Going For Three Over Six

November 27th, 2018

Defends settling for three over six.

It was late in the first half Sunday. The Bucs had the ball on the 49ers-21 with 14 seconds left.

America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, tried to hit Cam Brate down the middle but the ball fell incomplete. That’s all Bucs Bit-O-Honey-snacking, Ozark-watching, yams-eating coach Dirk Koetter needed to see.

Despite nine seconds left, Koetter decided to kick a field goal on third down to make it a 13-6 Bucs lead at halftime.

Koetter was asked about that yesterday in his day-after presser and he defended preferring three over six despite enough time on the clock for another play before the kick attempt.

“OK, so you see what we did the play before that – we took a shot in the end zone,” Koetter said. “Did you see the result of that? We had a four-point lead with a chance to make it seven – that’s in the bank. You have one play from twenty yards. You’re going to run the same exact play we just ran on second down and you’re odds of hitting that play versus your odds of getting sacked or turning it over, sack-fumble or completing it inbounds and not stopping the clock – it’s just not worth it.

“It’s not worth it, so we took the shot on second down in a clock-running situation, where you try to get the defense from not lining up in exactly their whatever their prevent defend 20-yard play is. I just don’t think it’s worth it.”

Look, Joe likes Koetter but Joe has to apologize here because none of this adds up, sorry.

First, if any NFL head coach should know better than to call a field goal “bank,” it should be Koetter. How many games has Koetter lost because of a friggin’ kicker the past three years? It may have cost him a playoff berth two years ago and who knows how many games it cost him and the Bucs since.

Joe is convinced 20 years from now Koetter will be sitting on the porch of his lakefront retirement home muttering about kickers to no one in particular other than the robins in his backyard trying to dig up worms.

In fact, if Koetter doesn’t return as Bucs coach next season, a big reason for that is the man was cursed by kickers in Tampa Bay.

Koetter then cited low odds for completing a 21-yard pass in the end zone. OK, so does that mean he is going to instruct his quarterback(s) to never throw a pass farther than 20 yards again? Of course not.

Besides, what were the odds of that triple-lateral to DeSean Jackson to end the Atalnta game earlier this year?

Yet Koetter still tried it instead of a pass to the end zone — and now Joe senses a pattern.

One reason the Bucs, despite having the best offense in the history of the franchise, have a losing record is an inability to score points. And that was magnified when Koetter decided to wave off one last attempt at the end zone and roll the dice on a chance at three instead.

If the Bucs are this p!ss poor at throwing the ball to the end zone from 20 yards out with the weapons they have, so much so that the coach is scared to even try it, that speaks volumes to Joe.

43 Responses to “Going For Three Over Six”

  1. AlteredEgo Says:

    Joe doesn’t like Koetter

  2. wisconsinbucsfan Says:

    He expects a turnover from Jameis, so do most people. So yeah. nothing to see here.

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    We won, so it’s a fine line. What we have is a coach that’s coaching SCARED. We’ve seen it time and again.
    It is a complete lack of trust and when you’re 3-7 (at the time) shows you don’t belong.
    This is just another reason why he must go.

  4. Slugglife Says:

    And if we dont take the points and lose by three, wed see a whole different theme to this story.

    Can’t even be happy with a win. Don’t worry guys, you’ll probably get to celebrate another loss against Carolina. That’ll make you happy, right?

  5. Slugglife Says:

    It was the right call. Bucs won. Our kicker was perfect on the day.

    Leave it at that. On to Sunday.

  6. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    So obvious he does not trust Jameis.

  7. Dr. Lob Says:

    Its because he does not trust Winston and for good reason.

  8. Bucsfan3 Says:

    He’s scared for his job and scratching for any security he can. Honestly I don’t blame him one bit and it worked out. My beef with Koetter is the promotion of Desean Jackson, the corrosive-teammate.

  9. Dapostman Says:

    Oh vey! It’s TD or bust at that point. When the defense has 7 guys in the end zone chances of a TD are remote. They will let you throw the ball in front then come up and tackle. Why take a chance on getting sacked? You can take a shot at the end of the game because YOU have to score a TD to win. A FG does you no good in Atlanta. Chances are slim when the QB drops back to the 25 and has to heave it 25+ yards and the defense knows it. The Bucs were right at the redzone and came away with points. What’s wrong with that? If Winston got sacked posters would be derailing Koetter for not kicking the FG.

  10. AlteredEgo Says:

    We only see the HC/QB relationship on game day…who knows what kind of immature adolescent to authority behind the scenes goes on when Jameis isn’t in PR character

  11. Darin Says:

    Still coaching scared at 3-7. Cmon Dirk. You’re goin out. Might as well go out swinging.

