Sacked Out of Field Goal Range: The Ugly End to Sunday Night Football's First Half
Nearing the end of the first half on Sunday Night, the Giants led the Cowboys 21-10. The Cowboys drove down to the Giants 45-yard line and spiked the ball, setting up a 3rd-and-3 at the edge of "field goal range" with 18 seconds remaining. On the ensuing play, Tony Romo was sacked - taking the Cowboys out of field goal range - and then fumbled, giving the ball to the Giants with 9 seconds left. In addition, Ronald Leary was called for unnecessary roughness, giving the Giants 15 free yards and putting them in "field goal range."
Eli and company took over at the opposing 42-yard line, hoping to gain a few short yards to increase the probability of making a long field goal. Before being sacked, Eli spiked the ball for intentional grounding, moving them back 10 yards and out of field goal range with just 5 seconds left.
How costly were these two plays? Each team had the opportunity to put three points on the board just before half time - even with low probability field goals - and each team squandered that opportunity with costly plays.