Monday, October 5

News roundup

I was interested to read three stories on the PD site after the Browns' loss to the Bengals yesterday, only one of which has anything to do with the game.

First up is John "Big Dawg" Thompson, who has settled his lawsuit with EA for using his likeness in Madden. He was demanding at least $25 000 and (not or) for them not to use his image anymore. Whatever, dude. Wouldn't you want to be in Madden? Why would this upset you to the point where you tried to sue EA? I'd consider it a tribute. I'll never cease to be amazed by how much people like money.

Next is Braylon Edwards assaulting a guy at 2:30 am last night. Apparently it has something to do with Braylon not liking LeBron, who I guess the victim knew or something. I dunno, I don't understand crazy pro athlete behavior. But, based on everything we've seen and heard from Braylon in his career thus far, is there any doubt in anyone's mind that he punched this guy for no good reason? Braylon, you're my least favorite Brown ever - no need to keep trying.

Finally, a game-related story, about Carson Palmer lobbying coach Marvin Lewis to go for it on 4th and 11 late in overtime. The Bengals converted and went on to win, of course, but if this anecdote is true, then Bengal fans should be very concerned about Marvin Lewis' decision-making. The Bengals had the ball on the Browns' 41. It was 4th and 11. There was 1:04 remaining in overtime. And Lewis was leaning towards punting.

Now, I'll give him credit for thinking twice and ultimately making the right call, but seriously, Marvin? You were going to punt? That's insane. Punting there makes essentially only one outcome possible: a tie. The Browns, ineffective at moving the ball and out of timeouts (I think), weren't going to score in a minute from deep in their own end, and by punting, neither were the Bengals. By going for it, you leave open a slight chance to take a loss, a significant chance to win (as they did), and the bulk of the probability on a tie.

I cannot see how you could play for a tie in that situation. You absolutely 100% have to play for the win. The Bengals still have 3 games with Baltimore and Pittsburgh remaining, and they need every win they can get, not a tie against the Browns. For the sake of the integrity of the NFL, I'm glad they went for it.

In fact, thinking about my previous sentence, it doesn't matter what division you're in or what your record is: you play for the tie there. Sure, there are exceptions, like if it's the last game of the year and a tie gets you in the playoffs and you don't want to risk a loss or something. But 99% of the time, independent of context, go for it there and try to get a W.

I think most coaches' decisions should be made independent of context, despite what many announcers will tell you. Rich Gannon (who actually made a number of interesting points through the game) yesterday said that Mangini could take more chances, for example going for 4th downs, because the Browns have a bad record and "have nothing to lose." That's rubbish. You make the in-game decision that gives your team the best chance to win, every time, regardless of your record. Coaches of 0-4 clubs should make the same choices as coaches of 4-0 teams. I don't understand why there's this perceived difference based on team record, when the coach has exactly the same objective in both situation.

1 comment:

Nick said...

I really thought Lewis was going to punt. I had tons of laughter queued up.