  12. Tampa Mike Says:

    Did anyone ask Koetter why he called his last timeout with over 30 seconds remaining instead of having Winston spike the ball? I would really like to know what the strategy was there.

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    i dont like dirk but he was in a lose lose situation…..

    if winston throws a pick fans are saying why didnt he take 3points…..

    if winston scrambles and runs out of time, folks will say why didnt he take 3points…..

    if an olinemen whiffs and strips winston, folks will say why didnt he take 3points…..

    competent coaches would have a play in mind for that situation but competence and dirk dont go together….

    i dont blame dirk for taking 3….i’ll never go broke taking a profit…..

    Kris Richard for HC!!!!!


  14. DBS Says:

    He is coaching and they got the win. Theyare the Bucs and history also says he is right this year. Odds are it would get picked or a sack . The call was right. Your just looking for something to complain about.

  15. 813bucboi Says:


  16. Pickgrin Says:

    Coach is right and Joe is wrong on this one.

    Koetter once again just playing the odds as he usually is when Joe complains about a decision.

    If the kick was missed – then sure – go ahead and criticize.

    It was the right call.

    Too many bad things could happen vs only one very low percentage good thing in that instance if you run another play from the 20 with only 9 seconds left in the half and no timeouts.

    I had no problem whatsoever with that call…

  17. Eric Says:

    nothing wrong with playing it safe sometimes.

    or getting a running game going just a little.

  18. Geno Says:

    We know Joe you hate Koetter.

    You love to nitpick anything he does.

    By the way on the 2nd down play right before that play, Winston attempts to throw into a tight window to Brate. I have the replay. The pass is very high and Brate leaps for it but cannot catch it although he does get finger tips on it and it bounces in the air from the front of the end zone to the back of the endzone. Just the sort of great play that Winston makes or possible interception that Winston makes.

    I do not see you nitpicking the Winston decision to throw the ball into the tight window on the 2nd down play.

    Maybe just maybe, Koetter knows Winstons personality a little better than you and that if same situation happened again on 3rd down, Winston would be even more likely to throw into the tight window.

    We got points at the end of the half against an opponent that was not likely to score a lot more. We had the momentum at the end of the half instead of another team.

    This seemed like at least a solid decision by Koetter for the situation.

  19. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    I don’t have a problem with his decision, he took the shot on second down. Maybe it would have been better to throw a short sideline pass on second and take a shot on third, but he took the shot on second. It’s not like he called a draw on second down.

  20. FortMyersDave Says:

    Its easy to say go for a TD but what if Winston served up a pick 6 and the Niners went up 13-10 into the half????? That easily could have changed the complexion of the game and today we are probably talking about where the Bucs are going to be picking at 3-13 in next spring’s draft and the likely benching of Winston again for another boneheaded turnover…… I get being aggressive, especially against a bad Niner team but up until then the Bucs were playing the better game, why try to force something and give the Niners momentum????

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We finally have a kicker that can make kicks…….take the 3 points going into the half…..don’t risk a sack/turnover/clock problem……

  22. Miguel Grande Says:

    I think the made the correct decision, they won, on to next week.

    Coach has made some bad decisions this year, that was not one.

    Crazy as it seems they are still alive in the Super Bowl hunt.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    All the turnovers in the red zone on film, but now with a decent kicker.

    9 seconds is on the cusp of one more play needing to get into the end zone 21 yards away: maybe, maybe not.

    With a 4 point lead and the chance for 7, I think Koetter made a safe call.

  24. Danny Says:

    I don’t really understand the complaint here. The Bucs stupidly chase points all the time. It was absolutely the right play from Dirk.

  25. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I think Koetter’s logic here makes 100% sense actually.

    They tried a shot when the defense wasn’t as prepared. He played the percentages correctly.

    Chance of TD in that situation <<< chance of interception / penalty / sack / fumble / etc.

    And the FG should be guaranteed pretty much in that situation. You can't change the way you approach FG percentages because you believe in some curse in Tampa. I mean jesus these are supposed to be professionals lol.

  26. Jean Lafitte Says:

    21 ticks left with the Keystone cops …yeah I would have kicked the FG too. Plus it was a perfect spot to see what Santos had to offer. As bad as our kicking game has been it was a welcomed relief.

  27. TheNorm Says:

    If he had drew brees you think they kick a field goal on 3rd down?


    He doesn’t trust the QB. That speaks more about the QB than it does about koetter.

    But go ahead and put those blinders on and blame koetter lol.

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    Technically, there’s nothing “wrong” with what he did. However, here’s a simple question:
    What would Belichek do in that scenario?

