“Points Will Be At A Premium”December 15th, 2013
Now call this nitpicking. Joe doesn’t mind. You very well could be correct.
Last week, on Wednesday no less, Bucs commander Greg Schiano held court with the Tampa Bay pen and mic club, which he does virtually each and every day.
Wednesday, in the vernacular of the NFL, is the start of the work week. In this case, it was 49ers week. Schiano went on and on about how good the 49ers were, and he was and is correct. The 49ers have a damned fine team. There’s a reason why the 49ers are the defending NFC champs.
One thing Schiano said Wednesday, twice in fact, was that “points will be a premium” because of the dangerous 49ers offense.
So here it was in the first quarter, trailing by a 7-0 score, the Bucs found themselves with a 4th-and-2 at their own 49. Now for a team that goes into hibernation offensively in the second half — for whatever reason — and the coach saying how points will be at a premium, perhaps playing for his job and playing the powerful 49ers, why not go for it?
Instead, predictably, Schiano chose to punt.
Now the Bucs defense did hold and force the 49ers to punt. But the Bucs couldn’t muster a touchdown until late in the second quarter.
For a team already with its back to the wall, why not go for the first down at midfield?
Normally, a team would be crazy to risk giving the 49ers such a short field. But if points were at such a premium, and Schiano knowing full well his offense vanishes in the second half, it was a curious call.
Perhaps points were not at a premium after all?