A look at the MJD non-touchdown

With so much effort being devoted to an analysis of the fateful decision in the Sunday night game, not nearly enough time was spent talking about a controversial coaching move from earlier in the day.

Jaguars trail the Jets by a point.  Jags chose not to score a touchdown, opting instead to run out the clock and kick a game-winning field goal that was essentially an extra point.

Florio and Rosenthal talk about it.  We invite you to do the same in the comments.

49 responses to “A look at the MJD non-touchdown

  1. Bill B looks good if pass isn’t bobbled.
    Del Rio looks foolish if FG is blocked or somehow missed.
    Neither was a great idea, it was Mark Sanchez against the Jags, not Peyton.

  2. I don’t like it.
    It may have been a smart move, but it is against the spirit of the game.
    Everyone should always do their very best on every play.

  3. I didn’t realize Rosenthal was Brett from Pulp Fiction. He should tell us what it was like on the set with Samuel L. Jackson. From Big Kahuna Burgers to football blogging…small world.

  4. So, in retrospect, you’re against the coaching move that didn’t work, and you’re for the coaching move that did.

  5. I agree 100%. Off the top of my head I’m thinking about how many Touchdowns I’ve seen this year and how many extra points have been missed. Kicking a field goal from that distance is basically an extra point. I don’t understand the issue when, in reality, they won the game. I thought it was great coaching.

  6. I know that the Jaguars were down when MJD had a chance to walk in for the touchdown but having seen Matt Cassell get a touchdown on the defense in a minute or less, not once but twice the week before, I would have done the same thing. Those two touchdowns had to be the reason that the Jaguars coaching staff would have more faith in their kicker making what amounts to an extra point kick which is converted over 95% of the time versus a defensive stand that worked 0% of the last 2 times.

  7. It’s a good strategy when you’re winning, or even tied, but I don’t like kneeling at the one when you’re losing. Too many bad things can happen when it comes down to a field goal at the end. Ask Tony Romo about chip-shot game winning field goals some time.
    When Westbrook did it, they were already winning, so it guaranteed victory.

  8. Yeah, I have a few comments:
    * The audio/video synchronization is very poor
    * The lighting in “West Virginia” is very poor, Florio looks like an Albino
    * The audio levelling is non-existant
    * The NBC Sports backdrop behind Florio is about six inches wider than his shoulders
    * Is NBC concerned about geting slapped with a lawsuit for violating child labor laws by employing Rosenthal (he’s actually quite good)
    Other than that it was a great production piece.
    How embarrasing, if NBC can’t do better than that bring back Joe Brocato.
    Now about the content of the piece:
    Take the TD and play defense. Too many bad things can happen on a poor team. Another bad coaching decision that happened to work out this time.

  9. Great call, if you can’t trust your team to kick an extra point there’s no point to any of them being in the NFL. It’s really the only thing easier then taking a snap and falling forward (non JaMarcus Russell division).

  10. MJD’s move was a smart play. What are the odds of making a FG from there? About 99%. What are the odds of stopping the Jets from scoring on their ensuing drive if MJD had gone into the end zone? 50, 60, 70%? Which would you have more faith in?
    Same goes for Belichick’s call. What are the odds of Brady and the Pats offense picking up 2 yards there and effectively ending the game? Probably 75%. What are the odds of stopping Peyton Manning from scoring on a 60-70 yard drive if the Pats had punted? Probably about 40%. Which would you have more faith in? (Not to mention the Colts still had to score a TD from the 29 and if Addai had run that one in the Pats would’ve got the ball back with over a minute needing only a FG to retaliate and win).

  11. i like the call. the fact that the jesttsers were letting the jags score proves that it was a good strategic move.

  12. The odds of successfully kneeling the ball 3 times and kicking a FG were greater than stopping the Jets from scoring a TD in 2 min.
    Going down at the one made it an almost certainty that the Jaguars would win.
    What do you think Jets fans would rather MJD have done? There’s your answer.

