Tag Archive for football

Week 8 – Pro Football Crisis Management Award Winners

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 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.


MIA NELast 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 MiamiMiami 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.


WAS DENThe 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 ManningRedskins, 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.


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.)

Detroit coming from 10 behind to beat Cleveland, 31 – 17.


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.)

Seattle coming from 17 behind to beat Houston, 23 – 20.


Week 3 – Winner  (To read the Week 3 article, click here.)

Cincinnati coming from 16 behind to beat Green Bay, 34 – 30.


Week 2 – Winners  (To read the Week 2 article, click here.)

Buffalo coming from 8 behind to beat Carolina, 24 – 23.

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.

Week 2 – Pro Football Crisis Management Award

Football teams put a lot of time and effort into preparing for game day.  It all starts before the first practice when coaches put together the team playbook – often a compilation of years and years of experience.  Then, the players work all year long on conditioning and preparing themselves for the season.  The first practices focus on the fundamentals of the game – blocking and tackling and walking through the basic plays.  And then they teams practice and practice and practice, leading up to scrimmages that simulate game conditions.  They watch film, go over situational plays and do everything they possibly can to prepare for the upcoming game.

Businesses should be doing the same things with their emergency response and crisis management programs.  But, too often, they skip over steps in the process.  Many businesses have prepared their business continuity playbook, but they fail to practice and scrimmage to learn the plays.  If the first time football players studied the playbook was when the game was already underway, they couldn’t possibly be prepared.  Other businesses go right to the scrimmage and do simulated disasters before they have worked on the fundamentals of blocking and tackling.  This leads to frustration and failed exercises.

In the world of crisis management, game day is the day the disaster strikes.  Like football teams, if you have not gone through the entire process of preparing your team for this event, you are less likely to be successful on game day.  Safe Harbor Consulting can help your organization in any or all of these phases of the preparation lifecycle.

End commercial – now let’s look at Week 2 of the NFL.


The first two weeks of the 2013/14 NFL season has resulted in a relatively large number of one score – even, one point – games.  Many of the games have gone down to the wire with both teams having an opportunity to pull out the win in the end.  In Week 2, this resulted in very few teams having large leads.  The lead, in many games, went back and forth throughout the contest – making for exciting football all around, but very few large deficits to overcome.

In Week 2, 11 of the winning teams trailed at one point in the game, but no winning team ever trailed by any more than 8 points.  Of the 5 teams that never trailed in the game, all five were home teams.  Dallas, the only team to never trail in week 1, lost to Kansas City in week 2, meaning every team in the NFL has been on the wrong side of the scoreboard at one time or another this season – and we are only two weeks into it.

Week 1 saw 5 teams overcome deficits of 9 points or more.  In Week 2 – there were none.  So, the Week 2 Safe Harbor Consulting Crisis Management Football Award is to be shared by the 3 teams that trailed by 8 points in their game before pulling out a victory.  Those teams are; Buffalo, Houston and Arizona.


CAR BUFAlthough Buffalo was the first team to score, on a Dan Carpenter 55 yard field goal in the 2nd quarter, the Bills were struggling to stay in this game throughout.  Carolina lead the contest 7 – 3 at halftime and took their 8 point lead, 14 – 6, at the 6:52 mark in the 3rd quarter following a 40 yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton to Ted Ginn.  Eight points, however, is still just a one score lead and the Bills knotted up the score at 14 when they were successful on the 2 point conversion following a Fred Jackson 4 yard touchdown run later in the 3rd quarter.

In the 4th quarter, Carolina would convert on 3 field goals to Buffalo’s one and would have the lead at 23 -17, kicking off with just 1:38 left in the game.

In their no huddle, hurry up, two-minute offense, passing on every play, Buffalo marched the ball down field.  Aided by a pass interference penalty negating a Colin Jones Interception, and following an EJ Manual scramble for 9 yards on 3rd and 6, Buffalo scored the game-tying touchdown on a two yard pass from Manual to Stevie Johnson with just two seconds left on the clock.  The extra point sealed the comeback and last second victory for the Bills.  Not a huge come-from-behind win, but a spectacular last second finish to an exciting game.



As the Week 1 winner of the Safe Harbor Consulting Pro Football Crisis Management Award, Houston is making a habit at winning games in which they trailed.  Last week, the Texans had to overcome a 21 point deficit for their victory over the San Diego Chargers; this week their comeback was from a pedestrian 8 points.

Houston took an early lead, scoring on the first possession of the game aided by a 60 yard Ben Tate gallop around left end and culminating with a Matt Schaub to Garrett Graham 1 yard touchdown pass.

Not to be outdone, Tennessee struck right back on their first possession ending it with a Jake Locker to Kendall Wright 6 yard touchdown pass.

After such an exciting start to the game, both teams’ offenses stalled the remainder of the 1st half until Tennessee connected on a Rob Bironas 47 yard field goal at the end of the half for a 10 – 7 lead.

Houston would take the lead back in the 3rd quarter on a Schaub to Owen Daniels, 12 yard touchdown pass.

