Monday, October 26, 2009

Odd play

Greg Camarillo seemed to have taken a stupid pill on one play late in the game.  The Dolphins were still down by 6, and its 1st and 10 from their own 44, 2:26 left to play.
 
Camarillo catches a short pass in the left flat, and looks to juke the defender.  He moves up the field a little, then tries to elude the defender again.  As I'm watching the play unfold, I'm wondering why he isn't simply trying to get to the first down marker.  He's already gained 7.  Get as much as you can and go down.
 
But no.  He then decides to head for the sidelines.  There's still time before the two minute warning.  Just get down if you need to, and regroup on the next play.  As he comes down inbounds, the ball squirts out of bounds.  I see a flag, and I'm thinking "that can't be good." 
 
They show the replay and it seems clear that Camarillo was trying to throw the ball out of bounds to stop the clock.  Which is weird, because there's still time left. 

And then it hits me.  The foul could be an unsportmanlike conduct penalty (since he was trying to keep the ball away from a defender and stop the clock). which would be unlikely but would cost them 15 yards; or it could be an illegal batting of the ball which would be a 10 yard penalty; or it could be an illegal forward pass which is 5 yards and a loss of down.
 
Had it been the first one, it would have been 2nd and 18 from around the 30.  The second would have been 2nd and 13 from around the 35.  The call was for the last one.which made it 2nd and 8 from the 46.  But what of the loss of down?  See, this penalty is designed to stop two forward passes on the same play, so lets say he received the ball from Henne and threw it forward to Ginn who got the first down(that makes me laugh, because Ginn would have probably given it to the defender).  In that case, it would have been 5 yards from the spot of the infraction, and it would still be second down; even if Camarillo had gotten enough for the first.
 
So in this instance, the loss of down didn't matter.  But that 5 yards hurt.  The 2nd down play was incomplete.  Then, there was a false start, followed by another incompletion.  And on 4th down was the interception that was returned for the TD (and underscored by the illegal shift before the pass was even thrown).
 
It was another "sequence of events" that was set in motion by one dumb play. 

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