This is the first installment of Safe Harbor Consulting’s Pro Football Crisis Management Award series. The Safe Harbor Pro Football Crisis Management Award recognizes the NFL team(s) that wins its game, overcoming the largest deficit, for that week. This award is simply “granted” in theory and comes with no actual “award”, monetary or otherwise – just our hardy congratulations and, hopefully, an entertaining blog report.
Safe Harbor Consulting is a management consulting firm specializing in corporate crisis management. This award is just our way of combining our love for what we do with our love for the game of football. It is our belief that, in order for organizations to recover sufficiently from business interruption events, they must plan for and practice their response to these incidents, so that they, too, can “come from behind” and stay in the game – much like professional football teams.
So, with the pre-game pep talk over, let’s take a look at Week 1.
WEEK 1 RECAP
The first thing of interest about Week 1 is that only one team won their season opener without ever trailing in the game. That team was the Dallas Cowboys, who beat the New York Giants 36 – 31. Ironically, Dallas had not won a single game last year leading throughout.
The second thing of interest about Week 1 is that the Safe Harbor Consulting Pro Football Crisis Management Award winner wasn’t decided until the very last second of the very last game of the week. In fact, our bet is that most of our readers on the East Coast were long asleep when the amazing comeback was complete.
Of the 16 games played in Week 1, 15 winning teams trailed at one time or another in their game. Six of those teams trailed by more than 7 points in the game. Whether this is a sign of parity or a rare and unusual occurrence, only time will tell. And, the 15th team to win after trailing, did so with a field goal as time ran out to take their first and only lead of the game just a few minutes short of 2:00 am, Tuesday morning on the East Coast.
HOUSTON VS. SAN DIEGO
San Diego would get on the board quickly intercepting Matt Schaub on Houston’s first play from scrimmage and scoring on a 14 yard pass from Philip Rivers to Ryan Mathews on their first play from scrimmage.
Houston would tie the game at 7 – 7 later in the 1st quarter on a 1 yard pass from Schaub to Owen Daniels.
The next three scores of the game would belong to San Diego. Two TD passes in the 2nd Quarter (one from Rivers to Eddie Royal from 6 yards out and one from Rivers to Vincent Brown from the 10 yard line) and one TD pass in the 3rd quarter (Rivers to Royal from 1 yard out) put the Chargers up 28 – 7 with just over 1 ½ quarters left to play.
This is when I made the mistake of starting to write this article about the two 11 point, come-from-behind victories by Chicago over Cincinnati and St. Louis over Arizona. Then Houston went on an eleven play, 71 yard drive ending on a 7 yard Schaub to Garrett Graham TD pass and I stopped typing.
When the Houston drive to start the fourth quarter ended with a field goal, I thought, maybe, my half written article was safe – then they explained what, to me, seemed like an awful penalty call. I understand the new rule – you can’t hit the defenseless center on a field goal attempt – but, the replay seemed to show hardly a hit. Heck, my wife hits me harder than that when she sees a Volkswagen. Houston had a first down and, one play later, a touchdown on a Schaub to Owen Daniels 9 yard pass. Now, I was worried again. Still over 14 minutes left to play and San Diego’s one time 21 point lead was now only 7.
The two teams traded punts and San Diego had the ball again on their own 13 with just 9:38 left in the game and still up by 7. When on 1st down, Philip Rivers dropped back to pass and was intercepted by Brian Cushing who returned it for a touchdown from 18 yards out, I deleted my original attempt at this blog. The game was now tied at 28 and fate seemed to be smiling on the Texans.
A couple punts later, following dropped passes and missed opportunities, Houston had the ball on their 39 yard line with 3:53 to go.
And, with my east coast friends snoring away in their beds, Randy Bullock hit the 41 yard field goal that would make the Houston Texans the very first recipients of the Safe Harbor Consulting Pro Football Crisis Management Award, coming back from 21 points down to defeat the San Diego Chargers 31 – 28 and ending an exciting first week of football.
SAFE HARBOR CONSULTING
To learn more about how Safe Harbor Consulting can help you prepare for your greatest comeback, please visit our website at www.safeharborconsulting.biz; visit us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Safe-Harbor-Consulting/204353729604053; or, call us at (253) 509-0233.
Week 1 – Honorable Mentions
Chicago coming from 11 behind to beat Cincinnati 24 -21
St. Louis coming from 11 behind to beat Arizona 27 – 24