Yup. I'm sure that's exactly what Daunte Culpepper was thinking as he threw a low ball into triple coverage instead of out of bounds!!
How is that something Jon Kitna wouldn't do in "clutch"? How is that something not worse than any number of Rookie mistakes Stanton would invariably make? Would a healthy Dan O make that throw?
What I'm asking is, when Detroit was down by two...able to run almost at will with Kevin Smith gaining 4.4 yards per pop...and Detroit had the ball back with enough time to grind out an ugly drive into Panthers territory for the chip-shot, game winning field goal...why on God's Honolulu-Blue and Silver Earth was Daunte Culpepper throwing the ball short, much less INTO TRIPLE COVERAGE????!?!?
I watched the game a second time instead of blogging last night. There are many other points I will get into this week. I really wanted to observe, as a 3 game blackout...I mean, home stand, is coming up.
Forget the "punt or kick", forget the other "minor" points. Even with Carolina rushing as well as they were, the Dline made a stand, got the offense the ball back with just the right amount of time left to drive down the field and kick the FG while taking enough time off the clock that Carolina would have been hard pressed to get down into FG range, much less the end zone.
Momentum was on Detroit's side. The offense had gone down and scored. They missed the typing 2pt conversion, but it didn't matter -- Carolina, 3 and out. Plenty of clock. The defense was pumped on that series. They knew the Offense could take it down and punch it in. They knew Carolina's D was getting tired. They were energized. You could see it. They weren't going to let the critics be right!
First play, the offense hands the ball back...in chip-shot FG range. Hell of a lot harder to get into the endzone than the Hanson-zone. Especially after a one-play, essentially scoring drive for the other team. The Defense is shocked back to earth, TD. Two score game. Game Over. Kicking away after the 2pt try showed confidence in the D. They way they played showed confidence in the O.
And Daunte let them down. The coaches let them down, with a very bad play call. But in the end, players must make plays and at a key point where the team was poised to win, Daunte tried to be the "hero threading the needle" -- get back the glory. And he Favred away the game.
Even 9 out 10 rookies would throw that one high and out of bounds. Out of the pocket, out of time, no one open. Play it safe, 3 downs to go - get rid of the ball, get back to the line, get it done.
Anyone daring call themselves a veteran QB should have. But didn't. Isn't that really the heart of 0-10? What may be at the heart of 0-16? Players not making plays, especially when it matters most. Or, worse still, making a big play - for the other team.