Off The Chart!

If I were the owner of the Cincinnati Bengals, Marvin Lewis would have had to catch his own flight home after yesterday’s game at Texas Stadium. I would have fired him at the 7:39 mark of the fourth quarter.

After fighting back from 17 points down, on the road, Lewis had his 0-4 football team poised to pull off the upset of the MarvinLewisCowboys. They had all the momentum. They had all the confidence. Things were bouncing their way. Palmer was torching the Dallas DBs. Romo was out of sync. The crowd was out. This was all heading the Bengals’ way. The Cincinnati TD with 7:39 to play brought Lewis’ team to within two points. And, again, they had all the momentum.

Until Lewis called for a two-point try.

I’ll never understand this.

Never mind that the play itself was a lame fade route to a tight end. Forget that. The fire-able offense here is in attempting the two-point conversion in the first place.

In the NFL, the one-point kick has a success rate of 99%. The PAT is automatic. The two-point try is successful 52% of the time. Pretty much a 50-50 proposition. It’s a roll of the dice. Why these coaches choose to do it with so much on the line makes no sense.

Now the Bengals are down two points instead of one. Now the Bengals, after enjoying so much success, have experienced a failure. They missed the conversion. Now the Cowboys, after suffering nothing but failure since the end of the first quarter, have experienced a success. They stopped the two-point play. The home crowd, dejected by Cincy’s effortless drive down the field for the score, now has something to celebrate. They’re back in. Momentum, which had belonged solely to the Bengals for almost three full quarters, was now gone.

Why?

On the ensuing drive, the Cowboys score the TD through Austin to Crayton. And now, instead of only being down eight points, the Bengals trail by nine with two-minutes to play. Instead of needing to score a touchdown and a two-point try to tie the game and send it into OT, Cincinnati has to score twice. How huge is that? There’s a HUGE difference between needing one score in the last two minutes and needing two scores! Huge! The game’s over. It’s done. It’s not going to happen. And all 53 of the Bengals’ players and all 20 of their coaches knew it. Marvin Lewis killed his team’s chances by going for the two-point try too early.

I’m sure he blamed it on “the chart.” They always do.

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Terrell Owens is pouting on the Cowboys sideline during the third quarter. He’d only caught two balls up to that point. JerryWayneDallas is winning. But T.O. is upset. He’s wearing the towel over his head and face. He’s slumped down on the Cowboys bench. I’m not sure if he’s crying or not. Hard to tell. And Jerry Wayne comes down from his box to encourage his ten million dollar superstar. Jerry consoles Owens.

“I was just reminding him how important a player and an important part he is to this team winning.”

TimeBombAfter the game, T.O. won’t answer any questions from the press. He makes a statement about how difficult it was out there and how he kept fighting and kept trying. He thanked God for his abilities. He declared that he only does things for God anyway.

Tick, tick, tick, tick…………

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I’m hanging out with the girls today. Everybody’s out of school. Except C-A. Not sure what we’re going to do. But it’s daddy-daughters day today.

Tomorrow’s my monthly trip down to the Waco Alliance. Before I leave, though, I’ll make sure the “KK&C Top 20” is posted, along with some thoughts about the 24 Hours of Prayer.

Peace,

Allan

5 Comments

  1. Jim Gardner

    Lar,

    Saw the same thing in the Fresno debacle Saturday night. Dogs score to cut the Hawaii lead to 19-9. Dogs go for two and, after running the ball down Hawaii’s throat between the tackles, they decide to sweep to the wideside of the field.

    To make it worse, that all happened in the second quarter.

    I’ll never figure the point-chasing strategy, especially before halftime.

  2. Rob's Dad

    Allan,
    Pretty tame stuff. The Cowboys almost lost to a 0-4 team and you spend all that energy on Marvin Lewis and going for 2. It wasn’t a good attempt yet going for 2 wasn’t that bad given the circumstances.

    I wish I’d been in town today to listen to all of the commentary. Playoffs? Playoffs? Don’t talk to me about playoffs. (Do you think anybody else will get this one?)

    On a lighter note, ask the group in Waco for their thoughts on Shane Claiborne (sic?).

  3. Allan

    Given the circumstances, going for two WAS that bad and even worse. Much worse. The circumstances are exactly what make it so bad. Inexcusable.

    I don’t understand why nobody else talks about it. I suppose if you blame it on “the chart” nobody gets fired. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The chart is for losers.

    Nobody ever refers to “the chart” when their 2-point try is successful.

    I still haven’t read the Claiborne book yet. As long as it doesn’t say “Love Jesus but not the Church” (I hope it doesn’t)I’ll get to it soon. I’m finishing up The Shack before I go to bed tonight.

  4. DavidW

    My take on both Claiborne books is that he sees the Church as a lot bigger and looks a lot different than we are used to. The books are a challenging read for someone like me: I found myself both angry and inspired in the same chapter. His first hand experiences with Rich Mullins and Mother Teresa, as well as going to war-torn Iraq are fascinating…

    One of many quotes I like, attributed to Kaj Munk: “Remember the signs of the Christian Church have been the Lion, the Lamb, the Dove and the Fish… but never the chameleon.”

  5. Caleb Courtney

    Allan,
    Unfortunately you made the case for the two point try in your arguement against it. The Cowboys offense was sputtering and anemic, the Cincy defense had been holding the line. Why not try and tie the game up, with a 50-50 shot. If you miss, no big deal, defense goes out and gets a stop because TO is still pouting, and Carson bombs one to Chad and Cincy is on top…or worse case scenario, the defense holds and overtime absurdities ensue..

    That two point conversion by Mike Shanahan looked good a few weeks ago….;)

    Claiborne walks every bit of his talk. He spoke in Searcy the brief time I was up there. As part of his coming to speak somewhere he requires that the institution put him up with a family, he refuses to stay in hotels. They guy makes his own clothes!
    Both books are excellent, you may not agree with everything but like David says, his vision of the church is a lot larger and much more active than we have currently invisioned it. He certainly does not try to be controversial for controversial sake.

    Much like Brian McClarren at ACU lectureships, you may not agree with everything he says, but so much of what he does say is prophetic and causes a great deal of self reflection.

    Thanks for your great thoughts and encouragement. Stay bold in your words!

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