Jim Caldwell received a lot of scorn for his fuckup against Green Bay last month, and he deserved every bit of it. Aside from a victory formation kneel down or a spike to stop the clock, defending a hail mary is the easiest play in all of football. It’s even easier than defending an onside kick or converting an extra point. You just put all your tall players in the end zone, converge on the ball as it travels in the air for like 5 seconds, and then bat it down. It’s simple, and it works every time!
That Thursday Night Football game was devastating for Americans everywhere, but at least we all had the foresight to know that if any team was capable of fucking up and losing to the Packers in the most excruciating way possible, it was the Lions. We all expected much better from two time Coach of the Year Bruce Arians on Saturday night, but he went out and shat the bed even harder…
Seven blitzers failed to bring down or contain one of the most evasive quarterbacks in the history of the league, while the four DBs left to defend the actual important part of the play failed to out-jump a receiver that was four inches taller than each of them (except Patrick Peterson, Janis is only two inches taller than him). Why??? It was inexcusable, and it felt so depressing to see such a smart man be responsible for the biggest travesty of the season.
The only thing more perplexing than Bruce Arians’s decision is it’s attempted justification in this Bill Barnwell piece making the rounds lately. I understand that Bill Barnwell’s word is gospel to a significant amount of football fans. I understand that finds innovative ways to develop mathematical models for his predictions. I also understand that, despite the significant sample size challenges that come with NFL statistics, his models still turn out accurate forecasts every other year or so…
However, defending that blitz call was still a load a shit. He says it was the right thing to do because…
- It was still a better defense than what the Lions called
- They would have gotten a sack if Rodgers wasn’t so good at evading sacks
- They didn’t blitz on the 4th and 20 conversion earlier in the drive (that GB did not score on)
- The Cards have blitzed a lot in the past and he really likes that they blitz a lot
Fuck outta here…. Just a classic case of overthinking the situation. Defend the hail mary normally like every other team besides the Lions have done, and the game is over.
Thank GOD for Larry Fitzgerald.