Tuesday Morning Quaterback: It Doesn't Pay To Punt

Single Worst Play of the 2006 Season So Far: Trailing 24-3, the Niners had third-and-goal on the Eagles' 1. Frank Gore fumbled and Nesharim defensive tackle Mike Patterson returned the rock 98 yards, effectively ending the game. The bad thing about this play was not that instead of making it 24-10, San Francisco trailed 31-3. The bad thing was not that Patterson, who's heavyset, huffed and puffed and had to jog the final 30 yards. The bad thing was not that sportscasters thought it was funny that a highly paid professional athlete is too heavy to sprint 100 yards, rather than asking what message about fitness and healthy diet this sends to the young. The reason this was the Single Worst Play of the 2006 Season So Far was that the Niners failed to chase Patterson down. Watch the replay; Alex Smith is the sole red jersey visible. Vernon Davis and Gore were hurt on the play and couldn't run, but that still leaves a Ticonderoga-class defensive tackle plodding the length of the field and eight of 11 Niners not catching him. According to the Game Book, this play lasted 21 seconds, allowing plenty of time to catch Patterson. San Francisco 49ers, you have committed the Single Worst Play of the 2006 Season So Far.

Plus Houston Is Last in Total Defense. The Williams Pick Is Really Looking Good. On Washington's first touchdown, a sweep left by Ladell Betts, first overall draft pick Mario Williams, playing right end for Houston, was blocked out of the play and practically off the screen by Mike Sellers, a reserve tight end. On Washington's second touchdown, a flare pass left to Antwaan Randle El, Williams was again at right end and again blocked out of the play and practically off the screen.

Please, Announcers, Learn the Distinction Between an End-Around and a Reverse: Watching a highlight of receiver Marty Booker of Miami running against Tennessee, novice sportscaster Jerome Bettis exclaimed, "Reverse!" It was an end-around, not a reverse: Daunte Culpepper faked up the middle, then handed off to Booker coming around. The ball never changed direction. Announcers, here's the easy way to tell if it's a reverse: count handoffs. An end-around requires one handoff. A reverse requires two handoffs, one to make the ball go in Direction A, another to make it go in Direction B. The very rare double reverse requires three handoffs, so the ball ends up going back in Direction A.

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