[BEGIN ANGRY RANT]
The stage was set for yet another Matt Ryan comeback drive, but clueless coach Mike Smith decided to punt the ball away and hope that his defense could stop Drew Brees from picking up ten yards on three plays, and then hope his offense could drive all the way down the field in under a minute with no time outs remaining. He thought there was a better chance of this happening than of Matt Ryan completing a six yard pass.
Obviously, the Giants can only blame themselves for being in a situation in which they must rely on another team and their simple-minded coach. But that doesn't mean I can't complain when I see a boneheaded coaching decision like this.
In my mind, this type of conservative coaching or "prevent coaching" as I call it, is unacceptable. It prevents you from winning. Yet Mike Tirico agreed with the decision, even implying that it was the only choice. Is this really the consensus decision? I can't fathom that I'm in the minority here. Where are the guts?
It was 4th and 6 with about 2:45 left on the clock, and the Falcons had the ball at their own 43 yard line with two time outs remaining, down by three. If they went for it and were unsuccessful, they would still be able to get the ball back by stopping the Saints. The only positive that can be attained from punting the ball in that situation is possibly gaining some field position, although it's just as likely that they would lose field position if they were to stop the Saints. The obvious downside is that you are giving the ball to one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and will probably not get the ball back. How is this a better option??
I've seen this type of cowardly coaching far too often this year, and I can only hope that whoever is coaching the Giants next year is not share this wimpy mindset.
If someone can think of a good explanation for this type of coaching, I would love to hear an argument, although I am fairly certain there is none.
[END ANGRY RANT]