NFL Strategy: Did Not Think This Was Necessary Until Yesterday, Jim Schwartz, But Don't Kick Really Long Field Goals on Third Down

Let’s do a quick strategy discussion. Don’t play for long field goals, coaches. I mean, I’ve pulled my hair out so many times while watching end game strategery, it’s a good thing I have good genetics. I wrote about Gary Kubiak playing for a long field goal late in a game a couple of years ago. It seems relevant again now after how Houston handled overtime.

Jim Schwartz, though, managed to one-up him. I mean, he threw a challenge flag on a play that was going to be automatically reviewed, and that wasn’t even the worst decision of the day. On their next chance, Detroit didn’t even go conservative and turtle up for the long field goal. Schwartz just went ahead and kicked on third down. From 47 yards away.

I mean, I’m totally for the “kick it now” thing when a team is inside gimme field goal range. There, the risk of a turnover does offset any slight increase in field goal likelihood from inching closer. This was not a gimme. Every yard increases the chances of a make. In fact, another yard would have made the difference on Hanson’s kick.

For the record, this was the longest attempt that was not on fourth down, besides end of game or half scenarios, since at least 2000.

[photo via US Presswire]

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