Sunday, November 30, 2003

NFL Game of the Week

In today's best game (Patriots 38, Colts 34), Willie McGinest made two game-saving plays in the final minutes of the game.

The second "McG Play of the Game" was the tackle of Edgerrin James on 4th and goal from the 1-yard line with :18 remaining.

The first "McG Play of the Game," just a few plays earlier, doesn't show up in the play-by-play, but it was just as important.

Peyton Manning and his no-huddle offense were driving the Colts towards a go-ahead TD. Indy had all the momentum and the Pats, with no timeouts, had no way to stop the clock (or the Colts!) until McGinest went down with an "injured" ankle. With the clock stopped for the "injury," Indy's offense lost their momentum, New England's defense regrouped and McGinest, after a "miraculous" recovery, made the game-saving tackle.

Faking an injury to stop the clock is one of the oldest tricks in the book. In fact, the NFL rulebook allows it!
A team cannot buy an excess time out for a penalty. However, a fourth time out is allowed without penalty for an injured player, who must be removed immediately.

Kudos to the Pats and McGinest for knowing the rules and taking advantage.

Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianoplis Star isn't buying McGinest's story either.
"McGinest was so ecstatic, he ran down the middle of the field, his right arm raised with an index finger signifying 'No. 1.' He didn't favor the knee."

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