  13. I agree. MJD made a brilliant play. The running backs coach of the Jaguars shouldn’t be fired. He should be given a raise.
    You have to trust your special teams to get a field goal from 18 to 25 yards, whatever it was. You have to give them a chance. That’s what the Jags did, and they won.
    Compare that with Dennis Green’s decision to take a knee on 3rd and 3 in the 4th quarter of the ’98 NFC Championship game. The game was tied. After that great offense took a knee, it was 4th down and the Vikings attempted a 38-yard field goal and missed. They later lost. A field goal attempt from 30+ yards is never automatic, especially in key situations. This was a bad decision by Green because the field goal attempt was not close enough yet to be ideal. You have to trust your offense to make a positive play and not allow a sack or turnover.
    In 1987, it was the 49ers and Bengals in the regular season. Bengals coach Sam Wyche didn’t punt with a 6-point lead with 6 seconds left. He ran a sweep and a 49er made a good tackle. The 49ers and Montana got the ball back and threw a touchdown pass with 2 seconds in the game. Wyche could have just had his punter take a safety. Or just punt the ball and trust your special teams.
    Now compare Bellichick’s move. You have to trust your defense to defend against Peyton Manning. If your defense is really not trustworthy, just cash in your chips and go home. Why play football in the first place if you can’t trust your defense?
    Coaches can be too afraid of trusting their players. You have to trust your players to do a good job.

  14. The way I see it, it all comes down to this: Are you more certain that you will make a 18 yard field goal, than will the Jets go all the way for a TD?

  15. I agree also. Looks like you’re moving up in the world Florio. ‘Bout time, this site is better than any other.

  16. Say what you want…MJD is the man! 5 foot nothing, heart of a champ, confident as hell. Team player, they won, ball game…end of story!

  17. As a Bengals fan, I would never trust a FG like that when my team is behind given our misadventures with kicking. I’d take the points. A bad snap by your long snapper, or a bad hold by the punter, and it’s all over. And what a way that would be to lose.

  18. The Jags don’t play terrific defense, I see no reason not to like the decision to play clock-management here. Now if Scobee had some of his kicks blocked in the past, or if that was the Cleveland Browns with big Shaun Rogers lining up opposite my kicking unit, then I reconsider.
    Also worth considering was whether or not David Garrard was the holder, lest he do his best Tony Romo impersonation.
    Bottom line: good teams don’t lose because of bonehead special teams plays. If you can’t convert a field goal from 19 yards out – even in a pressure situation – your team isn’t equipped to score points. About 1/3 of a team’s points come from field goals and extra points, most of those from not very far out. Can’t convert those, then you have no business winning.

  19. Good decision by Rex Ryan. Better decision by Jones-Drew. Jets defense caves like Yogi Bear (he lived in one. So did the Flintstones, but I went with the smarter reference).

  20. i have him on my fantasy team at the time i have to admit i got a lil mad, but watching it over and over on sportcenter, it was an absolute brilliant play! he is not a selfish player, which makes me like him more, go mjd!!!

  21. “not nearly enough time was spent talking about a controversial coaching move from earlier in the day.”
    Really? What about Raiders v Chiefs? Haley elects to go for it on 4th and 1 in the RedZone instead of kicking a field goal that would have put them up 16-10. Of course they fail to convert.
    Why go for it when you are in a field goal battle with the inept Raiders?
    Have not heard ONE SINGLE WORD about the boneheaded decision. Lucky Chiefs won 16-10. Should have won 19-10.

  22. Being that the Jags have the worst defense in football (literally), the decision made a lot sense. For any other team that has a viable Dime package, you get a TD and takes your chances vs. HotDog Sanchize in a two minute drill. MJD’s heads up play reminded me of the days when Brian Westbrook used his head to help the Eagles win games instead of ruin my fantasy football season.

