Tuesday Morning Quaterback: It Doesn't Pay To Punt

Sour Play of the Week: A TMQ maxim holds that sometimes all a team needs to do is run the up the middle for no gain, and everything will be fine. Leading 24-23, City of Tampa faced third-and-5 on its own 25 at the two-minute warning, with Carolina down to two timeouts. The Bucs' coaches called a deep pass that clanged incomplete, politely stopping the clock for the Panthers -- who won the game on a long field goal with seven seconds remaining. Had Tampa simply rushed up the middle for no gain, grinding the clock, Carolina likely would have run out of time.

Sour Play of the Week No. 2: Already down 14-0 in the first quarter, Jersey/A had Seattle with first-and-goal on the Giants' 4. Darrell Jackson lined up slot-left; a Seattle receiver went in motion left, beyond Jackson; Shaun Alexander ran a flare left; all the Giants' defenders on that side ignored Jackson as he ran a simple turn-in for the touchdown that made it 20-0. Throughout the game, Jersey/A's pass defense seemed flummoxed that Seattle, which last season almost always had either a fullback or tight end on the field, was showing four wide receivers -- though four-receiver sets are now commonplace even in high school. And do you think the Blue Men Group, defending NFC champions yet shafted by the league out of a prime time appearance in the season's first month, were jacked up to at least be on national television?

Sour Play of the Week No. 3: Trailing 14-0, Houston had Washington facing a second-and-6 on the Moo Cows' 30 with nine seconds remaining in the first half. The Redskins' coaches called a draw to improve their field-goal position. The Houston defense allowed Clinton Portis to run 30 yards untouched for the touchdown.

Sour Play of the Week No. 4: The Browns led the Ravens 14-12 with 3:28 remaining and had second-and-goal on the Baltimore 4. Run twice and the icing touchdown is likely; if stuffed, take a field goal for a five-point lead at about the two-minute warning. Instead the Browns' coaches call a pass. Charlie Frye heave-hoes -- Aaaaaiiiiiiiyyyyyyeeeee! I can't look! Sometimes the best play a quarterback can make is zinging the ball out of bounds. Had Frye simply zung this one out of bounds, Cleveland likely would have won.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback In the News: Reader Joe Abraham of New York City reports he attended, at NYU Law School, a colloquium featuring Paul Clement, Solicitor General of the United States. During his talk, the Solicitor General of the United States referred to hindsight as "Tuesday morning quarterbacking." Surely Clement spoke in capital letters and said "Tuesday Morning Quarterbacking."

Tuesday Morning Quarterback In the News No. 2: Last week Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, called my book "The Progress Paradox" "a book you must read" because it "tells the truth about how the United States really is today." That's pretty exciting. Details are here.

Google CEO Has Good Taste in Literature: "The Progress Paradox" first argues that nearly every aspects of Western life is improving, then speculates about why "life gets better but people feel worse." A recent study by researchers including Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner, and Alan Kruger, one of the leading names in behavior economics, adds new detail on that question. The study found that the well-off are no happier than others; that as income rises, so does tension and anger; that "people exaggerate the contribution of income to happiness."

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