Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
As we all know by now, Joe Philbin made the decision to run out the clock with 2:21 remaining and three timeouts in the first half against the Buffalo Bills. At the time and following the game, many questioned the decision and are still questioning it today. On Monday, Philbin explained in more detail why they did what he did.
“The first half, we got the ball with 2:21 remaining on the minus-12 yard-line. I believe at that point in time, we had 45 yards of offense and three sacks in the first half. The last thing I wanted to do is go into halftime down 16-0. So I told Bill (Lazor), I want to run the ball every single play and I want to get to the locker room and make some adjustments, and I want to get it to a one-possession game, which is exactly what we did twice in the third quarter. That was the reason I did it and I think it was the right thing to do, myself.”
Philbin was asked if the players will think that he’s not confident in them because of this decision with so much time left on the clock.
“My job is to give the team a chance to win the game and put the team in position to win the game. That’s why, again, I’m not pounding my chest, but I feel like, in the third quarter, we were exactly where we needed to be in that game. We had a chance, we were on the road, you’re in a one possession game on the road against a division rival.”
“You have an opportunity to win the game. I had no thoughts that we were going to throw an interception or anything like that, but if we, by chance, didn’t get a first down, which we hadn’t converted on third down up until that point, we would have been punting the ball to them, giving them great field position. They had a bunch of timeouts left. I think the worst thing that could have happened was to be down 16-0. Somebody else could have a different opinion and that’s OK. I was very comfortable with that.”
Regardless of what everyone is saying, Philbin is sticking by his decision and feels as if it was the right one. There are supporters and detractors on both sides of the decision and valid points with both viewpoints. Ultimately though, no matter what anyone else thinks – including the players – Philbin is in charge and he’s the one who made that decision and ultimately has to live with it.