Le Boo NFL Coaching Move, Week 13

There’s a time to call a gimmick play — and there’s a time when you absolutely don’t.  Trailing by 11 points in the 4th quarter and inside the 10-yard line  — while needing a touchdown desperately in a must-win game in order to keep your team’s fading playoff hopes alive?  Yeah — I’m going to go with “This is one of whose times you don’t try to get cute.”  Unfortunately, for Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, the obvious is a lot like Houston’s chances of salvaging their season — well beyond his grasp.

It’s hard enough for teams to pass the ball effectively around the goal-line — there’s less room for receivers to get open and run routes, with defenders bunched up tight.  And that’s the case for even the best of  NFL quarterbacks (yet there’s still too many head coaches in the NFL who foolishly ignore the run when they’re at the goal line).  But never mind a quarterback’s chances at success —  how hard is it for a running back to pass in that situation?  And not just any running back, mind you — how about one who hadn’t attempted a single pass in an NFL regular-season game in his entire career until Sunday?  Is that an increased enough level of difficulty for you?

Perhaps thinking that his team’s game against the Jaguars was getting scored not in points, but in judges’ scoring like in gymnastics or diving, Kubiak did the inexplicable and called running back Chris Brown’s number — he of the same number of NFL pass attempts as I have — at the 5-yard line for a halfback option pass.  Not surprisingly, Brown did what you might expect a non-quarterback to do in such a situation; faced with pressure, he heaved a lame-duck into the air that no Texan was within a mile of — but plenty of Jaguars were, including safety Gerald Alexander, who picked off the errant throw to kill the scoring opportunity — and with it, likely any chances Houston had to still make the playoffs.

Afterward, with the Texans 23-18 losers, Kubiak seemed to acknowledge his idiocy, saying, “It’s a tough spot to put Chris in, so it just ends up being a bad call by me. A poor call.”

"It's elementary, my dear Watson -- this coach is obviously dumber than this pillar of stone."

Well, no shit, Sherlock.  It wasn’t just a bad or poor call, it was an epic fail — according to Elias, it’s the first fourth-quarter red-zone interception thrown by a running back since Corey Dillon of the Bengals managed the feat way back in the final game of the 2001 season — eight long years ago.  And in defense of that play, considering that the Bengals finished 6-10 that year and dead-last in the AFC Central, it’s a safe guess that the call came in an otherwise meaningless situation — and not with the team’s life on the line.

I’d say that Kubiak could use the upcoming off-season to think about stupid calls like these — but with Houston collapsing with four straight losses in winnable games following a 5-3 start, it’s looking like he’ll be using the months ahead to search for another job.  In the meantime, his dubious decision is the Le Boo NFL Coaching Move for Week 13.

Le Boo, Coach Kubiak.  Le Boo.

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2 Responses to “Le Boo NFL Coaching Move, Week 13”

  1. […] As I pointed out already last week, there’s a time for trick plays — and there’s the time when they’re just ill-advised.  And as I also pointed out in my NFL recap on Monday, Payton already has shown some unusual decision-making in the usage of his running backs, so this strange call isn’t a complete aberration.  So what’s to blame?  It’s not coaching idiocy like some others we’ve looked at — cough cough Gary Kubiak cough cough –  as the Saints head man has certainly done a tremendous job with his team, making Payton a leading candidate for NFL Coach of the Year honors. […]

  2. […] entry shouldn’t surprise readers of the blog — I was detailing reasons why Kubiak should be fired last season — and once again, the Houston Texans coach is feeling the pressure of being on the hot […]

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