One thing I love about this website is the eternal optimism. It's true that you only live once, there's no point getting down and angry about things you can't control, and hey, football is only a game, right?
I admire those who are already looking forward to next season. I understand and appreciate the great team we have, and the fact that we had a great season and will have a great team next year.
However, please allow me to be the proverbial Debbie Downer today, Monday the 15th after a gut-wrenching loss. There are ton of reasons to be frustrated about the game, the refs (See McGeorge's post), Praters botched field goal (but we sorta expected that, right), Moore's horror movie-esuqe screw-up (I felt the groan from Mile-High in a basement 5 miles away, and the walls of my home bent inward Matrix style as we all sucked in air and groaned), and Manning's final nail-in-the-coffin INT. However, I reserve my still-burning fury for Fox & McCoy over the ridiculously conservative play calling.
Calling the play-calling Saturday conservative is an insult to the word conservative. Soft, weak, pathetic, embarrassing and testicular-deprived feels more appropriate.
There's many reasons none of us on this site are NFL coaches. Ignoring the relative and obvious lack of skill and knowledge that's required, I'd like to think that coaches also have the knack of making appropriate calls, in crunch-time situation. These coaches are played a lot of money, to make calls in crunch time. This is (supposedly) where they earn at least part of their bread and butter. Yesterday's games saw aggressive calls from Mike Smith and Gary Kubiak late in the game. It's a justifiable position to claim that those guys did so under duress and in desperation. But if anything, it showed that the coaches still had enough belief in their players to make tough plays when any of them could spell doom to the team.
If you have PFM as QB, your top two RB's are not on the field (admittedly one on IR), and your last drive ended in a pass TD – then WTF are you doing running it 3 times – even 2? With ample time outs and 30 seconds left, why are you taking a knee? You just watched what Joe Flacco - no PFM to be sure – did on the last play. Do you not have the same faith in your team? If so, what are you doing as coach?
This has got me so wound up, I have changed (for at least 72 hours), my opinion of Jim Harbaugh. Up until yesterday I despised him as a loud mouth overly emotional hothead and enjoyed cheering against him, and hoping his massive QB switch would result in a bigger backfire than my first Ford would belch on a cold morning (which was seismic). Now, after Saturday, I have new respect at his making such a ballsy call, one which can only ever be attributed to him, which may have (and may still) blow up in his face. He made this call which could have defined his career, and our coach will not EVEN CALL PASS PLAYS WITH 90 SECOND LEFT WITH A HOF QB!!!
Just like Moore and Manning have done, Fox needs to own up to his culpability. See, for me unless you acknowledge and take accountability for your actions, you're never really admitting there is an issue, and you don't feel there is an issue to be resolved. In turn, how do you learn from your mistakes if you don't think you made one?
Again, I admire the optimism here. I don’t for one moment expect people to jump into my torpedo and take the deep-six ride to depression (although just writing this has been very therapeutic). But unless we see someone, somewhere in this organization take some accountability for what happened Saturday, it's going to be very hard for me to be jumping for joy when we win 10 straight when I know that Fox is going to take knee, and go out with a whimper, when we need to be standing up and playing the damn game, and at least go out fighting.