Mistakes can’t happen in the NFL. They do, but they can’t. Among others that can be pointed out, here are two that took place at opposite ends of their games that just didn’t make any sense.
Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is in his 10th NFL season. He threw a pass late in the fourth quarter on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks that you would hope a rookie wouldn’t throw.
The Texans were clinging to a 20-13 lead with less than three minutes to go and the clock was running. Schaub dropped back to pass and under pressure floated a ball out to the right side that Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman grabbed out of the air and returned 58 yards for a touchdown. The ensuing extra point tied the game, which the Seahawks won in overtime.
Schaub knows better. He knows he either had to throw the ball 20 yards out of bounds, even if it meant taking an intentional grounding penalty, or tuck the ball away as best as possible and go down with the sack. Worst case scenario, punt the football back to Seattle and make Russell Wilson and the Seahawks earn it.
Many fans have now turned on Schaub and a photo of his jersey about to be burned is making the rounds. That’s unfortunate and hopefully the pick sixes are out of his system and he’ll make better decisions going forward.
Move to the night game and a decision by the Atlanta Falcons early in their game against the New England Patriots just doesn’t seem to add up.
The Patriots moved ahead of the Falcons 7-3 with more than 6 minutes to go in the half when Atlanta marched down the field. The Falcons found themselves in a fourth-and-two situation at the Patriots’ seven yard line. Seems like a clear chip shot for Matt Bryant to bring Atlanta within one, but the team elected to go for it and Matt Ryan threw what he admitted was a bad pass.
Bad throw aside, why go for it in that spot in the second quarter? The justification that you’re going to need points to beat the Patriots doesn’t add up there because you’re taking an easy three off the board.
Sure, by the half the Falcons had tied the game at 10-10 and maybe the play and drive in question doesn’t really matter, but at the time it happened it certainly felt like the Falcons best move would’ve been to add the field goal and go from there.
No one play or decision is usually responsible for a team’s win or loss and the above examples fall into that category. The Texans made other mistakes during the game against the Seahawks and the Falcons had other chances to register points against the Patriots.
However, the two choices noted above are head scratchers that can’t happen if these teams want to play on the first Sunday in February in New Jersey. Schaub can’t throw that ball in that spot and the Falcons must convert for a first down or touchdown if they’re going to go for it in that situation.