(The Play is at about 0:38)
There were many bad plays to choose from but I thought the first of our 4th down attempts in the 1st was one of the worst especially since it, more than any other play had the potential to get us in the game.
The Scenario: The score was 3-0 Seattle with 2:30 left in the 1st. The Jags let up a field goal, but the game was still in control. With a couple of big plays from Holt and Jones-Drew the Jags find themselves on the Seattle ten. Two bad passes and one good one later it's 4th and goal on the two. JDR makes the call to go for it.
The Formation: Jags line up in the I formation Jones in front of MJD, two tights ends on the right Lewis and Wilford on the outside, Mo Williams is eligible on the left side as a tight end.The formation says we're most likely going to do one of four things: FB dive, HB dive, misdirection play, or PA pass. A QB sneak up the gut would also be possible but we most likely would have spread the formation if we were going to try that.
This play was doomed from the start. At the time I was listening to the radio broadcast and Jeff Lageman said it was going to be a pass when he saw them get set. After watching the replay myself I can see why. Even in Low-Res NFL.com video I can see that every down lineman with the exception of Wilford and Vinny has their weight back in their stance. Just about anyone who has ever lined up in a three point stance on a football field knows that means they are going to drop back and pass block, pull, or pivot and seal. At this point, before the ball is even snapped, the Hawks know we are going to pass and most likely it will be to one of the two tight endson the right.
Execution: Garrard snaps and makes a lame excuse for a play action fake. Greg Jones goes out to the right flat, Wilford runs a four yard out towards the right corner of the endzone. The left gaurd pulls and everyone else up front attempts to seal the right side. Garrard rolls out right pump, fakes once, looks like he wants to tuck it, hesitates and steps back. No one is open, he throws it out of the back of the endzone, turnover on downs, depression sets in.
The defense was never fooled for a second. The linebackers took a single step up and went into coverage on the right. There were at least 5 blue shirts around Wilford and Jones. Jones was well short of the end zone so Wilford was the one man who had a shot to make the play but he was surrounded by blue.
Problems: Well it didn't work! A PA roll out like this one only works if you get the D to bite hard on the run. That's why I just don't get this play. Why have your lineman line up to seal or pass block when you are trying to sell the run? Why limit your options to two players? Dave didn't even have a chance to take it in himself b/c the entire secondary only had 2 recievers to account for. With all the brilliant plays we've called in the same situation I'm baffled with Koetter's choice here. The only possible explanation I can think of is that someone screwed up their assignment.
We have a big QB, 2 powerful runners, and a bulldozer (well at least he used to be) at guard. Don't get cute, punch it up the gut! Or if you want to pass SELL THE RUN!
Or......why not just take the three pts in the first place?
I know this was waaaay to in depth but for me this was the pivitotal point in the game and one of the lamest excuses for a play I've seen the Jags run for a while.