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Kubiak Konundrum -- Baltimore Ravens Playoff Edition

So proud. I don’t have any game analysis to provide that already hasn’t been beaten to death. No witticisms today. I’m too emotionally drained still, half a week later. But proud.

Instead, we’ll get straight to the decisions of the day.

1=terrible call, 2=negative, 3=neutral, 4=positive, and 5=outstanding.

1Q. 2:42 left. Texans face 4th and 1 and a half from the Ravens' 21.
Should Kubiak have gone for it on 4th and 1 and a half? It’s hard to judge this one based on results. Neil Rackers did make the field goal. We did get the ball back after a three and out. Or should have. I don’t think we need to discuss why we didn’t here.

Who knows what alternate history would have played out had Kubiak gone for it? The fact that we didn’t need mere inches but a long yard and a half, against the Ravens' D, on the road, after being stopped on third and 1, made it an obvious decision to me to kick it.

Though I brought the play up because some people will always say go for it like it’s just another game of Madden, after review I can only give the decision a 3 for a neutral call. Standard coaching. Nothing special. In fact, he made the non-decision, which was perfectly okay to do here. I’m all ears if you have a persuasive argument to move it down to a 2 or up to a 4.

3Q. 5:59. 4th and 6. Down 17-13. Texans ball on Ravens' 33.
My signout in last week’s post said I was confident in Kubiak’s decision making unless it came down to a 49 yard field goal attempt. Well, I guess that would have worked out just fine. Because, had it been a 49 yarder instead of 50, the ball would have inched over the crossbar instead of grazing its underbelly.

The reason for my skepticism last week wasn’t necessarily an indictment of Kubiak or of kicking 49 yarders. In fact, earlier in the season, I was clamoring for Kubiak to have Rackers kick from outside of 50. But, at this point, I personally have no idea what to do with Rackers from this range. The fact that a 49 yarder might miss short in the NFL still perplexes me. We were already cheering in my living room when we saw the kick was straight and high. Sigh.

The kick missed. We were battling from behind from a field position standpoint for the next couple drives. From those vantage points, the play failed and Kubiak gets a 2. I sure as Hell would have gotten a 2 myself had I been making the decision.

4Q. 20 seconds left. 4th and 2. 20-13 Ravens. Ball on Ravens' 44.
All year, I’ve maintained that playcalling wouldn’t be something discussed here because it is too subjective. Here, we look at not the playcall but the decision to throw deep, as opposed to just going for the first down and trying to spike the ball or get out of bounds. To me, it’s more of a strategic decision.

In all honestly, as frustrated as I was with the incompletion and impending loss, I saw the logic. I don’t necessarily agree with the idea Kubiak gave in the press conference that we "had" to take a shot. My immediate reaction was that if you thought the Ravens would be pressing the line trying to stop the first down, then taking a shot where they might be vulnerable and going for it all at once was a calculated gamble worth taking. That being said, I could have done without the Hail Mary style jump ball chosen and would have opted for a double move, trying to catch them jumping an out pattern. Again, playcalling is a slippery subject. I see the logic behind the decision. It clearly didn’t work out, so I’d give it a 2. Still, it only seems fitting to leave the last game management decision of the year up to the readers.

One more installment will come next week, breaking down this year’s Konundrum results game-by-game. Until then, an updated scorecard:

Ravens Playoff Game:

2: 2 plays.
3: 1 play.

Season Totals:

1: 1 play.
2: 9 plays.
3: 15 plays.
4: 12 plays.
5: 2 plays.

Texans vs Ravens coverage

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