Derrick Gore sealed Chiefs’ win with late run out of bounds, leaving many observers confused

Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals
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Sometimes when you make the smart play from a clock management perspective, not everyone watching is smart enough to understand why you did it. Chiefs running back Derrick Gore found that out in front of a national television audience.

The Chiefs had the ball and the lead with 1:51 remaining when Gore got the ball on third-and-10. Gore made a nice run around the left end to pick up the first down, and then immediately ran out of bounds, even though he appeared to have a path to the end zone.

That was smart: The Cardinals were out of timeouts, so by stepping out of bounds after picking up the first down, he set the Chiefs up to just have to kneel down three times to seal the win. And that’s exactly what they did.

But ESPN announcers Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick didn’t understand.

“I wonder if he got confused about the first down marker vs. the goal line,” Riddick said.

“I think he could’ve got there,” Levy said.

“You ought to get into the end zone. I don’t know what he was doing,” Griese said.

The ESPN trio weren’t the only ones who didn’t know what Gore was doing. The Kansas City Star‘s review of the game asked, “why did he run out of bounds late in the fourth quarter?”

He ran out of bounds because he was showing that he has a good understanding of situational football: Scoring a touchdown would have forced the Chiefs to kick off, and the Cardinals would have had an opportunity to come back. By going out of bounds, Gore ensured that the Chiefs would only have to kneel down to win the game.

Some might say that in a preseason game it doesn’t matter, and Gore should just try to make the best individual play he can to earn a spot on the roster. But that misses the point that Gore did make the best individual play he could. Running backs who can score touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a preseason game are a dime a dozen. What Gore showed is that he’s a smart player who understands clock management. That’s a valuable trait.

And, of course, if Chiefs coach Andy Reid had really wanted to extend the game, he could have called more offensive plays after Gore’s first down. Instead, Reid called for three kneeldowns, demonstrating that he wanted to walk away with the win.

Gore is to be commended for his high football IQ — a higher football IQ than some who get paid to analyze the game.

16 responses to “Derrick Gore sealed Chiefs’ win with late run out of bounds, leaving many observers confused

  1. I sit there watching pre-season games and I’m shocked at how unprofessional the guys in the booth are. I’m not even talking about the Chiefs game. I’m all good with ex-players becoming TV guys, but they need to get trained on how to do both play by play, and analysis. It’s like going into a restaurant and having the chef be an ex-NFL player, and the food tastes nasty, and the meat isn’t cooked. I’d love having one of those guys for a chef, but they should go to culinary school first. Nobody says who made the run or who made the tackle. When you’re doing pre-season games, you need to let the fans know who’s playing. We all know Tom Brady wears number 12, but we have no idea who these rookies are at this time of the year. I’m sure their friends and families back home want to hear their names, too. It’s getting to the point where it takes away from the game. I never pay too much attention to the guys in the booth unless it’s pretty darn awful, and it’s like that now. Just about every game. Maybe the networks are using these games to evaluate the guys, so I’m expecting big changes once the season begins.

  2. Play by play announcers simply parrot information they are given, their football IQ is not as high as they all think it is.

  3. I didnt see the play and maybe he couldnt get down but based off what was said here the one thing omitted if trying to run out the clock was why go out of bounds? If he stays in and gives himself up its 1 less play that they would have to snap since going out stopped the clock. In the regular season that’s exactly what would be said is to stay inbounds and keep the clock running.

  4. Considering how often on a Monday we get to examine the ridiculous management of the clock and the end of the game dynamics this was very impressive. And by being impressive it shows how many teams, coaches, and players get the end of the game wrong. Oh, and entire production booths and announcing teams. Nice work guys.

  5. Might explain why Riddick hasn’t landed the front office job he’s been so desperately seeking the past few years .

  6. Up 17-10 the smart move is go down inbounds. Next score a TD to be up by 13. Then go out of bounds. What am I missing?

  7. While either scenario would have worked I think there was too much thought put into this.
    Yes, taking a knee three times ends the game. the scoring also would have put you up 13 points or two scores and you could have had the chance to practice a two-point conversion which would have put you THREE scores up with a minute and 50
    Seconds left.I’m pretty sure this is a scenario a coach would want to have.
    So for all you over thinkers out there the obvious Occam’s razor solution would have been to score.
    Even if somehow he didn’t score he already gained the first down and the clock would still be

  8. He did exactly what Reid and the offense told him. No way a 4th string RB is focused on clock management in a meaningless preseason game when he might be passing up the only TD he’d ever get. But besides that, the commentator saying he got confused and thought the 7 yard line was somehow the goal line is pretty dumb.

  9. What if he got tackled inbounds and then fumbled? The Cards would have had plenty of time to get down the field. Going out of bounds, especially with AZ not having timeouts was the best option to close out the game.

  10. Get the win, get the team off the field without risking injury in a meaningless game. Smart move.

  11. Its the same type of “fan” that thinks the Seahawks screwed up by throwing on 2nd and goal in the SB against the Pats. Based on the time left on the clock, and the timeout situation, in the vent that the throw failed on second down, throwing afforded the seahawks 2 more downs (3rd and 4th) where they had both run and pass as an option. The issue wasnt throwing the ball, the issue was execution of the play. Wilson simply didnt read it. He assumed it would be an easy score and he just tossed the ball where he expected the receiver to be. And Malcolm Butler happened to be there to intercept it.

  12. Lol they understand time management but it’s a preseason game. Greise and Riddick both said it might be his only chance to get into the endzone just score.

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