I understand your reasoning for blaming McNair, but I disagree.
1. We didn't run the ball enough
2. We didn't spread the defense
3. We didn't stretch the field
4. The play calling in the red zone was atrocious
5. How many times was Dem Williams on the field....like 2?
6. The whole game plan was crap
7. Killing the clock at the half was a complete embarrassment
There was about one minute left and the Colts had 2 time outs. If we start throwing the ball, we keep the clock from moving and, unless we get a first down, punt it away with appx. 40 seconds (or whatever) left to a Colts team with 2 time outs and a dangerous passing game. Plus to open the 2d half the Colts would get the ball.
Was it conservative? Yes. Did the fans like it? No. But neither of those things means it was wrong, and I personally think it's just goofy to suggest anyone playing or coaching for the Ravens doesn't want to WIN.
Concerning the play calling in the red zone being atrocious - If McNair hit Demetrius Williams for a td, instead of missing Heap for a pick on the exact same play, would that still be atrocious play calling?
When your team us struggling to make a 1st down and you have 2 TOs left and you have the ball, you at least TRY to get pts on the board, if you fail, no big deal. But wasting an entire possession is a JOKE...only a little p--sy wouldn't try to get more pts. And Billick called the whole game like a scared little kid.
There's one other reason that I haven't seen yet, and it's the most painful one to hear: simple bad luck.
Sometimes, the ball's just not going to bounce your way. Heap fumbles and the Colts recover. We hit a deep strike with flags flying and the receiver (can't remember who) fumbles, so we have to take a five-yard penalty instead. We force a fumble and it rolls out of bounds. The Colts KR flubs two kicks, but the ball stays near him, so he has time to pick it up and get a few yards back, rather than having to fall on it. We tip away a couple of passes that would have otherwise been interceptions. Vinatieri's kick hits the crossbar and bounces over, so his last kick has a chance to seal the game by putting them up two possessions.
This is not intended as an excuse for shoddy offensive play, or to say that we deserved to win the game. But it was a factor. Our defense did a tremendous job and Manning looked awful again, and we held one of the top three offenses in the NFL without a touchdown. Our offense was lethargic and McNair played a miserable game.
Still, if we catch a couple more breaks and the luck had evened out, we might be talking about hosting the Pats right now.
the offense as a whole didn't play well the entire game. But with 4 changes we win that game.
1 ~ that pass makes it to heap we're up 10-6
2 ~ McNair completes the pass to williams and at worst that's another 3.
3 ~ Clayton holds onto the ball ~ more potential for another three.
4 ~ heap doesn't fumble, 1st down Ravens.
Then you're got Ravens winning 16-12.
But that's the whole problem with our offense, execution has to be about flawless to win. I am hoping Billick gets his hands out of the offensive pot and let's Slick Rick (if he's not the new OC I will be shocked) run his own game, I think we'll like the changes.
It all comes down to playing to win or playing not to lose. You can get away with playing not to lose if you are winning the turnover battle. If you lose the turnover battle like we did the only way to win is to play to win. Don't abandon the run. Throw it down the field. Try a 15 yard pass on third and 5 instead of a 2 yard pass.
> It all comes down to playing to win or playing not to lose.
Something that gets repeated so often I might be tricked into thinking it means something.
If the guys 15 yards down the field are (a) covered or (b) overlooked, then there will be a throw underneath. If Steve McNair sees a receiver break loose 15 yards downfield, he will throw it to him, of course.
Even assuming the plan was for throws underneath, that's consistent with a strategy of attacking Indy's undersized linebackers. Good strategy? Bad strategy? I don't know. Lots of people who post here and call NST *do* seem to know; perhaps their experience watching television, playing Madden, and coaching peewee football makes them experts.
I can't help but think that without one or two bad calls and bad turnovers, we would have won.
Would everyone be calling/posting to complain about our terrible coach without those bad calls and bad turnovers, and a victory instead? Same coach, same coaching, different result. Nobody whines.
We had a great season, going 13-3, sweeping the Steelers and generally representing very well. We *did* have a poor game against Indianapolis in the playoffs. That does *not* mean, after a successful year, you burn down the house.
