We’ve all seen games lost in the dying second of a match up and that was on the table when the Colts defeated the Browns! One second to go of play time, great clock management by the Colts but then the Browns start throwing the ball around and in every code of football I have seen a player break out to score the match winning points. So, like every Colts fan, I’m jumping up and down, screaming, “Stop him, get the ball” Then relief when it was all bundled over the sideline! Instant relief, because as Trey Wingo said on NFL LIVE, “It’s hard winning any game in the NFL.”
At 3-3, the Colts are, not surprisingly, in the hunt in the NFL. And while it’s good to look to our future, I wonder if there is a lesson from our immediate past? That one second of play time that could have changed the result; could we learn from that moment. The Browns were on their 20 yard line, the ball went back to the quarter back who goes back to the 12, throws and then they keep throwing laterally, reaching the fifty. A gain of thirty. Ironically, Andrew Luck’s first play was also a gain of thirty. So why do we not have lateral passing as part of our playbook? Or if it is in the playbook, why don’t we use it?
Last Saturday night an International Rugby Union game was played in Australia; New Zealand had not lost a game in their last 16 international games and were heading to a world record. They played Australia, whom they had beaten on their last few encounters. But this time, Australia played a different game. Instead of kicking, they held the ball, lots of lateral passing and lots of rushing in NFL terms. All unexpected by New Zealand, and while Australia did not win outright, they held the score to a draw, which was a mental win for Australia against a proven champion team.
So if the Colts are on the opposition’s 30 yard line, why not try an unexpected play; an actual structured, set play with several lateral passes. The only concern is ball security, but that does come with practice. Players have to watch that their pass isn’t picked off and playing on the field, in the heat of battle, it is much harder. So, instead of using throwing the ball around in desperation time, the dying minute when you are down by a touchdown or less, practice it as a set play and use it when the opposition least expects it. Actually, there was a famous coach in Rugby League, Jack Gibson who use to visit the States regularly, watching football games and learning training methods that he could utilize in Australia. The thing he loved was he could bring back unexpected plays to the Aussie game. It certainly could be an addition to the weapons a team already has, a bit like the fake field goal. I guess it could beef up our offense without having to add or change any players and might take pressure off what is the era of the quarterback.
Of course, this is all just idle rambling from an Aussie half way around the other side of the world, standing upside down to your point of reference. The thing I do know is that my beloved Colts are in safe hands; great players, great managers and fantastic coaches as we continue to build our new team and show our stuff on the gridiron.
Rooting for the Colts a half a world away. Our resident Aussie blogger, Rob Zammit, is a veterinarian and dedicated Colts fan.
Posted in Voice of the Fans