In CBCSports.ca's weekly chatter, Jason Davidson and Tony Care debate Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz's understanding of the rule book, Ndamukong Suh's groin kick, the prospects of Alex Smith getting his job back, and the Baltimore Ravens' incredible 4th-and-29 conversion.
On Thanksgiving, Detroit coach Jim Schwartz challenged a Houston touchdown. But since all touchdowns are reviewed, Schwartz received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and wiped out the review, which would've clearly been overturned. Schwartz said that he knew the rule but simply overreacted in tossing the challenge flag. Do you believe him?
I'll buy that but it makes his blunder more egregious
. He's supposed to be the composed one. He's the one that needs to have his emotions in check, considering he coaches one of the most undisciplined teams in the NFL. What Schwartz did was cost his team seven points. Who knows, maybe Houston marches 81 yards for a TD anyway, but Schwartz didn't allow his defence the chance to stop the Texans. Dumb decisions like this one are a recipe for getting fired when your team is going nowhere fast.
Jason Davidson: I do believe him. He's an NFL head coach, he should know the rules. Once again, Schwartz got sidetracked by his own emotions, and as a result, the Texans end up with a TD that shouldn't have counted and the Lions go on to lose the game. Remember Week 3? Schwartz has a 'miscommunication' with his offence on a fourth-and-1 deep in Tennessee territory. End result? Titans go on to win in overtime. Detroit is 4-7, they could just as easily be 6-5 and in contention for a wildcard. Not only are the fans in Motown frustrated, so is defensive co-ordinator Gunther Cunningham.
In that same game, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh kicked Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin while he was falling down to the turf. Given Suh's penchant for dirty play, did he really mean to kick his Schaub?
I realize Suh gets a lot of flack because of his numerous personal fouls, highlighted by his ejection and suspension for a stomp on Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith last Thanksgiving. But in this case, I can't see how anyone can flat out say that was intentional. I agree with the NFL by not suspending Suh
on this one. Still, the Lions defensive tackles isn't gaining any popularity points with officials.
Jason Davidson: Yes, he meant to do it. Suh is a dirty player, plain and simple. This is the second straight year where Suh has pulled a stunt like this on Thanksgiving Day at Ford Field. Last year, he stomped on Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith and got tossed from the game. A costly penalty at the time as it occurred in the Lions' red zone. I'm sure even his teammates are getting tired of his act now. Suh avoided a suspension although he may get fined. Next time Suh goes off the handle, don't expect NFL disciplinarians to be as forgiving.
With a healthy Alex Smith ready to go, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh opted to remain with QB Colin Kaepernick, who led San Francisco's victory against the Saints. Does this spell the end for Smith?
Tony Care: I doubt it. I think the reason Harbaugh went with Kaepernick is that he always knows what he has in Smith - a game manager who can't rally his team from a significant deficit. Kaepernick offers big plays, a big arm and is a threat to reel off a huge run. Besides, Smith is the type of QB that won't be affected if Harbaugh has to go back to him should Kaepernick struggle. He's definitely been benched enough times over the years.
Not necessarily. Kaepernick was good, not great
against the New Orleans (16/25, 1TD/1INT). The defence won the game for San Fran with pick-sixes from Ahmad Brooks and Donte Whitner. Jim Harbaugh will likely stick with Kapernick this weekend against the Rams in St. Louis (hopefully no tie this time around) but I just don't think Smith has taken his last snap this season. Having two capable quarterbacks at your disposal is a good problem for the 49ers. You ride the hot hand.
The Baltimore Ravens converted on an incredible 4th-and-29 to extend a last-minute, fourth-quarter drive en route to a victory over the listless San Diego Chargers in overtime. Was this a great run by Ravens RB Ray Rice or some bad defence on the part of the Chargers?
Tony Care: This was one of the most embarrassing things I've ever seen on a football field. Ravens QB Joe Flacco all but conceded the game when he dumped the ball off to Rice, who then broke at least four tackles to get the first down. How coach Norv Turner can actually be allowed to continue on after this debacle is beyond me. I can't imagine president Dean Spanos tolerating this mess much longer, and that includes the employment of GM A.J. Smith.
Jason Davidson: You have to give Rice credit here, it was a fantastic play. One of the season's best. He caught Joe Flacco's short pass at the line of scrimmage and he made his way around the Bolts' defence, which for most of the game, played pretty well. San Diego let this game get away from them in the fourth quarter. They blew a 13-3 lead with eight minutes to go in the game. Huge win for the Ravens to as they are on the verge of clinching the AFC North. They can do that this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers. As for San Diego, Norv Turner will ride out the rest of the season and hope for a miraculous five-game winning streak to end the season respectably and keep his job. Not happening folks.
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