What Were They Thinking: Fox's awful clock management; Reid prefers FGs to TDs
What Were They Thinking is a weekly post that helps you relive the foolish decisions from the week in the NFL. Enjoy the insanity.
Bears overcome John Fox's shockingly bad clock management
The Bears captured their first win of the season Sunday, even though head coach John Fox appeared to be doing his best to ensure it wouldn't happen.
Fox butchered the end of both halves by completely mismanaging the clock. Late in the first half, Chicago sacked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr for a 15-yard loss, putting Oakland at its own 5-yard line with 1:20 to go. Instead of using one of his three timeouts, Fox elected to keep the clock running and allowed 40 seconds to expire before Oakland had to run a second-down play.
Fox attempted to start using his timeouts after the next play, but it was too late. The Bears didn't have time to try and get into scoring position when they eventually got the ball back after a Raiders punt, as Fox essentially wasted a possession before halftime. With Oakland that deep in its own territory, why not preserve time to try and set up a score before the break?
If you thought that was conservative, Fox one-upped himself at the end of the game. Down 20-19 in the final minute, the Bears made it to the Oakland 32 with 30 seconds to go and the clock moving. Fox still had a timeout in his pocket, but chose not to run another play and watched the clock tick down to seven seconds before using it prior to a 48-yard field-goal attempt by Robbie Gould.
Gould made the kick, but 48 yards isn't exactly a sure thing and is barely inside his range. Fox could've easily used the 20-plus seconds he wasted to try and get Gould closer.
Andy Reid loves field goals
Reid is challenging Tom Coughlin for permanent residence on this list.
Down 29-15 with a little more than nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs had fourth-and-10 at the Bengals' 11-yard line. For reasons beyond comprehension, Reid opted for a field goal to make it an 11-point game. The logic in that situation was baffling, considering you're still down two scores even with the field goal. Obviously, Kansas City would've been better off going for the touchdown to cut it to a one-score game.
The Bengals scored on the next possession to make it 36-18, so what did Reid do when the Chiefs got the ball back? You guessed it: another field goal. This one came with 2:34 left and made it a two-score game, so it was slightly more justifiable, but the Chiefs might as well have gone for a touchdown there being well inside Bengals territory.
Reid must have Cairo Santos on his fantasy team.
Tomlin outcoaches himself
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin overthought things greatly in overtime Thursday night, costing his team the game.
Pittsburgh had the ball on the Baltimore 33, setting up a 50-yard field goal on fourth-and-1. Tomlin opted to go for it and Mike Vick overthrew Antonio Brown, giving the ball back to the Ravens, who won the game on the next possession. Granted, kicker Josh Scobee missed a pair of field goals earlier, but keep in mind, both teams had already had a possession in overtime, so any score wins it at that point. It's not unrealistic to think Scobee could make a 50-yarder.
Still, even if you give Tomlin the benefit of the doubt about the gamble, it doesn't excuse the play call. Why not hand it to Le'Veon Bell when you only need a yard? Bell had already wracked up 129, so putting the ball in the hands of a backup quarterback making his first start of the season was more than foolish.
- The Browns kicked a field goal with six seconds left in the first half and the ball at the Chargers' 10. They probably had time for one shot at the end zone before kicking.
- Tramon Williams went offside on San Diego's game-winning field-goal attempt. Josh Lambo missed the 39-yarder but hit from 34 yards on the second chance.
- Oh look, Reid is back. The Chiefs took a delay of game penalty coming out of a timeout they called.
- Houston opted for a 53-yard field goal down 28-0 instead of going for it on fourth-and-8. Nick Novak missed the kick.
- The Redskins punted from the Eagles' 35-yard line down 20-16 in the fourth. After the touchback, Washington gained a whopping 15 yards of field position.
- Colts head coach Chuck Pagano froze Jags rookie kicker Jason Myers on a game-winning 53-yard kick that missed. Lucky for Pagano, though, Myers missed the second chance, too.