It’s always fun when announcers make a comment that would be reasonable in most circumstances, only to have immediately disproved by an odd on-field play. That’s exactly what happened in the New York Giants’ 51-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams Sunday. Fox color analyst Ronde Barber said “There’s no play in the playbook for 3rd and 33,” only to be promptly proven wrong by the Rams, who turned a two-yard screen to receiver Robert Woods into a 52-yard touchdown:
Ronde Barber – “There’s no play for 3rd and 33.”
Giants defense – “Hold my beer.” pic.twitter.com/S7qujJwoL5
— A Girl Has No Name (@AlexSantiago51) November 5, 2017
Fox analyst Ronnie Barber: "There's no play call for 3rd-and-33. Just hand the ball to a backup RB." Goff to Wood on WR screen: 55-yard TD!
— Mitch Stephens (@MitchMashMax) November 5, 2017
I just threw up at the Giants defense. 3rd and 33 and you're giving up a screen pass TD?
— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) November 5, 2017
3rd & 33?
— NFL (@NFL) November 5, 2017
And unlike the similar play in the Chiefs-Cowboys’ game, this wasn’t at the end of a half and wasn’t about downfield blocking. This annotated graphic from CBS’ Jared Dubin shows just how many defenders were in front of Woods when he caught the ball:
So, Barber’s comment didn’t work out. But it was pretty logical when he said it. The NFL in total was only converting 38.8 per cent of all third downs this season, and while the Rams were the league’s best with a 49 per cent success rate heading into this game, that’s still less than half of all opportunities, to say nothing of ones this long. And amazingly, before this, the last team to convert on 3rd-and-33 or longer was the Giants themselves way back in 1989, with Phil Simms at quarterback:
— Aaron Schatz ? (@FO_ASchatz) November 5, 2017
That’s yet more insult to injury in what’s been a brutal season for the Giants, who fell to 1-7 with this loss.