... I just asked this question on The Scratching Post. Does anyone know the answer?
Why did the Cats punt on the last play of the game? There were 20 seconds on the (TV) clock, third down, and the blew team had already used their TO. With the 20 second clock we could have taken a knee instead of intentionally putting the ball in Owens' hands. There must be a reason.
That all bugged me too. I think there was 50 something seconds left when we got the ball and then we couldn't finish it off. First we took a knee and then ran a running play which could have resulted in a fumble. Sounds like the coaching staff was a little confused with the last minute clock management.
Its funny because I think our 2 minute drill has been horrible this year and we are always letting the clock run killing time when we need to get moving but yesterday we went to quick when all we needed to do was kill time. I also thought we should of kicked it out of bounds if we were going to kick at all.
The Ticats could only kill 40 seconds off the clock, the clock isn't running on 1st down. They took it down to about 5 seconds left which is really all they could. The smart play was to punt the ball, although I'm sure they would have preferred he angled it out or had it bounce before it got to Owens.
They got the ball with about 50 or 51 seconds left.
1st and 10 - The clock is running on the snap of the ball, they kneeled down, took a couple of seconds off the clock.
2nd down - Let the 20 second clock run all the way down, ran a run play, and there was about 25 seconds left.
3rd down - could only run the clock down to about 5 seconds before they had to snap the ball.
A running play to the back takes a couple more seconds off the clock, but it's also way more risky. Unless they were willing to hand the ball off twice they didn't have much chance to kill the clock.
The problem is the initial turnover play, the clock doesn’t start ticking down once the play is whistled in, only after it’s put into play. So 1st down, you aren’t killing any time by running the play clock down. They should have gone for a run, but maybe Austin was afraid of a strip, but more likely the entire team was just as overwhelmed by the energy in the stadium at that time that though we won, so the team took a knee.
We run the clock down to a little less then 33 but more then 20 on 2nd down. Short on the run for the first down, so now they are on the spot.
At this point, here are your options, you are going to run the clock down to a little under 13 seconds (I believe it was 8 seconds) no matter what. You can take a knee and give it to the Argos and give Ricky Ray one last play in your territory to make. Not a good option. You can start the play and have your QB or RB run back towards your own endzone and take a knee when the clock hits 0, and if you need to concede a safety. Not a bad option, but a fumble or a quick play would result in disaster. So the last option is punt it away, with your all-star punter who has a reputation for getting even poorly snapped punts away, and leaving their returner to try to score a touchdown.
The rest as they say is history. Another reason we love our Aussie kicker.
I was interested to know how we got away with deciding to take our offence off the field and send out the punt team, about 5 seconds into the 20-second play clock, without having to call a timeout. And the refs were kind enough to stop the clock and wait for us, resuing the countdown when we were good and ready.
At the time I was going nuts because I assumed we had to call timeout. (Not because we needed to save the timeout, but because it appeared we did so with 15 seconds left on the play clock instead of letting it tick down.)
Mike - ExPat sort of answered for you. There was actually 26 seconds left and the clock stopped after the 2nd down play. The referee started the game and 20 second play clock but then stopped both after 6 seconds when the Cats decided to send their punt team out there. So yes at one point the clock was stopped with 20 seconds left - but at that point the play clock was already down to 14 seconds. The ref stopped both clocks so as to allow both the Ti-Cats time to get their punt team on the field and also to allow time for the Argos to get their punt return team out there. When he blew play in again both clocks continued from where they had been stopped.
This is accurate. I would have preferred killing the 6 seconds with Bartel running back through his own endzone, or allowing Banks/Giguere/Gable to run it back there and take the 6 second safety. I did not for one second like punting to Chad Owens down main street.
The other option would be to punt it out of bounds, and if Toronto took the penalty and made us rekick we then have time to down it. Resulting in one play from scrimmage from their 30 ish
That's an extremely risky option. If they get tackled with a couple of seconds left (remember the defense would have a running start at them) the Argos get the ball with a chance to score a go ahead TD.
I have seen teams snap the ball to the QB and just have him throw it as high and far as he can to kill 2 or 3 seconds, but 6 seconds is asking a lot of your QB.
Tell Rod Black to read these explanations. He called the victory when the Cats got the ball back with 53 seconds left. As everyone knows unless we get a first down, we turn the ball back over albeit with little time left. Its the CFL, anything can happen. I thought on 3rd down we should have had Bartel sprint slowly downfield to concede points. Surely this would have killed the needed 6 seconds. Rod Black is a twit.