Monday, December 17, 2007

Brian Westbrook is My Hero

Well, not literally, of course. But he did make one of the most intelligent clock-management plays that I have seen a football player make in quite some time. Westbrook is a running back for the Philadelphia Eagles, who played the Dallas Cowboys at Dallas yesterday. Philadelphia led 10-6 with just over two minutes left in the 4th quarter and had the ball on the Dallas 25. Dallas was out of timeouts, so they could only stop the clock at the two minute warning. Westbrook took the handoff, broke through the line, and had a clear path to the end zone. Instead of scoring the touchdown, he intentionally fell down on the 1 yard line. Why was this a smart play? Because if he had scored the touchdown, Dallas would have gotten the ball back with around two minutes to play. Sure, they would have been down by 11 points, making the chances of a comeback slim; but it still could have happened. Back in October against the Buffalo Bills, the Cowboys scored 9 points in the final 20 seconds of the game to wine, so an 11-point comeback in the final two minutes isn't even unprecedented. By falling down on the 1 yard line, Westbrook allowed the clock to run down to the two minute warning, after which Philadelphia was able to run three kneel-down plays to end the game. Dallas probably would have lost had Westbrook scored the touchdown. They were practically assured of losing when Westbrook didn't score. That shows a game awareness that is all too often completely missing from football players, even professionals. Good job.

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