Herm's horrid clock management skills.
He botched it at the end of each half yesterday. At some point, this is gonna screw us.
First half: Chiefs have 4th and 4 at the raiders 48. The clock is ticking down, to leave the raiders as little time as possible to add to their 6-0 lead. Good thinking so far. Then, with the playclock at 1, with 1:03 to go, timeout is called.
In section 132, this (no longer self described) hot as hell 31 year old comes unhinged. Why in the hell do you call a timeout there? The smart, sensible, any kid that has ever played Madden call there is to take the 5 yard penalty. You then use your timeouts after 1st, 2nd, and 3rd downs on defense, and if the punt goes well and pins them deep, you get the ball back at midfield with about 30 seconds left and a chance to steal points before the half.
Taking the timeout there was stupid, retarded, and ridiculous. Because everything else went exactly as you would want it to. Dusty C pinned oakland inside their 10. oakland had 4th and 2 to end the half. But instead of punting it with :45 on the clock, they simply ran a pitch play with :02 to end the half.
That ridiculous timeout cost us a chance for points at the end of the half. It also robbed us of a chance to turn the rushers loose, rush 10 to try to block the punt, since the raiders would be kicking from their goalline.
Second half: as bad as it was at this point, the Chiefs were still only a possession down, 16-8. The raiders near midfield. On first down they run mcfadden for a gain of 7. That TO, I was fine with. Its the right call there.
From this point on, however, its a catastrophe.
2:20 to go when the raiders snap the ball. Its a 5 yard gain by bush, first down oakland. 2:14 when the play is done.
The SMART play at this point is to IMMEDIATELY call timeout. Then call timeout again after the first down play. The two minute warning stops the clock after second down. Nothing you can do after 3rd down, but you will likely get the ball back at your own 20 with about a minute to go. And we HAVE seen the Chiefs march 80 yards ... in 57 seconds ... with no TOs ... against the raiders.
Herm's play, of course, was to NOT call timeout and let the clock run to the two minute warning. Letting 14 seconds stupidly bleed off the clock. Toss on the fact that the raiders would now be running 3 plays after the two minute warning, instead of one, and you've cost your team AT LEAST 25 seconds by botching the timeouts there.
Now yes, it ultimately didn't matter, because the defense was so gassed that they couldn't stop oakland. But what if they had? More specifically, when this rebuilding effort pays off, and its 2010, and its week 14 at denver, and we're down 21-17 in this same exact clock situation as today, it's going to matter. Those 25 seconds will be huge. Absolutely huge.
Don't believe me? Flash back to one of my favorite games ever, "The Stand", against denver in 2005. Its 4th and 2. denver runs mike anderson up the middle. The ball is snapped with 2:07 to go. Remember that, snapped with 2:07 to go. anderson is tackled. At first, the play is ruled a first down. The clock runs to the two minute warning as a result of the first down.
Only, Mike White tells Vermeil to challenge. Vermeil does. anderson didn't make the 48 yard line he needed to get to. Chiefs ball.
And at this point, with the stadium going nuts, his team deflated, a division title potentially hanging in the balance (denver entered this game 2 games ahead of us with 5 to go), mike shanahan showed why he's a brilliant coach.
he calls referee Bill Leavy over to the sideline for a chat. And points out that the ball was snapped with 2:07 to go. The play did not last 7 seconds. There should be more time on the clock.
Leavy talks it over, and concurs, and puts 2:01 on the clock, instead of 2:00. shanarat bought his team a second ... and a free timeout, by forcing us to run a play prior to the two minute warning now.
That one second bought shanarat one last shot at us, as we had to punt with about :30 left. (denver had no timeouts). While the defense did hold again to preserve a 31-27 win ... shanarat bought himself one final shot at it. If he doesn't recognize that the clock shouldn't have run to the two minute warning, we can take three knees and end it. Instead, we have to run the ball three times, risking a turnover, risking injury, risking the outcome.
All because shanarat knew there should be at least one second on that clock.
That's brilliant game and clock management.
Herm Edwards will never be accused of that.
Maybe its time to find out what winery Mike White is calling home nowadays and bring him back for the simple stuff, like basic clock management ...