TMQ: Hooray for Coaches with Courage!

TMQ: Hooray for Coaches with Courage!

Has courage broken out in the NFL? This weekend, team after team went for it on fourth down, eschewing fraidy-cat kicks. (Only in sportswriting can you get away with "eschewing.") Pittsburgh went for it on fourth-and-goal in Chicago and scored a touchdown. Houston went for it on fourth-and-2, converted, and eventually scored a touchdown on the drive; the Texans went for it again on fourth-and-1 from the Tennessee 15-yard line with five minutes remaining in a tie game, converted, and scored the winning field goal on that possession after grinding down the clock. Washington went for it twice on fourth-and-1 on its final possession, converting the first time, failing the second time -- but the failure left St. Louis pinned on its own 4 at the two-minute warning. Atlanta went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Carolina 21, converted, and soon after scored what proved to be the winning touchdown. Buffalo went for it on fourth-and-1 from its own 36 -- what did Dick "Cheerio, Chaps" Jauron have for breakfast? -- converted, and scored a field goal on the possession. Minnesota went for it on fourth-and-2 with 2:18 remaining, and the conversion iced the game. Overall in Week 2, there were 34 fourth-down conversion attempts -- some in desperation time when coaches had no choice, but most when kicking was a reasonable option.

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