You never like to say that a certain play won or lost a football game. When a team misses a field goal, you reflect on the game and realize that a multitude of other things could have been happened differently. Maybe if the guard makes a better block, opening a bigger running lane that could have led to a massive run. Maybe if the quarterback checked off his initial receiver, looked to his left and found a wide open wide receiver running vertical. Maybe if the Bengals defense actually had safeties playing as safeties, and not guessing where to crash into the offensive line, that a 55-yard Chris Ivory touchdown may not have been so easy.
You deal with the facts on the ground. And maybe a lot of things do or don't happen. Sunday's football game was the culmination of over 120 plays. The more motivated observers of discontent -- because we're nothing if not discontent, bitching and moaning -- you could easily count into double digits the amount of plays that led Cincinnati to their ninth straight loss in the year. One of those came at the most inopportune moments.
With :34 seconds left in the game and the Bengals holding onto a three-point lead, the New Orleans Saints line up on Cincinnati's seven-yard line. The Saints could have kicked a field goal on fourth-and-two, but choose to keep the offense on the field. Were the Saints going to snap it?
“It’s really a No Brainer Freeze,” (head coach Sean) Payton said. “If we felt there was clear movement, then the worst thing that could have happened is we move back five yards and kick the field goal. Drew Brees did a great job with the snap count and tried to create the illusion we were going for it, when we were really just going to let the time run out.”
Pat Sims jumped. Half-the-distance to the goal penalty and a first down at the Bengals three-yard line. On the next play, Drew Brees hits Marques Colston on a quick hitch to the right pylon with Johnathan Joseph playing several yards off the wide receiver that allowed Colston to catch the easy game-winning touchdown.
If Sims doesn't jump, the Saints kick a field goal to tie the game and send it into overtime. Unfortunately for our young defensive tackle, Sims will be remembered for jumping offsides that led to the game-winning touchdown.
Sims finished the game with three tackles, two quarterback hits and a tackle-for-loss. Sims didn't single-handed lose the football game for the Bengals. It was just a contributing play that led to the tenth loss of the year.
“I moved. My fault. All my fault. I made a mistake,” Sims said.