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Sunday, January 13, 2013

For the birds

Seattle lost in Atlanta today on the football field. The Seahawks staged a monster comeback, and had the lead in the last minute, but the Falcons kicked a field goal at the end to win by 2.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, for whom we have never had any use, called a timeout to ice the Atlanta kicker, but he called it so late that the ball was snapped, held, and kicked. And it was wide right! But it didn't count because of the timeout. Having had a nice practice shot, the kicker booted the next one true, and that was the end of the season for Coach Karma. The three of our underdog game players who picked the Seahawks for a single point today are frustrated.

The Niners will play in Atlanta in the first game next Sunday. The winner of the Houston-New England contest currently under way will be the home team in the second game, against Baltimore. But we're getting ahead of ourself. At the moment, Houston, a 9.5-point 'dog and picked by our runaway leader, D.B. Cooper, is ahead in Foxboro!

UPDATE, 4:55 p.m.: Major Tom and the Pats take care of the Texans, leaving our 'dog pickers high and dry for Sunday. Our standings remain where they were last night, but without the asterisks.

Baltimore should be a pretty decent sized road 'dog at New England next weekend. But with only two contests to choose from, it's going to be a chess game for a lot of our players. We'll post the last lines on Tuesday.

Comments (5)

There are always plenty of decisions to review when a game is lost like Seattle did today. I mean getting some points on the board with a field goal in the first half would have been sound football too.

One interesting twist where Atlanta got rewarded was having a 12th man on the field when the Seahawks got down inside the 4. That moved the ball closer to the endzone - in fact they scored on the next play. If they had been forced to use more time to get in - one or two extra plays - then Matt Ryan wouldn't have had enough time to go the other way for the winning field goal.

The Seahawks make a big deal about the 12th Man - the fans. They have a flag that they raise in their home stadium, sometimes even putting it on the Space Needle. Ironic that Atlanta could have gotten a chance to win because of a flag for a 12th man of their own.

Seattle wasn't much of a road team this year, particularly on the East Coast in the early games. They got past that last week, but it caught up to them this time.

I like football but don't understand a lot of what goes on. For example, I have no idea why Carroll called a timeout when the Atlanta kicker was about to miss a field goal, then got a mulligan and made it.

It's called "Icing the kicker." The strategy is to make the kicking team line up, getting all ready to kick, then call a time out at the last second so they don't get a kick. The theory is that you can rattle the kicker, mess with his concentration. Not sure it actually works.

What happened in this game is that the coach messed up the timing, called the timeout too late, so the kicker got the shot off before he was stopped. So in essence he got a practice kick and the ability to adjust if needed.

I've seen coaches fake an icing. They'll make a big show about calling the ref over like they are going to call a quick timeout, but then let the guy kick it. The hope is that the kicker will expect to be stopped, then be surprised he's not stopped, and screw up the kick.

NFL Playoffs: Baltimore Ravens set their sights on New England Patriots

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