Was Maurice Jones-Drew’s Decision to Kneel at the 1 the Right Move?

Maurice Jones-Drew is getting a ton of praise for his awareness, selflessness, and foresight to kneel down at the 1 yard line in the final two minutes of the Jags/Jets game on Sunday. The Jags were down by a point, 22-21, with the clock at 1:48 and running, and they had the ball at the 10 yard line. The Jets decided to let Jones-Drew walk in for the touchdown so that they’d have a 1:30 or so left to try and score a touchdown to win it. Instead, MJD outfoxed them based on what his coaches instructed him to do:

From the moment Maurice went down I was saying it was the wrong move. Considering the Jaguars were losing at the time he did it, he was taking a big risk that they could wind up losing the game if something went wrong. When you make the decision what you have to weigh is the likelihood of the Jags botching the field goal with a bad hold, snap, or kick against Jacksonville’s chances of stopping the Jets from scoring a touchdown in 1:30. To me, there’s a greater chance of something going wrong with the game-winning field goal than the Jets going 80 yards or so in 1:30. Maurice is getting lauded for wearing his thinking cap and making the unselfish play but I thought it was the wrong move. Luckily it worked out for the 5-4 Jags but imagine how bad he would have looked for not taking the free points if something went wrong with the kick.

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  • Gene

    On the one hand, this is the NFL and not college or high school football, and the field goal was really only an extra point, where the odds against a miss are very small. On the other hand, teams have been know to drive for a winning touchdown in less than a minute, let alone with a minute and a half. Even the ensuing kickoff could have been run back all the way ( a la Cal-Stanford and the Music City Miracle).

    That being said, the only part of your entry I disagree with is the headline. MJD was following orders from his coaches, so it really was not his decision.

  • SpinMax

    Two crazy playcalls, one works, one doesn’t, one brilliant, the other stupid. reverse the outcome of the games and one stupid, one brilliant.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Yup, you’re right about that, Spin. I will say though that I was more than impressed when Tom Jackson said last night he disagreed with the MJD decision even if it worked out. He agreed with me on it.