To steal a term from the great and all knowing Skip Bayless, does our QB carry the "clutch" gene in him?
Something that's been bothering me about Sam for some time now, is that for whatever reason, when we're down by a touchdown with say 5 minutes to go in the game, we can't ever seem to actually lead a game winning drive. He doesn't ever seem to be able to go out and "win" a game, instead, he'll play game manager and won't lose. Which can be a good thing actually, but it's also equally as frustrating given that he can never go out there and completely take over a game either.
So I got curious and wanted to check it out and see whether or not he actually does have any kind of game winning drive, and hopefully, my memory's just been too fuzzy to remember any. According to pro-football-reference, Sam technically has two "4th quarter comebacks." Those being the game this year against the Redskins, and last year's game against the Browns. With that, I decided to look at when exactly these game winning drives actually occurred and what Sam actually did to bring us back. Against the Redskins, that score came at the very start of the 4th quarter. That touchdown, (and two point conversion I should add), ended up being our very last points of that game.
Now how about that Cleveland game? Looking at the play by play, that drive started off with a quick 3 and out. On the following punt, Josh Cribbs actually fumbles it and we recovered the ball at the Cleveland 22. Sam manages to go a whopping 11 yards, and Josh Brown kicks the game winning field goal with around 8 minutes to go in the game.
To be fair to Sam, he was playing on a very bad ankle during that Cleveland game, so he can't completely take the fault for that. Aside from that? There's honestly hardly any excuses. We can say "Well, Sam has no WR's to help him out." To that, we need not look any further than our own division. In fact, just last week, Seattle got down 13 points against New England with a little over 9 minutes to go in the game. What happens? Russell saddles up, and takes that team down the field TWICE for two touchdown passes and they win the game. If you ask me, there's nothing special at all about their WR corps, and their line is almost as bad as ours.
We've seen QB's all across the league this year, last year, the year before that, and so on, drive their teams right down the field against great odds and lead their teams to victory. Andrew Luck did it a few weeks ago against GB, and RG3 did it this week against the Giants (Even though Eli came back and one upped him). Although, Griffin proved that he has what it takes to drive his team down the field and to go out and WIN a game for the Redskins when needed.
Fortunately, Sam has been showing much improvement in this area, especially this year, that he may have what it takes to do just that. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened yet. We can point to any number of circumstances as to why it hasn't happened. Maybe he's hardly ever been given the opportunity even? With that said, I'm not sure about you guys, but when we're down by more than 10 points in the 4th quarter, I have almost no hope that Sam can pull us back from behind and win the game for us. The optimist in me is hopeful that some time soon, he will lead us back and give us victory. Hopefully, we all really do get a definitive answer to that question in the near future.