Rivera Says He Would Have Kicked EPA at Home

Chris Russell

As I've repeatedly said since Sunday afternoon in the direct aftermath of Sunday's 20-19 loss to the New York Giants and Ron Rivera's gamble to go for two and the win, I have zero problem with the mentality.

I wouldn't have done it if I was making the decision but that's because I'm scared of failure.

I'm a chicken. What can I say. That doesn't mean I would be right or wrong.

It certainly does not mean Rivera was right or wrong.

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That analysis by the way, has to be made only BEFORE the play. Any opinion after the play that is critical of Rivera is simply reactionary and mostly invalid.

It's easy to say it was a dumb1 decision when it didn't work. It's not easy to say it was a good or justifiable decision when it didn't work.

Here's the only part of the decision that I still don't understand or I am very confused by -- Rivera said that part of the reason he went for the two point conversion was because the Washington Football Team was on the road.

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"Going for two and not converting, that’s on me, that’s my decision, I’ll stick with it," Rivera said after the game. "Like I said, I really do believe you play to win when you're on the road, as opposed to when you’re at home, you take a different approach."

OK so here's the deal. I still don't know if that's a philosophy I believe in or understand.

I certainly do not get the difference between being on the road or at home with no fans in the stands as was the case at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

There's no advantage or disadvantage that I can think of, home or road, in an empty stadium.

That won't be the case this Sunday at FedExField where about eight-thousand fans are expected.

On Monday, I asked Rivera to explain the rationale of the road/home dynamic that he mentioned Sunday. He said that's what he believes in but he added that he did not factor in the fact that the official attendance was zero.

That's the only reason why I could possibly think that location would be a driving factor. 

“That’s pretty much the approach that I used is that we were on the road. Sure, there weren’t any fans. To be honest with you, I didn’t even think about that. The only thing I was thinking about was that this is an opportunity for us to win. You’re down at the two-yard line, you feel good about the play you call, you feel good about the guys that are on the field. We just scored. We had momentum. We had energy. So, I figured that now was the chance to do something and see if we can do it. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.”

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Rivera went so far to say that he would not have gone for two at home, when I asked for clarification and just to make sure I understood his point.

“Yeah. I’m just looking at what the statistics tell us.”

Rivera can say whatever he wants and for the most part, I agree with just about every one of his decisions, but I didn't understand this line of thinking and rationale.

Am I wrong?

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This is the area that I think Ron sometimes gets in trouble with the media and fans. You've heard the accusation of 'mixed messages" being disseminated.

Rivera strongly denied that on Monday. However, while trying to explain himself and while trying to help out the media and fan base, there's a grey area that is murky and Rivera is living in at times.

Personally, I don't mind that he's changed his public message on Dwayne Haskins and developing the team vs. trying to win the division.

Others do. I don't.

However, I would like answers that I can clearly understand and say 'OK, that's what you're trying to do' and in this particular case, I walked away feeling empty. 

Chris Russell is the Publisher of this site, a part of SI.com. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Washington Football Team" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621

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