The Colts had three (3) fumbles and recovered all three.
We had two and lost both
It's moot at this point, since it's already been announced that he'll be back next season, but the call for Billick to be fired, as far as I'm concerned, is NOT just the result of Saturday's debacle -- that was merely the culmination of YEARS of having to put up with his stubborn arrogance, his misdirected overloyalty, his slow reaction to real time game situations, his abominable clock management, his inability to prepare the team for BIG GAMES, and, as has been stated already several times, his "play to not lose vs play to win" mentality. Now that Marty has shown his ability to abandon "Martyball", the new kid in town is now clearly BILLICKBALL. And unless one has an overwhelming desire to continually get f*cked up the ass, Billick should have been let go at the end of the season, IMO.
But he wasn't, and I accept that, although I don't like it, and I will go on record as saying I don't like it now -- before next season even starts, so it won't be a matter of jumping on or off any bandwagons. I didn't join here until near the end of this season -- but I've been saying this about Billick now for years -- this isn't any kneejerk reaction to Saturday's loss to the Colts. I want a coach who is going to PLAY TO WIN, not PLAY NOT TO LOSE. If the mental giant Festivus is tired of hearing it, I could care less. I'm tired of hearing his and PP's apologetics for this woefully mismanaged team of ours.
I never said he should be fired for the debacle vs the Colts. I wish he had been fired after last year. If we had Bellichick, or Sean Payton as coach last week vs the Colts we win that game....no doubt in my mind.
Billick played not to lose, instead of being aggressive and playing to win. We have seen this over and over w/ him since he has been here.
Nice meltdown, Preston, I mean skay. Sure, it's definitely all Billick's fault. He obviously instructed McNair to turn the ball over.
Skay, I don't claim to be a mental giant. I'm not so fancy as you and don't understand the difference between playing to win, and playing not to lose. Unless you mean playing to tie? I thought they don't have ties in the playoffs.
Anyway if you want to point to some specific things, and explain what the difference is between playing to win, and playing not to lose, then maybe I'll understand better.
Thanks in advance.
Festivus..I'll give you a perfect example of what SKAY is trying to say. It was clear to me what Billick's mentality was at the end of the 1st half:
When your team had been struggling to make a 1st down the entire 1st half and you have 2 TOs left and you have the ball, and you are trailing 9-3, a FG or TD can turn the momentum in your favor heading into the locker room.
You at least TRY to get pts on the board, if you fail, no big deal. But wasting an entire possession is a JOKE. And Billick's logic was that Indy had TOs left as well and if we went down and scored Indy would get the ball back w/ another chance to score before halftime. Well, a real coach would have tried to score AND leave Indy little or no time left....THAT'S PLAYING TO WIN.
What more do you need than that?
And that doesn't even get into Billick's piss poor preparation for this game (where was an attempt to get SOMEBODY back there instead Cory Ross to run back kickoffs or punts and maybe give us a shot in the arm as far as better field position goes -- like Clayton, McAlister, etc.
Or the insanity of running out the clock at the end of the first half -- something Billick has done REPEATEDLY -- rather than at least TRY to get some points on the board.
Or the total lack of even ONE SINGLE NEW WRINLKE on offense -- pass by Clayton, flea flicker, etc.
Or the season-long under-utilization of Mike Anderson.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
If you need to rationalize all the legitimate criticisms of Billick as a "meltdown", be my guest. His coaching problems -- MASKED by the quality of the players he has -- speak for themselves. Belichick, on the other hand, has demonstrated an uncanny ability to piece together sub-pro bowl caliber players and get them to win championships. Billick has YET to do that. He won in 2000/2001 because that D was so good, it took care of the defense AND the offense.
He tried to rely on that this year, and he fell short. And I'm tired of it. And so are a lot of other fans. You want to stay in his corner, that's up to you. And if you need to write off those who are clear-headed enough to see what's really going on and speak out against it as "meltdowners", that's also your choice But I guarantee that as long as Billick is here as HC, the team is going to continue to be limited by his eccentric fears that get projected onto the whole offense, and ultimately the whole team.