Manly-Man Play of the Day: Facing fourth-and-goal at Houston, Jax scored a touchdown, and went on to record its second victory. As for the Moo Cows, they have declined from a preseason playoff pick to a contender for the first choice in the 2014 draft.
The Secret of Blast Gold at Last Revealed: Years ago when Page 2 still existed and still had a background of yellow kryptonite, your columnist claimed to have drawn up a play that was " 100 percent unstoppable." The play was called Blast Gold. A year after the boasting item linked in the previous sentence ran, in a middle-school game I called Blast Gold on fourth-and-short from our own 18, and the result was a touchdown. If I could have sold the diagram to an NFL team using eBay, I would have. Time marched on, and I never revealed the secret of the play.
Sunday, the St. Louis Rams ran Blast Gold. Tavon Austin lined up wide; came in motion left, back toward the formation; took a toss left; took one hard step left and then executed a planned reversal of field, sprinting right behind a pulling blocker for a 65-yard touchdown. Reversal-of-field runs are high-risk, high-reward. Usually they occur spontaneously on broken plays. They should be planned more often.
Move Over, Sports Illustrated Curse: Since TMQ asked if the Colts are the best team in the league, Indianapolis is 1-2 and has been outscored 49-105. And I don't wish to alarm anyone, but the Arizona Cardinals have won four straight. They host the 49ers in their season finale, a game that might determine the final NFC playoff invite.
Football IQ: Miami leading 16-3, Carolina had possession on its own 43 with 8 seconds before intermission, out of timeouts. The Genetically Engineered Surimi put all their defensive backs in or near the end zone. Cam Newton threw a quick flare to Brandon LaFell, who ran along the sideline and then stepped out-of-bounds on the Miami 28 with 1 second remaining. Panthers' field goal. Nice football IQ by Carolina.
Hosting Indianapolis, Arizona ran a trick play for Larry Fitzgerald to throw off a reverse. On trick plays, running backs or wide receivers may panic and release nutty heave-hoes. So the rule of well-coached trick-play passes is: If the man is uncovered, throw it; if he is covered just eat the ball, we don't care if you lose yardage. Seeing the intended receiver covered, Fitzgerald went the coaches one better by deliberately sailing the ball out-of-bounds like a veteran quarterback.
Bonus Sweet Play: With San Francisco leading 17-6, the Squared Sevens had second-and-goal on the 1-yard line of the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons. The visitors lined up jumbo with two tight ends, two running backs and an offensive lineman in the backfield -- no wide receiver. The lineman went in motion right, suggesting a power run right; Kaepernick faked a power run with the fullback as lead blocker; tight end Vernon Davis brushed his man and turned out into the end zone, uncovered. Home fans began streaming to the exits. The Niners' reputation for sweet play design under Harbaugh/West has suffered as Kaepernick has struggled to complete passes. This play was drawn up well.
Bonus Sour Play: The R*dsk*ns went for it on fourth-and-2 at the San Francisco 41 early in the third quarter. The formation was a jumbo set -- except the extra blocker in the backfield was 180-pound speed receiver Aldrick Robinson. What the hey? Needless to say, run stuffed.