Football teams know all about the importance of having backups in place, ready to perform at a moment’s notice. You never know when your star quarterback or starting safety might go down with an injury and you have to have a trained and ready backup in place to fill in the vacated spot – many times during the game itself. Not all businesses seem to understand this concept. There are many situations where a business or organization has a single subject matter expert – be it in finance, technology, operations or otherwise – that cannot be readily replaced if and when something happens to that individual. Football teams also sometimes have to have succession plans for the head coach. Last year, the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts had to rely on an interim head coach when Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia and had to take a leave of absence. Your business should ensure that it has trained backups for every position in your organization and a published and known succession plan in place … just in case. Football teams have known this for a long time. Businesses should follow their lead.
WEEK 8 RECAP
Week 8 in the NFL had only 13 games on the schedule with a full six teams having a BYE week. Of those 13 games, 6 of them were won by teams that trailed at one point in the game. Three of those six teams rallied back from deficits of 10 or more points to eventually pull out the victory. Five of the six teams that came from behind to win, had a home team crowd cheering them on.
Week 8 was our second week of the season with a tie for the team with the largest come-from-behind victory, but, unlike Week 2 when 3 teams tied with a somewhat unimpressive 8 point comeback, our two Week 8 teams both rallied back from a 2 touchdown, 14 point deficit to win their respective games.
MIAMI VS NEW ENGLAND
Last week, the New England Patriots were on the wrong side of this award after giving up an 11 point lead to the New York Jets and eventually losing in overtime, 30 – 27. This week they were back home and hosting the Miami Dolphins, another AFC East division rival.
The Patriots had a tough time getting the offense started in this game as Tom Brady threw an interception on New England’s second offensive play of the game and ran only 8 other plays from scrimmage the rest of the 1st quarter. Meanwhile, the Dolphins followed up the interception with a touchdown drive ending on a Ryan Tannehill to Brandon Gibson 4 yard touchdown pass and scored on their first possession of the 2nd quarter on a 5 yard pass from Tannehill to Daniel Thomas for an early 14 – 0 lead.
The two teams then exchanged field goals before the half ended and went into halftime with Miami holding a 17 – 3 lead.
The Patriot’s start in the 3rd quarter looked no better as they had a quick 3 and out and had to punt the ball to Miami. Miami drove down to the New England 28 yard line, looking to pad their lead, but Caleb Sturgis’ 46 yard field goal attempt ricocheted off of the right upright to the wrong side of the field goal.
New England then started to come to life. A quick, 5 play, 64 yard New England drive ended in a 14 yard touchdown pass from Brady to Aaron Dobson. Not only did this touchdown pass bring New England to within 7 of the Dolphins, it also moved Brady ahead of Fran Tarkenton on the all-time, career touchdown passes list with number 343.
Just two plays later, Tannehill was sacked and fumbled at the Miami 13 yard line where New England’s Rob Ninkovich recovered the ball. This turnover stretched New England’s longest active streak of consecutive games causing a turnover to 35 games and set up the Patriots for a game tying touchdown, which came just three plays later on a Brandon Bolden 2 yard run around left end.
The Patriots then completed the comeback by taking the lead near the end of the 3rd quarter on a 48 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal and entered the 4th quarter leading 20 – 17.
In the 4th quarter, the Patriots intercepted Tannehill twice and blocked one field goal attempt while also adding a Stevan Ridley 3 yard touchdown run to extend their lead and end the game at 27 – 17. Last week, the Patriots were the team that gave up the largest lead of the week in losing to the Jets; this week they come from 14 points back to beat the Dolphins and earn a share of the Week 8 Safe Harbor Consulting Pro Football Crisis Management Award.
WASHINGTON VS DENVER
The Denver Broncos are the one team in the league that you know, while watching the game, no lead is a safe lead against them. Three weeks ago the Broncos rallied back from 14 points down to defeat the Dallas Cowboys, 51 – 48. In Week 8, the Broncos would do it again, this time against the Washington Redskins. Cowboys or Indians, it makes no difference, with Peyton Manning at the helm, the Broncos always have the capability to come from behind.
Unexpectedly, this game did get off to a rather slow start – surprising, given the Broncos’ offensive productivity so far this season. The Redskins’ defense held the Broncos to a single touchdown in the first half – a 6 yard pass from Manning to Wes Welker. But, the Redskins’ offense could only manage one touchdown of their own – a Robert Griffin 7 yard pass to Leonard Hankerson in the 2nd quarter. So a surprisingly, ho-hum, first half ended locked up at 7 – 7.
When Manning started off the 3rd quarter with a fumble at his own 19 yard line, recovered by the Redskins’ Brian Orakpo, Washington was in business. Three straight hand offs to Alfred Morris resulted in a Redskins’ touchdown and a Washington 14 – 7 lead. On the very next play from scrimmage, Manning was intercepted by DeAngelo Hall who returned the ball 26 yards for a touchdown. Not yet 5 minutes into the 2nd half and the ho-hum first half was quickly replaced by a helter-skelter second half, giving Washington a 14 point lead – “giving”, being the operative word.
But, this is the Broncos we are talking about. And, this is Peyton Manning – Redskins, beware.
The comeback, which you knew was going to occur, started on Denver’s next possession, an 11 play, 75 yard drive capped off by a Montee Ball 4 yard touchdown run over left tackle. The next Denver possession, was even better – a 6 play, 83 yard drive, ending on the first play of the 4th quarter with a 1 yard touchdown pass from Manning to Joel Dressen that tied the game up at 21 – 21. And, the Broncos were just getting started.
Denver started their next possession in great field position following an awful Washington punt. This time, the Broncos needed only a play – a Manning to Knowshon Moreno short pass over the middle that resulted in a 35 yard touchdown. Broncos 28, Redskins 21.
Denver then tacked on a 19 yard Matt Prater field goal following a Griffin fumble and Bronco recovery on the Redskins’ 24. Manning drove the ball down to the 1 yard line before giving way to the field goal unit. Broncos 31, Redskins 21.
Add two more Bronco touchdowns, a Manning to Thomas 35 yard touchdown pass and a Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie 75 yard interception return for a touchdown, and the final score, Denver 45, Washington 21, gives no indication that the Broncos were ever behind, let alone behind by 14 points – enough to earn a share of the Week 8 Safe Harbor Consulting Pro Football Crisis Management Award.
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 7 – Winner (To read the Week 7 article, click here)
New York Jets coming from 11 behind to beat New England, 30 – 27.
Week 6 – Winner (To read the Week 6 article, click here.)
Week 5 – Winner (To read the Week 5 article, click here.)
Denver coming from 14 behind to beat Dallas, 51 – 48.
Week 4 – Winner (To read the Week 4 article, click here.)
Week 3 – Winner (To read the Week 3 article, click here.)
Week 2 – Winners (To read the Week 2 article, click here.)
Houston coming from 8 behind to beat Tennessee, 30 – 24.
Arizona coming from 8 behind to beat Detroit, 25 -21.
Week 1 – Winner (To read the Week 1 article, click here.)
Houston coming from 21 behind to beat San Diego, 31 -28.