Saturday, January 15, 2005

Steelers 20, Jets 17.

I might as well copy last week's post on the Jets-Chargers games and replace "Marty Schottenheimer" with "Herman Edwards". Edwards, who served under Marty for several years in Kansas City, is now a tenured full professor at the less-than-esteemed Marty School of Clock Management. Again, as last week, the kicker should have made the kick. In this case, Doug Brien had TWO CHANCES. Inexcusable for a professional kicker, and much, much worse that last week.

But consider the situation leading up to the final kick. 1st and 10 at the 25, about 1 minute to go, all 3 timeouts remaning, tied at 17. Who could ask for a better situation? So what does Edwards do? He wastes all of the situational advantage that he attained by running ONE play - a completely predictable Curtis Martin one yard loss up the middle.

Just as his mentor Marty would do, Herman froze when the game was on the line, and took the absolute safest route and cost his team the season. He could have easily run 3 to 5 plays in that situation and given his kicker a chance to kick from a much more manageable distance. Instead, he asked his kicker - who just missed a 47 yarder - to make a kick from practically the same distance in an incredibly pressure packed situation with a heavy ball. Predictably, he missed.

To be a great coach, you have to seize these kinds of moments, but Herman Edwards let the moment seize him. I like so many things about Edwards as a football coach, but clock and game management are his fatal flaws, and I have a hard time believing that he'll be able to overcome that.

I feel terrible for Jets fans everywhere.

p.s. How about the rookie phenom Big Ben? Playing against a near-great defense, he was simply terrible. No way the Steelers beat either Brady or Manning next week.


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