Re: Desperation, 2 trick plays that back fired!
I logged in this morning planning on discussing this, knowing that it would be a hot topic.
I didn't mind the fake punt, we had the Chargers pretty well stuffed at that point. The flea flicker, otoh, that bugged me. It was 3rd and a half a yard. The offense was clicking. The Chargers didn't know what was coming next. I mean, what's wrong with getting the first down and grinding your way to the goal line over the next 5 minutes? Instead we transferred momentum to the Chargers, they drive 91 yards, and all of a sudden we're not winning.
It reminds me of something that sometimes happens in casino gambling. A bettor is doing OK; maybe up a few hundred dollars, playing smart, working the odds. And then, he takes half his stake and makes a colossally bad bet, one that has a big payoff, but horribly long odds that come nowhere near justifying the chance taken. Maybe, puts half his stake on the field. Or bets half the bankroll on 00 at roulette.
In gambling it's called losing your head. What happens next, after you invariably lose the bet, is that your remaining stake isn't large enough to churn your way back to even; the vig is always working, and there isn't enough time left in the session. So in order to get back what you blew, you have to take increasingly longer chances at worse odds. And eventually you're on the way home, at the toll booth looking under the seat for change.
The game wasn't over at that point, but we were in control of it. We had the lead, the ball, and the momentum. We had them off balance, and we gambled it all on a play where we didn't have to do that to win. Bad, bad coaching decision.