Smartest Play Of The NFL Season
Brian Westbrook is one of the NFL's best running backs. He can catch and run, and often--at least these past two years--he has been nearly the entire Philadelphia Eagles offense. But this week in the NFL, he proved to be one of the NFL's smartest, most selfless running backs as well.
The Eagles, still clinging to playoff hopes, were up on the division-leading Dallas Cowboys 10-6, late in the fourth quarter. The Eagles had the ball on the Dallas 25 yard line. That's when Westbrook broke free and headed untouched towards the end zone. And that was when Westbrook... well, watch:
"Why didn't he score?" You may ask. Well, scoring certainly would have put the Eagles up 17-6 with two minutes to go, nearly assuring them of victory. But not scoring, falling down at the one, absolutely, positively assured the Eagles could run the clock down to zero (by kneeling three times), absolutely, positively resulting in an Eagles win.
The Eagles probably would have won if Westbrook scored. But they definitely won because he didn't.
Westbrook credited his offensive tackle, Jon Runyan, with the good advice.
But to me, even more amazing is that fact that Westbrook heeded that advice. With all the emphasis on individual stats and Sportscenter-highlights in today's NFL, Westbrook made a team decision.
And it ended up on Sportscenter anyway.
Westbrook could have moved into sole-possesion of second place in the NFC for touchdowns on the year. Can you imagine T.O. making that decision?
Of course, fantasy football fans who owned Westbrook are unhappy with the outcome. The Eagles winning by fewer points shouldn't have affected many gamblers, because the Cowboys were favored to win.
But Westbrook's selfless act reminds us that sometimes the best highlights highlight something other than an athlete's physical abilities.