  29. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Koetter played the percentages correctly. If your ahead by four and you get
    FG ,then you are up 7 points. Make the other team have to score 7 to tie
    instead a FG.

  30. SG Says:

    I agree with what Koetter did. Take the sure shot points rather than going for it and causing a turnover. The coach actually did a favor for Jameis. Take the three, don’t cause a turnover and keep Jameis calm

  31. D-Rome Says:

    Is 9 seconds enough time to run a play the way this team has been playing? Perhaps you can squeeze a play in there but I was OK with taking the 3 points.

    The thing is, how many times have we seen Jameis in those situations where he ends up turning it over or taking a sack? If he does that, then we’re *ALL* talking about how Koetter should have kicked the FG with 9 seconds left and then squib kick it to end the half.

  32. Bob in Valrico Says:

    It took Belicek years to develop the confidence in his team and its execution
    to trust them. It doesn’t always workout even for Belicek . I have seen him try for a
    fourth and long inside his own 30 and fail. Back in his early days with Cleveland and Bernie Kosar he actually punted on third down, when he was about as experienced as Koetter is now.

  33. tnew Says:

    Why doesn’t anyone else see the flaw in Koetter’s approach? If he’s being truthful.

    “You have one play from twenty yards. You’re going to run the same exact play we just ran on second down and you’re odds of hitting that play versus your odds of getting sacked or turning it over, sack-fumble or completing it inbounds and not stopping the clock – it’s just not worth it.”

    ONE PLAY…. Same exact play.

    He’s saying that is the only play to score in that situation. Funny, I didn’t know the league mandated that play call in that situation. In fact, I see other coaches make different calls all of the time. I can come up with several others.

    On the “dangerous throw”. Dave Moore, far from a Winston apologist, gave Winston credit for that decision during the game. He called it a “smart overthrow” because even tho it was into coverage it was “safe”

    I do find it interesting how Koetter defensively responded by linking the former play to all of the negative possibilities that could occur as if they almost happened. Great debate tactic for people not paying attention. It leads us to believe that red zone interceptions are a thing that plague Winston, however, he has had 3 since 2016. Drew Brees had that many in 2016 alone.

  34. AJ Says:

    Let it go Joe/2…..let it go!!!

  35. gambelero Says:

    With 9 seconds and no timeouts, I kick then. Except for the comebacks, almost every throw involved Jameis escaping pressure, gaining some extra time and finding a target. Both touchdowns came on plays like that. A sack ends the half. Any in bounds play ends the half. Even A long scramble and throwaway might end the half. With the defense specifically defending the end zone, kicking makes sense.

  36. stpetebucsfan Says:

    DK’s father was a football coach. He grew up in football with football coaches. The vast majority of football coaches are just conservative and prone to playing the %’s.

    At the time of the decision JW had just completed his first half with ZERO turnovers. Why push it?

    The bold play would have been to give JW another shot…the smart play was the %’s which Koetter chose.

    What are the odds JW throws a pick, gets sacked and the clock runs out…makes completed pass to a target who falls under the Bucs red zone curse and doesn’t get to the end zone or out of bounds.

    I think TheNorm is right. Sean Payton would have given Drew Brees a shot…Brees is a lock for the HOF…Brees is a wiley vet….JW was a QB just trying to get through one half of football without a turnover.

    So yeah Brees, Rodgers, Brady and a few others would have been given that shot…not sure that Matty Ice or Cam would have gotten the shot.

  37. CannonsHot Says:

    Joe 3 points is still scoring in the red zone. Hey when’s the last time we had a kicker go 2 games without missing?

  38. DBS Says:

    So exactly who on the Bucs would run it fronm 20 yards? So yes it would be a pass play . And yes the odds are high it would get picked or somthing would go wrong. That is why there is no Flaw.

  39. Tony LA Says:

    I swear some of these articles…

    Joe, go back and look at several games this year where Koetter went for it on 4th down inside the ten in the first half and failed rather than kick the FG — and the Bucs ended up losing by 3. (See Giants game as latest example)

    Going for it has hurt far more times than not.

    It was the right call. Zero question.

  40. Frank Pillow Says:

    As the last play in the ATL game taught us, in Dirk’s mind there are zero good plays to dial up from 20 yds our. Zero.

  41. SFNJ Says:

    Calling BS on this one. The 2nd down play was tipped and could have been intercepted. That was enough in my mind to kick the FG. Can’t have it both ways Joe. I can see the alternate article about how they should have kicked the FG and the odds of a bad play happening if America’s Groper was intercepted.

  42. Bucsdelight Says:

    I think it is more of a judgement on Winston.

  43. denjoe Says:

    no creativity, low execution on most plays, he’s not a good coach.