With 47 seconds left in regulation on Sunday, the Oakland Raiders scored a touchdown to pull within 34-33 of the New Orleans Saints.
Conventional wisdom says to kick the extra point, tie the game and go to overtime. Then again, conventional wisdom also says the Saints secondary is, well, pretty terrible.
What’s a coach to do?
Jack Del Rio went for two. Derek Carr found Michael Crabtree for the 35-34 win.
Del Rio was praised for his gutsy call, but what happens if Carr gets sacked? What happens if Crabtree doesn’t win that jump ball? Are the Raiders players angry, or do they appreciate their head coach showing confidence and going for the win?
“They appreciate the coach going for it,” former NFL safety Erik Coleman said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “The bad thing about it is everyone talked about the Raiders defense this offseason, how good they were going to be. They weren’t playing very well. So you’ve got Drew Brees in his own house, you fight back to get (within one point) and you’re on the road – you have to go for two in that situation. Drew Brees is deadly, especially in overtime, and you don’t know what’s going to happen. I think the players are excited. They love the aggressiveness of Jack Del Rio. I know I do.”
The Raiders trailed the Saints 24-10 midway through the third quarter but erupted for 22 points in the fourth. By that point, Coleman thought going for two was a no-brainer.
“Yeah, on the road, all the chips are against you,” said Coleman, who played in the NFL from 2004 to 2012. “You’re playing in the Superdome. I played a lot of games in the Superdome. That’s a tough place to play. That crowd is loud. Drew Brees, he’s one of the most accurate quarterbacks to play the game. So the cards are against you at that point. You might as well take advantage of a weaker defense and try to get the two-point conversion to get the win.”