as a lot because it did.

We had 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 just do on this enterprise. You by no means cease discovering the issues you can enhance on. And it was a chunk of the explanation why had been unable to come back out with a victory. But it surely positively wasn’t the one purpose.”

That’s really more of a description of what happened than an explanation, but okay. The worst part was that McDaniel said all of this while still wearing a truly terrible Dolphins’ hat, which I get was supposed to look distressed and edgy, but just wound up looking like several people had sweated in it multiple times. Yarg.

Kirk Cousins: Never not conservative

Up next, we have the Vikings and Giants, and kudos to our Jon Hoefling for calling this one appropriately. The Vikings by no means appeared nice (although Kirk Cousins really performed fairly properly), however at no level did they appear worse than on the ultimate play:

So, there’s no manner this was the precise play name, proper? This needed to be a verify down. And for those who’re going to verify down on a play that has the complete season driving 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 ultimate seconds of a recreation with the postseason on the road, no? Alas. It doesn’t even matter how properly Cousins performed on Sunday — that is the one play anybody goes to recollect.

Right here’s what Cousins needed 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 wanting the sticks on a couple of events within the recreation and going again a couple of weeks. I simply felt like throwing wanting 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 protected possibility when it issues. Cousins has all the time had a repute for being too conservative by half (on and off the sphere), and Sunday’s determination isn’t going to vary anybody’s thoughts.

Lastly, we deliver ourselves to the ultimate Sunday recreation, 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, together with his staff going into the huddle TWICE throughout the ultimate 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 recreation. After which Harbaugh took a day trip with the clock already stopped. What within the identify 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 might have executed in the event that they’d really, 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 through Madden? Isn’t there anybody on Harbaugh’s workers below 40?

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

“We needed to avoid wasting the timeouts for the pink zone. The factor that killed us was the holding penalty. That knocked us again. The thought was, we needed to maintain these timeouts to throw the ball. So, we tried to pop a run there, we had been gonna name a timeout after that, and we might nonetheless have a run/move possibility. We needed to attain with out giving the ball again. We expect we’re going to get within the pink zone, we predict 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 subject aim on the finish.

“So, I believe we performed it proper. Didn’t work out within the sense that after that, we had incomplete passes. If you happen to full the passes, you get the ball within the pink zone, you name the timeouts. So, I believe that at an elementary degree, 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 number of phrases. I don’t actually know what to say besides that nothing about that ultimate minute “labored proper,” there’s no manner Harbaugh goes to persuade anybody it did, and saving your timeouts for the pink zone solely works for those who can really get to the pink zone.

I can’t wait to see what tonight brings.

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