As the 4th quarter started, Houston challenged a ruling on the spot of the ball following a Tennessee rushing attempt from their own 1 yard line and the ruling was reversed resulting in a Tennessee safety and a 16 – 10 lead for the Texans.

When the Titans next got the ball back, they went on a 9 play, 94 yard drive, scoring a touchdown on a Locker to Delanie Walker 10 yard pass.  The extra point put the Titans up by 1 at 17 – 16.

When, on their next possession, Matt Schaub was intercepted by Alterraun Verner who returned it for a 23 yard touchdown, Houston found itself trailing by 8 points with just under 5 minutes left in the game.  But, as noted before, 8 points is just a one score deficit.

A couple of possessions later Houston scored on an Arian Foster 1 yard plunge and lined up for the possible, game-tying two point conversion.  Handing the ball off to Foster once again, the Texans were successful on the attempt and the score was tied at 24 with 1:53 left in regulation.

After holding the Titans to a three and out, the Texans got the ball back with 57 ticks left on the clock and moved to within field goal range.  The 46 yard Randy Bullock field goal attempt bounced off of the left upright and the teams were headed to overtime.

Houston received the overtime kickoff and marched down field to a game winning 3 yard Schaub to DeAndre Hopkins touchdown pass to secure their second in a row, Safe Harbor Consulting Pro Football Crisis Management Award.



After feeling each other out in the first quarter, Arizona was the first team to put points on the scoreboard with a 47 yard field goal by Jay Feely early in the 2nd quarter.

That lead, however, was short lived as Detroit came right back with a quick strike, 72 yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson on the pursuing possession.

The Cardinals would then take the lead right back on their own, long touchdown pass of 36 yards from Carson Palmer to Andre Ellington.

The see-saw scoring would continue on Detroit’s next possession, but this time it was the result of a sustained drive ending with another Palmer to Johnson touchdown strike from 3 yards out.

The two teams then got off the see-saw and entered halftime with Detroit leading 14 – 10.

Early in the 3rd quarter, Detroit gave Arizona a gift when Stafford fumbled and Arizona’s Calais Campbell recovered at the Detroit 7 yard line.  Arizona could not punch the ball in, however, and had to settle for a Jay Feely 23 yard field goal.

On Arizona’s next possession, they returned the favor and gave Detroit a gift of their own – this one an interception by DeAndre Levy returned for a 66 yard touchdown and an 8 point Lion’s lead at 21 – 13.

Arizona started whittling away at that lead with a 43 yard Jay Feely field goal followed by a 33 yarder early in the 4th quarter to bring the Cardinals to within 2 at 21 – 19.

The Cardinals blocked a Detroit field goal attempt to stay within 2 and then scored on a 1 yard Rashard Mendenhall run to take the lead at the two minute warning mark.

Detroit failed to mount a drive on their last possession, throwing an incomplete pass on 4th and 4 and the Cardinal had secured the victory, coming back from 8 points down, to share the Week 2 Safe Harbor Consulting Pro Football Crisis Management Award.


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 – Winner

Houston coming from 21 behind to beat San Diego 31 -28.  (To read the Week 1 article, click here.)


Week 1 – Pro Football Crisis Management Award Winner

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.


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.


HOU SDThe Houston/San Diego football game would be the second of two Monday Night Football Games and last game played on Week 1 of the NFL season.

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.


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



SHC Announces its Crisis Management Football Awards Series

Safe Harbor Consulting, LLC (SHC) is happy to announce the upcoming 1st Annual, Crisis Management Football Awards Series.  Each week SHC will identify the College (FBS teams) and NFL Football team(s) that came back from the largest in-game deficits to win that week’s game.

Visit the SHC blog (http://safeharborconsulting.biz/blog2/) each week to learn about the previous week’s largest comebacks in games played by FBS College Football Teams and NFL Pro Football Teams.

“We will highlight how those teams were able to overcome that week’s largest deficit to win their respective football game”, says SHC’s CEO Joe Flach.  “We are looking forward to discovering how college and pro football teams manage the crisis of falling behind in football games and rallying for a win before time runs out.  This should be a fun and exciting way to enjoy the football season while also highlighting crisis management issues.”

Safe Harbor Consulting is a management consulting firm that specializes in crisis management, business continuity and disaster recovery for large, medium and small corporations.  “We suspect that the ability to come from behind in football games is a direct result of the preparations and practices that the teams go through prior to and throughout the season”, states Flach.  “At Safe Harbor Consulting, we help companies and other organizations prepare and exercise their crisis management programs enabling them to recover from business interruption events and technology disasters – and rally from behind before they experience serious financial and reputational losses.  We had the idea of combining our love and passion for business continuity planning with our love and passion for college and pro football and have instituted this year’s SHC Weekly Crisis Management Football Awards.  We hope that other football fans enjoy this feature in our blog as much as we are sure to.”

For more information about Safe Harbor Consulting and how we can help you plan for and/or exercise your business interruption game plans, please visit our website at www.safeharborconsulting.biz or visit us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Safe-Harbor-Consulting/204353729604053.

And now, are you ready for some football?