Tavern talk: Scoring too early can hurt

The Patriots’ call Sunday night has been dominating game management issues all week, but in the Bucs-Dolphins game there was a critical play at the end of the half that, in my view, I’m not sure how they could reverse the call on the field. But they did, and Bucs coach Raheem Morris went nuts. He cost his team a personal-foul penalty, which is never good for a head coach.

What was clear in this game and other games around the NFL is that if you leave too much time on the clock as an offense, you have a chance to lose the game. Here is an example:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1:43

1-10-MIA 26 (1:43) (Shotgun) J.Freeman scrambles left end ran ob at MIA 12 for 14 yards. R14

1-10-MIA 12 (1:35) (Shotgun) J.Freeman pass short right to K.Winslow to MIA 8 for 4 yards (Y.Bell).

Timeout #1 by MIA at 01:29.

2-6-MIA 8 (1:29) C.Williams right guard to MIA 1 for 7 yards (V.Davis). R15

Timeout #2 by MIA at 01:19.

1-1-MIA 1 (1:19) R.Miller reported in as eligible. C.Williams right guard for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN. R16

PENALTY on TB-K.Winslow, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 15 yards, enforced between downs.

C.Barth extra point is GOOD, Center-A.Economos, Holder-D.Johnson.

Now Tampa is desperate for a win and has to score when the chance presents itself, but in this case, it scored too early. Even with the Bucs backing up the Fins, they still lost.

TB 23 MIA 22, 4 plays, 26 yards, 0:29 drive, 13:46 elapsed

C.Barth kicks 71 yards from TB 15 to MIA 14. T.Ginn to MIA 16 for 2 yards (T.Cox).

Miami Dolphins at 1:14, (1st play from scrimmage 1:10)

1-10-MIA 16 (1:10) C.Henne pass deep middle to D.Bess to MIA 41 for 25 yards (B.Ruud). P20

1-10-MIA 41 (:47) (No Huddle, Shotgun) C.Henne pass incomplete short middle to J.Haynos.

PENALTY on TB-G.Hayes, Defensive Pass Interference, 9 yards, enforced at MIA 41 - No Play. X21

1-10-50 (:41) (No Huddle, Shotgun) C.Henne pass deep right to D.Bess to TB 34 for 16 yards (D.Roberson). P22

1-10-TB 34 (:25) C.Henne spiked the ball to stop the clock.

Timeout #3 by TB at 00:23.

2-10-TB 34 (:23) R.Williams right tackle to TB 7 for 27 yards (G.Hayes). R23

Timeout #3 by MIA at 00:14.

1-7-TB 7 (:14) D.Carpenter 25 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Denney, Holder-B.Fields.

TB 23 MIA 25, 5 plays, 77 yards, 1 penalty, 1:04 drive, 14:50 elapsed

My sense of the NFL today is that teams have to be more aggressive in their four-minute attack to keep the ball away from these high scoring teams, just as San Diego did against the Eagles. An example below:

PHI 23 SD 28, 12 plays, 77 yards, 5:07 drive, 7:48 elapsed

D.Akers kicks 68 yards from PHI 30 to SD 2. D.Sproles to SD 23 for 21 yards (E.Buckley).

San Diego Chargers at 7:12, (1st play from scrimmage 7:06)

1-10-SD 23 (7:06) P.Rivers pass short right to M.Tolbert to SD 28 for 5 yards (M.Fokou).

2-5-SD 28 (6:30) P.Rivers pass short left to V.Jackson to SD 38 for 10 yards (D.Patterson). P20

1-10-SD 38 (5:50) P.Rivers pass incomplete short right to L.Tomlinson.

Timeout #1 by SD at 05:41.

2-10-SD 38 (5:41) P.Rivers pass short left to A.Gates to SD 42 for 4 yards (D.Patterson).

3-6-SD 42 (4:54) (Shotgun) P.Rivers pass short middle to A.Gates to PHI 41 for 17 yards (D.Patterson). P21

1-10-PHI 41 (4:10) L.Tomlinson up the middle to PHI 37 for 4 yards (Q.Mikell, S.Jones).

2-6-PHI 37 (3:30) L.Tomlinson right end to PHI 33 for 4 yards (Q.Mikell).

3-2-PHI 33 (2:45) (Shotgun) P.Rivers pass short middle to L.Naanee to PHI 15 for 18 yards (V.Harris, W.Witherspoon). P22

Timeout #3 by PHI at 02:25.

1-10-PHI 15 (2:25) L.Tomlinson up the middle to PHI 13 for 2 yards (S.Jones).

Two-Minute Warning

2-8-PHI 13 (2:00) L.Tomlinson up the middle to PHI 11 for 2 yards (M.Fokou).

3-6-PHI 11 (1:19) L.Tomlinson left end to PHI 11 for no gain (D.Patterson).

Timeout #2 by SD at 00:33.

4-6-PHI 11 (:33) N.Kaeding 29 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-D.Binn, Holder-M.Scifres.

PHI 23 SD 31, 12 plays, 66 yards, 6:42 drive, 14:30 elapsed

Had the Chargers punted the ball back at any point in the drive, they knew the Eagles would score and they would lose. They also knew their defense was spent, and the best defense they had was their offense.

Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi

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