You may remember that the Giants beat the Bears in Chicago last week, 21-16. They won it when the Giants scored a TD with just under two minutes left. Since that game was finished, I have heard tons of complaints from Giants fans, in both the papers and on radio, about how Tom Coughlin nearly blew it by scoring the touchdown.
Yesterday I saw a letter in the sports section of the New York Post about the game, a week after it was played:
"Can someone tell me why the Giants, with the ball on the 2-yard line, did not run out most of the 1;47 left on the clock last Sunday and then kick the field goal? They would have avoided the Bears' comeback drive that almost resulted in a touchdown. Imagine if the Bears had scored and won the game. I would not have bet much on the career prospects of Tom Coughlin after that." Mark Cohen, Paris, France
I can tell you very easily, Mr. Cohen. You see points, you get them! Especially touchdowns. Yes, the Giants could have run down the clock, as Chicago only had one timeout at the time. But the field was slick, and if you run down the clock (to about 30 seconds left), you had better make the field goal. You risk a bad snap, a fumbled hold, and a kick on a rough field that could be shanked (even if it was barely a chip shot). I know that Coughlin hasn't had the greatest confidence in kicker Lawrence Tynes, so he elected to stick it in the end zone as quick as possible.
Plus remember, the Bears would get the ball back anyway, and by the Giants scoring a TD, that forces Chicago to score a TD instead of a field goal if the Giants had gone for the FG. And don't forget, the Bears have the best kickoff return man in the NFL in Devin Hester. Does that answer your question, Mr. Cohen?
And besides, the Giants won the game! I still can't believe all the pissing and moaning I've heard from these fans, even though the strategy worked out and they won the game. There were two schools of thought to go with in the situation Coughlin was in, and the route he went worked out. But yet these fans have squawked for the week about "what could have gone wrong but didn't." I can only imagine they have an intense dislike for Coughlin (or just like to complain, despite winning). The baseball equivalent of what happened last week could have been having a the tying and winning runs on second and third base in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and walking the number three hitter to take your chances with the cleanup hitter. He strikes out to end it to give your team the win, but the fans complain loudly that the cleanup guy could easily have won the game with a hit.
Giants fans: you won last Sunday (as well as yesterday in Philly). Let the Chicago game go. A playoff spot seems almost assured.