Monday, January 16, 2012

Asininity Of Football Analysis...

I am a regular reader of Mike Florio's ProFootballTalk, and most of the time, the writers (Florio, Rosenthal, Alper, and Smith) posit good information and fairly sound analysis (except during the lockout).  This morning, though, was not one of those times.  

Florio wrote a post entitled 'Saturday's exciting finish shouldn't have happened', with the case being made for Alex Smith taking a knee at the one yard line on his 28 yard touchdown run around the two-minute warning.

On my way home from the gym early this afternoon, I heard Kevin Sheehan (a favorite target of mockery here) make the exact same point on his radio show 'The Sports Fix'.  So it is apparently a point of obviousness to the so-called 'brights' of the football media that this is what Alex Smith should have done.

And they are a bunch of asinine morons.  Every single one of them...

The first and most important thing that they all seem to miss is that the 49ers were trailing at that point in the game.  I kept hearing/reading references to Brian Westbrook from 2007, but there is a HUGE difference between leading and trailing in a game, much less a playoff game. New Orleans was leading 24-23 when Smith took off on the brilliantly executed bootleg and scored.  Competitors score.  Robots and armchair analysts programmed like robots take a fall at the one in the name of 'running out the clock'.  

Secondly, in a game where you are trailing, do you take the six points, or do you give that up for an attempt at a field goal - close as it may be?  Remember this?  Anything can go wrong, especially when a trip to the NFC Championship Game is on the line, and when the game is tied or you are leading, things like this can be risked, but not when trailing.  Just imagine the headline if Akers missed the kick or Lee bobbled the snap...

Why did Alex stop??

Florio says that had this course of action taken place (assuming a kick is made), the Saints would have gotten the ball with forty seconds left - but only needing a field goal to win. Considering that they scored a touchdown in thirty-seven seconds on the next possession, a field goal try in that amount of time is not outside the realm of possibility.  

Alex Smith did the right thing.  He was in the right, and all the armchair quarterbacks are wrong.  Of course, they will never admit to that, preferring to retreat into their silly robotic diagrams and pure hypotheticals that only take place under laboratory conditions.

*UPDATE* - Add Mike Greenberg to the Chorus of Stupid, even after admitting that the scenario would only occur in a perfect world (i.e. laboratory conditions), he still crapped on Smith for not taking the knee at the one.

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