In advance of Week 3, I’d like to deliver a public service announcement:
To everyone with a role in goal-line offense across the National Football League, you have to figure out a way to get into the end zone. Through two weeks of the 2022 season, on fourth down from the opponent’s 2-yard line and in, offenses have converted just three of nine opportunities (33.3 percent). Eight of those tries were run plays. We need to do better. We MUST do better.
This is a problem and it’s tough to watch — especially as a former running back. Teams just aren’t being all that physical up front, leaving these punch-in attempts short of the end zone.
The most recent make was Monday night, when the Titans faced a fourth-and-1 on the Bills’ 2-yard line in the first quarter. Everyone in the stadium knew Derrick Henry was going to get the rock, and the 6-foot-3, 247-pound back easily pushed his way into the end zone. In the early goings of this season, Henry hasn’t looked like the prolific beast we became accustomed to watching prior to last year’s injury, but I must applaud his ability to hit paydirt on such a critical down. The only other two successful instances were Jimmy Garoppolo’s QB sneak in San Francisco’s Week 2 win and Jalen Hurts’ 1-yard trot out of shotgun for a TD in Philly’s Week 1 victory.
When I look back on my own nine-year career in the league, I only missed one out of probably a billion goal-line tries (don’t actually look this up), and I remember it vividly. It was Week 17 of 2011 against the Indianapolis Colts. Pat Angerer and Jamaal Anderson stopped me in my tracks on fourth-and-goal. Thankfully, we (the Jaguars) ended up winning that day, but I had to have a real come-to-Jesus moment with myself that day. Now I’m having one with all of you.