  23. So in other words, if a coach makes a decision and it works (Jags), it is a great decision. If the Pats make a decision and it doesn’t work, its a bad decision.
    The very least you could do is pick a story and stick to it! sheesh………

  24. “Florio and Rosenthal talk about it. We invite you to do the same in the comments.”
    Ok.. Mr. Florio and Mr. Rosenthal.. You Talk About It, and I shall heretofore, comment about it, as per your request.
    My comment is this…
    Get rid of the video, and let me read instead of watch. I realize this is a new VIDEO toy NBC has given you, but give it up a little, at least.
    “Watching” a Video, T.V. Program, or NBC Sit-com is simply chewing gum for the brain.
    Reading is at least an exercise for the cranium.
    There is a reason I pick up the morning paper and cherish the experience of reading, rather than click on to ESPN and watch someone talk.
    This reading pleasure is what I have loved about P.F.T.
    Now… With your new toy, you are turning this very good read, into a Watch. I assume NBC is pushing you this way, why would they not.
    Mr. Florio… Never forget how, why, and the reason you got this web site to where it is…
    Do not kill what got you there.
    This web site is becoming like the most special Italian Family Restaurant, that was bought out by the freaking OLIVE GARDEN Corporate Chain.
    Never forget what got you there. And why it got you there.
    I have been a big supporter of this site… Now it is turning into a freaking NBC station.

  25. What’s there to talk about it? The Jaguars made the right move, if MJD did score a TD there, you risk the Jets having some time left to maybe make something happen. Also, winning by 6 or winning by 2 doesn’t make a difference at all, you don’t get rewarded for style points or anything.

  26. It’s absolute brilliant strategic coaching period. It’s not about how much you win by, it’s about giving your team the “best chance to win the game”. For years I have seen coaches blow game situations like this by handing the ball right back over to the other team only to lose in the end and here’s a coach who had the guts to make the right call! While I haven’t seen the actual play, I’d probably also set up the next play by taking a new knee in between the hash marks. It’s about team execution and if your team can’t make that field goal then you probably don’t deserve to win the game anyways!

  27. Everyone talked about this kind of play on Sunday, but what about a similar but different one that wasn’t made? With about 45 seconds left in the Patriots/Colts game Addai had burst through into open space heading into the endzone when he got pulled down at the one yardline from BEHIND. Why didn’t he just let Addai score and the Colts take a ONE point lead and so leave Brady 45 seconds to get the ball back into field goal range?
    Afterall if the genius Belichick thought Manning was a cinch to score from the Indy 20 he surely was certain to score from the Patriots one?

  28. Slow Joe Said:
    So, in retrospect, you’re against the coaching move that didn’t work, and you’re for the coaching move that did.
    Florio is a journalist like Aaron Kampman is a Linebacker.
    For all the people calling Florio a sellout you might want to check yourselves or at least learn how the Internet works. Like everything else in this world it costs money to to operate a blog. Without the ads there is no PFT unless of course you’d like to pay a monthly subscription fee.

  29. Not only was it the right call, it’s a call that you’ve got to have balls to make. If it failed for any reason, Jack Del Rio gets blasted for the decision. If they score the TD and give up the score to the Jets, the defense gets the blame.

  30. Was it the right decision in the context of winning the game? Yes. But there is something fundamentally wrong with the concept of NOT scoring a touchdown. The old geezers aren’t wrong here.
    The whole point of playing any sports game is to score points. To intentionally NOT score points seems contrary to the very nature of competition. It just flat out feels “wrong”. Still, what are you going to do, tell people that they HAVE to run that ball in, or that they HAVE to catch that pass in the end zone that the quartback MUST thow on target?
    I don’t have an answer, other than that even though it was a good “management” play, it goes against everything that sports is played for.
    FYI, this new “set” that you have may have seemed like a good idea, but it honestly comes across as two high school kids in mommy’s basement with a hand-cam. Honestly. It looks worse than you must realize. By the way Mike, seriously, Rosenthal is impossible for me to watch. I just want to grab the microphone from him and send him back to his second period math class. No joking, he may have valid opinions (though I have yet to see him actually make a solid point) but I simply can’t stand watching him, so I won’t.
    Where the hell is Joe Brocato???? Why “fix” what wasn’t broken?

  31. I didn’t like it … to put it all on a hold, snap, and kick would have scared me a bit, when a td was right there for the taking.
    Sure .. the odds of making the chip shot kick were very high, but so were the odds of keeping the other team out of the endzone with very little time left on the clock.

  32. How much were those 4 points Jones-Drew declined worth? If Jacksonville is tied with 2 or more teams and it comes down to these tiebreakers to gain a wildcard spot:
    Best net points in conference games.
    Best net points in all games.
    Best net touchdowns in all games.

