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Kubiak Konundrum -- New Orleans Saints Edition

 

Last week as we examined Kubiak's performance on the Kubiak Konundrum, the battle coach received mostly 4s on our arbitrary 1 to 5 voting scale (5 being best, 3 average, 1 worst). As for individual game management decisions, last game's scorecard (and the season totals since the Indy game was for all practical purposes a coaching by) reads as thus:

 

2 (for mildly negative decision): 2 plays

4 (for mildly positive): 2 plays

 

Nothing in the 1, 3, or 5 categories. Again, 1 is a terrible decision, 2 mildly negative, 3 neutral, 4 mildly positive, and 5 great.

 

While there is lots of bemoaning the ending of the Saints game and plenty of criticisms that go with a loss, I didn't see a whole lot of game management decisions on the Texans side that were even questionable. In fact, just two:

 

2Q. 1:20 left. 4th and 2.

 

With the Saints deep in Texans territory, Brees hit Sproles on a 3rd and long and almost got the first down, setting up a potential field goal. With 1:20 left in the quarter and plenty of time to move the ball back down the field and put some points on the board, the Texans neglected (chose?) not to call a time out. The clock ticked down to just over half a minute before the Saints kicked their field goal, and the Texans had no chance to answer the Saints' score. Missed opportunity?

 

Perhaps. Since they were so close to the goal line, giving the Saints extra time to score most likely wasn't a concern. However, with only two yards to go and the Saints high powered offense, it was conceivable that the Saints would go for it, and had the Texans called a time out, they might have tempted Payton to go for it. Being that the Saints called a time out themselves and still elected to kick after further time to deliberate, it seems unlikely Kubiak calling a time out would have changed their strategy. However, I will put this is the let sleeping bears slumber category and call it a neutral 3 decision. I don't blame Kubiak for not trying to push the envelope on a half that had gone fairly well.

 

4Q. 4:48 left. 3rd and 1.

 

I almost didn't include this one, but since people in my viewing party were questioning the call, I decided to mention it for the sake of thoroughness. With the Texans on their own 41 and down by 6, they called a time out which might have been invaluable later. In this situation, I'd rather them get the right play and first down, and they did. The time out, of course, wasn't a factor in how things play out. So, I can only give another neutral 3 for a decision that wasn't great but perhaps necessary. Anyone take issue with burning that time out?

 

 

As I said, not a lot I saw that raised eyebrows from a game management standpoint. However, I'm curious to see how much simply getting a loss changes the perceptions of Kubiak. Are the naysayers out in full? Since there's not much to talk about game management wise, feel free to vent, although I'm sure you would anyway.

 

As for our weekly poll, since we didn't get much voting in the comments last week, I'm going to use our weekly poll to vote on each week's toughest decision regarding Kubiak's performance. 

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