You’ve probably heard by now that Atlanta coach Jim Mora didn’t take kindly to being asked why the Falcons chose to to punt on 4th and 2 from their own 24 with 1:08 left in OT Saturday — supposedly, Mora threw his headset microphone, narrowly missing the skull of sideline reporter.
As the Augusta Chronicle’s Don Coble points out, it was a pretty obvious question. Voluntarily giving possession back to the Bucs at that point ended the Falcons’ playoff hopes.
In an era of instant messaging and Internet searches, it shouldn’t have been that difficult for the Atlanta Falcons to know about their playoff position during Saturday afternoon’s game at Tampa Bay.
Coach Jim Mora (above, right) even made a call on his cell phone from the sidelines during the 27-24 overtime loss, presumably to find out the ramifications of a win, loss or tie against the Buccaneers.
As it turned out, the Falcons were misguided. They believed they remained in the playoff hunt with a loss, although they really were eliminated with a loss or a tie.
Apparently the information superhighway made a detour around the team’s training camp.
After punting the ball with 68 seconds remaining in overtime – kicking away any playoff hopes – Mora was led to believe his team still had a chance with a victory next Sunday against Carolina. Team representatives in the press box said the same thing.
Mora was so sure, he got upset when he was asked why he wanted to punt on fourth-and-two at the end of overtime. When asked about the punt by the team’s radio network, he left the interview.
It didn’t matter after Tampa Bay took the punt, drove 26 yards in five plays and won the game on Matt Bryant’s 41-yard field goal.
“We couldn’t come up with a solid, solid answer, and I’m not really one to play for ties,” Mora said.
If a team can’t even figure out the playoff scenario – and it was posted on at least 50 different Web sites, including NFL.com – it’s no wonder they talked of lost direction after the game.
I’m sorry to keep harping on the Chargers, but unless you actually watched San Diego and Atlanta this season, it’s amazing to consider that neither Michael Vick nor LaDanien Tomlinson (arguably the two most exciting players in the league) will figure in the postseason.