Monday, October 1, 2012

Let them score?

At the end of the Packers game yesterday as I saw the go ahead field goal go through the uprights for the Saints, I thought to myself, Good. I would rather see the packers get the ball and take it down the field to kick their own game winning field goal. There was plenty of time and the packers still had a time out.

The way the Packers run the ball, I figured they would be better off putting the ball in Rodgers hands and let him throw the ball to get them down the field. The Packers were pretty good running the ball yesterday, but over recent history they have not been very good. I was not very confident they would be able to get a first down on 3 run plays. As it turns out they threw the ball on 3rd down as they weren't very confident either.

When a holding penalty caused the Saints to retry the filed goal which was then missed, this question occurred to me:

Would a coach ever decline that holding penalty, and give another team the lead to get the ball back for his quarterback with time on the clock.

The answer seems obvious, and it is no. No coach would do that. I don't know if that means it is necessarily the wrong move. Or maybe it just isn't the right move yet. As the NFL gets more and more offense based, there may come a time when this move makes sense. Maybe the league just isn't there yet.

Remember in Arena football if the defense holds the opponent to a FG (anything less than a touchdown) it's a win for the defense.

This kind of outside the box thinking is what has landed me so many coaching jobs. I also am a firm believer that the NFL will get rid of human players and be played by robots within my lifetime.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty sure the answer is no.

    According to Brian Burke, the Packers had an 86% chance of winning after NO missed the field goal (see the embidded win-probability chart, and hold the cursor over the line near the end of the game--pretty cool). Now, this doesn't take into account the team-specific factors you are relying on—the Packers' historically anemic running game and good pasing game, and the Saints' bad defense—but it gives a general feel that that Packers' overall chance of winning was very good getting the ball back with a lead and less than two minutes to go.

    By contrast, the moment before the missed field goal the Packers had only about a 56% chance of winning. And assuming that NO made the field goal and got a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, the Packers would have had only a 26% chance of winning (according to the Win Prob Calculator.) We can assume that this underestimates the Packers chances (since their offense is better than average and the Saints defense is worse than average) but I think the odds are going to be a lot better even if you were to adjust them for those factors.