Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Conventional wisdom beats Baltimore Ravens on MNF

It's 20-20 with the game headed to overtime last night, and ESPN's Ron Jaworski asks if the Baltimore Ravens win the coin flip whether they should kickoff rather then receive. All three guys in the Monday Night Football booth knew it was not going to happen. In fact, the MNF crew cited Detroit Lions coach Marty Morningwig, who made such a call and lost the game and later his job.

But should it have happened? The Ravens won the toss and chose to receive. A few plays later, they punted without getting a first down. The Pittsburgh Steelers returned the punt to their own 43. Gain 20-25 yards, and they can at least attempt a game-winning field goal. They gained 26 yards. It took a third-and-eight pass play (below) by the Steelers, but they did it. Jeff Reed kicked the 46-yard game-winner.

Conventional wisdom says Ravens head coach John Harbaugh made the right call, right? Take possession of the football first in overtime, right? Every coach in the NFL would have, right?

I wonder if Harbaugh, in his heart, was hoping the Steelers won the coin flip. I think every coach, if in Harbaugh's shoes, would have chosen to receive. But I wonder if every coach in the league had the Ravens' defense, would they have rather lost the coin flip?

Conventional wisdom beat the Ravens last night.

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