Before we get going on this week's Kubiak Konundrum, first a few updates from the Raiders game: the decision to punt rather than attempt a 55 yard field goal averaged a 2.6 on the decision meter, so it gets a neutral 3.
Also, theSpaceCityKid brought up the inability to get two plays off at the end of the game. I first gave Kubiak a pass because he said the play was designed in fact to get two plays off and the implication was Schaub ad libbed; however, I do agree that Kubiak should have absolutely made sure Schaub would get two off. He should have been pounding it through the helmet radio, and Kubiak has to take some of the blame for his leader's inability to follow through on his plan. It gets a 2, and, frankly, I considered giving it a 1 for the first terrible decision of the season.
Enough avoiding the ugly beast of last week's game. Onto the Ravens. Unfortunately, my dvr had a mishap (or was it a freudian erase?), and I wasn't able to rewatch the game. I took plenty of notes though during the game, so the Kunundrum should survive this week, but fire away in the comments if I missed something and I'll add it to the scorecard.
Because of the lack of the DVR and the fact that I'm heading to New Orleans for my bachelor party and aim to forget last week's game entirely, we're going to dispense with the pleasantries and get right to it.
As always, 1=terrible call, 2=negative, 3=neutral, 4=positive, and 5=outstanding.
2Q. 7:47 left. 4th and 1. Texans ball. Ravens' 20 yard line.
No need to give this one a lot of build up. We all know what the dilemma was and what subsequently happened. What I want to know is: what were the people in your party yelling before the call? Cue The Clash: Should he punt or should he go now?
My living room voted 1 go for it, 2 against (including my hesitant self), and an abstention. I think down seven to a tough D, we needed the points, but I didn't necessarily mind the ballsy call. Another arrow through the apple of the argument that Kubiak is conservative.
Still, we are here to measure not what we thought about calls with our preconceived notions and strategies, but how they worked out. That the play did not net us immediate points or a first down makes it a negative. That the Texans quickly got the ball back in Ravens' territory and scored makes it only mild.
2Q. 19 seconds. Texans Ball. Down 10-7. Around the Texans' 35 yard line.
Last week, we discussed Kubiak running the ball twice when getting the ball late in the 1st half. Here, with much less time, he immediately let Matt Schaub throw the ball, quickly putting us on the outskirts of field goal position.
I don't think it's any sort of groundbreaking call and it will only get a neutral 3 here, but I included it to highlight Kubiak's late 1st half strategy. He clearly considers the ten yards between the 20 and the 30 to be monumental in dictating how aggressively to proceed. I think he would find a lot of company among NFL coaches in that conviction and think that as much fun it is to see the team chuck the ball down the field, it might just be for the best.
2Q. 8 seconds. Texans ball on Ravens' 42. No timeouts.
With 8 seconds left, no timeouts, and a makeable (albeit it boomer of a field goal) opportunity, running another play was a bit risky. Before the play, I wrote that I agreed with it but that unlike last week's game-ending play, he had to absolutely make sure Schaub threw it to the sidelines or threw it away qick. Anything else would be unacceptable. Schaub did in fact throw it away. No harm, no foul, neutral 3, moving along.
2Q. 3 seconds. Texans ball on Ravens' 42.
Wait what? No field goal attempt? So, obviously, if you wouldn't kick here, the last decision to try to get more yardage with eight seconds left was an obvious one. Why did I include it then? To show how convinced I was (and am) that Neil Rackers at least had a solid chance to make the field goal.
This is the second week in a row that we've discussed Kubiak choosing against a long field goal. I know he saw how much stronger Rackers' leg looked in preseason, and I can only assume that holds in practice. So, I can say this is an instance I truly believe Kubiak is being too conservative. Take that arrow out of the aforementioned apple. For today, Kubiak at least proved to be neutral on the conservative scale.
But, for the purpose of decision-making on this play, he was most decidedly negative. The game might have ended lopsided, but the ghost of Mojo Van Lackey knows we could have used those three points with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter. My only question is: was Kubiak's decision only a two on our Konundrum Scale or the year's first 1? You be the judge in the poll.
So, that's it. Yes, I just double-checked my notes and didn't see a second half decision I marked down. I'm not sure if that was me getting wrapped up in the game or the game getting wrapped up with four minutes left, so have at it in the comments if I missed anything.
Til' next time, where after my trip to New Orleans, I will hopefully still be intact, just like our place as the division favorites after the BESF game.
Ravens Konundrum results:
2: 1 play.
3: 2 plays.
TBD: 1 play.
2: 5 plays.
3: 6 plays.
4: 5 plays.