KPIX 5 Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell hosts “Gameday” every Sunday night at 11:30pm on KPIX 5 and offers his unique sports analysis here.
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — So, you’re sitting on the couch, screaming at the coach to call a timeout. And then he does, twenty seconds later!
There is nothing the couch coach does better than the coach himself, except for clock management.
The Seattle Seahawks led the 49ers 17-16 when Colin Kaepernick ran for a first down to the Seattle seven yard line. The Seahawks had no timeouts left with 3:24 left on the clock.
Kaepernick milked the clock and then handed the ball to Frank Gore for a one-yard loss with the clock ticking down to 2:39. Next play, it’s Gore again for a two-yard gain to the two-minute warning. Gore got the ball one more time and took the clock down to 1:15 before Phil Dawson kicked the game-winning field goal from 22-yards out.
My question: Why didn’t the Seahawks allow Gore to run the ball in for a touchdown with about three minutes left in the game? Seattle would have the ball with plenty of time to mount a potential game-winning touchdown drive.
Instead, they were tackling Gore and letting the clock bleed away any chance at getting the ball back with enough time to win the game. The 49ers defeated Seattle, 19-17.
The reality is that’s not the way coaches or players are wired. After all, Gore might fumble. There might be a bad snap, bad hold, bad kick on the field goal. But Seattle is forced to depend on the 49ers for an unforced error.
In this circumstance, Phil Dawson doesn’t miss 22-yard field goals, and Frank Gore was in full, double-arm protective mode with the pigskin. Of course, so was Roger Craig, but I digress.
The point I’m making is why is such an unorthodox approach considered so outlandish, so unthinkable for the defense? Here’s the crux of the matter. Do you have a better chance of the 49ers screwing it up or scoring a touchdown with your offense? If like your chances with your offense, then that’s the call you make.
Do coaches discuss this? Is it ever part of a practice drill? I doubt it, but it should be. It should, at the very least, be part of a coach’s options.
See you on TV.
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