  33. if it worked out, it’s a good call, if it doesn’t then it’s a bad call….plain and simple.
    It’s like stealing 3rd base with two outs…..

  34. It was a good decision until it was a bad decision. Jacks have all of their timeouts but let the clock go down to 4 seconds which was a bad decision. The smarter play is to call a timeout with 8 seconds left and 3rd down. Then if you muff the snap, you can lay on the ball and call timeout and you get another try. If the first kick is good, you will need to have the kicker hit a line drive kick off of a guy in the middle of the return team so the clock starts ticking.

  35. Hey “Raider Pride” –
    BTW do you realize your moniker is an oxy-moron?
    Anyway – don’t lecture the creator (and wildly successful one btw) of the site on how to run it. You are comical.
    Your PERSONAL opinion on what “got him here” is of no value to anyone but yourself.
    Just leave, please.

  36. No matter the outcome of Belicheck’s call, his actions told the D that I don’t trust you to win the game…. that’s why I don’t like that decision. It’s not like the D let Manning go crazy all over them… the D had got pressure on Manning and even got an INT on him. Giving them the ball inside the 30 was definitely giving Manning and company the game.
    The part that probably hurt the most for the defensive players on the Pats is that right after BB (keep in mind a defensive minded coach) told them that he didn’t trust them to stop the Colts from scoring a TD on a 60-70 yard drive… they had to go out and stop them on a 30 yard one???
    BB should be careful… he could lose the confidence of his D in this playoff run.
    As for the Jags, I like winning or losing with the ball in your hands… can’t blame anyone except for yourself in that situation if the ball is blocked or what not. If you give the ball back to the Jets and they score (or what about a pass interference call that gets them close or a good kickoff return) and lose, does it really matter that they got that TD. There’s more that can go wrong with scoring the TD and giving the Jets the ball back than what happened on Sunday. Kudos to the Jags coaching staff…

  37. If Rex is in the same spot again –he’ll tell his LB’s to carry him to the endzone. then we’ll have a debate.

  38. Wolfskins says:
    the D had got pressure on Manning and even got an INT on him.

    they got TWO INTERCEPTIONS off him plus his receivers were dropping passes- colts were no cinch to score from 70-80 yards away with no timeouts.

  39. It’s like walking in a run in baseball when your up by 2, to get to a bad hitter. Fans and old school guys hate it cause it looks cowardly. I slightly disagree with the call only because they were behind at the time. If they were tied I would have agreed, because the missed field goal only would have meant overtime. It just comes down to how good your defense is. Del Rio obviously thinks his isn’t good enough to risk giving the Jet’s a last shot at it.

  40. Anyone who has watched any Jaguars games for the past two seasons realizes that the right call was made. Time after time the Jags’ offense has taken the lead in the 4th quarter only to watch the defense squander it away. I’ll take the play that has a 99% success rate any day. The Jaguars have given up leading changing, game tieing, or game winning touchdowns in 10 of their last 25 fourth quarters. So, are you going take the 99% play, or the 60% play. The Jaguars have also given up multiple fourth quarter scores in 6 straight games now. Count me as very happy that he didn’t put the defense back on the field.

  41. Hey Rosenthal, stick to blogging. Though it’s good to put a face with the person who said Flacco is a better QB than Carson Palmer, I’d rather listen to Rosie Perez do an Isuzu spot than hear you speak again. Mostly kidding, no one wants to hear that ad.

  42. Ok, So how is this much different than in basketball where one team dribble down court and passes up an open layup so that they keep the the ball during the last few seconds of the game and tries to score with only 1-2 seconds left?
    The point of the game is to have scored more points than your opponent when the time runs out.
    It could have ended very differently IF the kick were blocked, but as it is, it was a smart move. It is the equivalent of being down by 1 with 20 ticks left and the ball in basketball. Keeps your opponent from having a chance to score.

  43. What happens if the Jets just stand infront of MJD and don’t touch him while he is on the ground but keep him out of the endzone. the clock continues to run until the play is over. Or would the officials blown the play dead with out contact?

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