Stupid Play?November 11th, 2009
When Tanard Jackson picked off Aaron Rodgers to end the game with his pick-six Sunday, Joe thought right away he should have taken a knee. The game was over.
Joe even saw roughly half of Jackson’s teammates waving frantically and pointing to the ground just after he caught the interception for him to hit the dirt.
It wasn’t a wise play, but Joe would hardly call that the stupidest play of the week like Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports did.
There were many candidates this week, including Giants coach Tom Coughlin for his decision to run on third-and-goal late in the fourth quarter instead of passing (subsequently settling for a field goal) in New York’s eventual 21-20 loss to San Diego. Then there was Philadelphia coach Andy Reid’s decision to kick a field goal late in his team’s 20-16 loss to Dallas. New England escaped consideration by one second when Tom Brady’s last-second pass in the first half against Miami fell incomplete with the narrowest amount of time left to get a field goal. Perhaps one of those should win based on the fact that all of them involved people who are paid to break down situational football. However, Tampa Bay safety Tanard Jackson wins the dubious honor because he is the latest player to screw up an end-of-game interception situation. With the Bucs up by 3 points with 52 seconds remaining and Green Bay out of timeouts, Jackson intercepted Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and returned the ball 35 yards for a touchdown. Fun play, no doubt. However, if Jackson had simply fallen to the ground, the Bucs could have run one play, taken a knee and walked away from the game. Because Jackson scored, the Bucs had to go back out on the field for six more plays by the Packers. While some people will defend the move by saying Tampa Bay could have messed up the exchange as it was trying to take a knee, that’s less likely as Green Bay scoring twice. Further, Jackson exposed his teammates to unnecessary injury.
It was an exciting play to Joe and of course the crowd went crazy. Should Jackson had gone down to end the game? Sure. But hell, the Bucs were 0-7. What was the big harm?