The fourth-and-one decision
Nick Saban went for the field goal.
He took the "safe" option even though there was plenty of time on the clock for a Jets comeback. He played it safe with absolutely no playoffs or anything else of significance hanging on the line. He played it safe without really giving it much thought.
"Some might ask, “Why didn’t you go for it on fourth and one?” Saban said after the game. "I think if you go for it on fourth and one you put the game in jeopardy with one play. To tie it up, to go in, play good defense, get them stopped – they’ve got to do a lot of executing to get down the field in two-minute to kick a field goal.
"I had confidence in our defense to we could get them stopped. So [you] need to take the points and take the tie and that was a decision that was not really that difficult to make at the time, to be honest with you. "
I didn't agree with the decision. I understand you play for the tie at home. I understand Saban wanted to put the game in his defense's hands because the defense is the strength of the team.
But something has to be said for having a feel for the momentum of the game. And that momentum was clearly on the Dolphins side at the time.
Last year the Dolphins drafted a 235-pound running back with the No. 2 overall pick. That back, Ronnie Brown, had 110 yards on 18 carries last night. Against a Jets defense that is quite poor against the run, the Dolphins should have given Brown one more carry -- on that fourth down.
I understand the statement Saban made about trusting his defense. But the decision made other statements: He said he doesn't trust the offense. He said he wants to play it safe even when there is really nothing to play it safe for.
But worst of all, he told us he doesn't have a feel for the momentum of the game. That sixth sense is vital for a head coach. In this one instance, Saban didn't show he has it.