Monday, December 26, 2005

A Gutless Call Leads to The End

I didn't expect them to win, but I can't say that I saw them going out like this. I'm too disappointed in the way this game ended to get angry, or even to be sarcastic. There were other important mistakes and other opportunities, both before and after Chris Kluwe trotted out to punt the ball on 4th and 1 after Darren Sharper's interception. I knew that, and it didn't matter--the game was over as soon as Tice lost his nerve. It didn't matter that the Vikings' defense had been playing well over the last 7 games, it only mattered that the Ravens' offense had looked like the Colts tonight. Once Kluwe punted that ball, the Ravens were going to score and they were going to chew up the clock while doing so.

I know that the Vikings aren't a good running team, don't have a bruising back (remember when Kleinsasser was?), etc. I know the reasons why Tice chose not to go for it. And I know that the only way the Vikings were going to win that game was by getting a first down on that play and then finishing the drive with a touchdown. Tice, however, didn't realize that and so, like every other bad coach would do, he punted. It was a gutless call by Tice and his lack of courage guaranteed that the Ravens would end the Vikings' season.

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