Sometimes, we should credit the other guy

Here’s what occurs to me as I read twitter and facebook with everyone hammering Ole Miss last night and the New Orleans Saints tonight for blowing leads in games in which it looked as though they might win:

Sometimes, you just have to give credit to the other guy.

In these cases, two guys: Johnny Manziel and Tom Brady.

Sometimes, the other guy is better. Sometimes, you play really well and you lose.

Ole Miss played well Saturday night, but Manziel was better. The Saints played a heckuva game at New England Sunday, but then Tom Brady did what Tom Brady does. That is, he won the game.

Manziel and Brady go about it different ways but they both get it done.

Manziel, AKA Johnny Football, refused to lose Saturday night  in Oxford. He made plays with his legs and plays with his arm. He made plays that sometimes didn’t seem possible. And he made plays after it appeared he was badly hurt.

Brady did what he has been doing year after year after year. The Patriots receivers change. The backs change. The linemen change. The defense changes. Brady stays the same.

You can’t give Brady more than one opportunity to win a game and the Saints gave Brady three in the last three minutes. The third time, Saints-wise, was not a charm.

Many Sunday evening quarterbacks were blaming the Saints “prevent” defense for the defeat. Not me.

I thought if you were going to blame the Saints for anything, you blame them for their clock management on offense. They had a four-point lead when they got the ball back with 2 minutes, 16 seconds remaining and with the Patriots with only one timeout remaining.

But the Pats got the ball back with 1:13 remaining. In three plays and in little over a minute of playing time, the Saints lost three yards.

Worse they gave the ball back to Tom Brady with with 73 seconds remaining. He probably felt like a kid about to ride his new bicycle on Christmas morning. He rode it; boy, did he ride it.

You could see it coming … just as you could see it coming Saturday night at Oxford.

If you are going to blame Ole Miss and the Saints for anything, blame them for giving two great football players one too many chances. Because that’s what happened in both cases.

•••

A Toast to the 1959 Ole Miss Rebels.

4 thoughts on “Sometimes, we should credit the other guy”

  1. Rick,

    What a great analysis. I was there last night and was watching this afternoon. You nailed it, as usual. I love your writing. Best wishes always.

    Brooke Ferris

  2. You know, KT, I thought the Saints ran the ball fairly well most of the game against the Pats. 131 yards and five yards per carry. That’s a good day running in the NFL.

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