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  • 2 weeks later...
14 minutes ago, FreeBaGeL said:

Trying to conserve time for their last possession, Bruce Arians called timeout with 2:04 left after stopping the Dolphins on 3rd down, guaranteeing that the 2-minute warning would be wasted on a punt.

It's unreal that coaches still make that mistake.  Many were ready to put Arians among the NFL's best after last season, but his rep has really taken a hit this year. 

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Sean Payton hoarding time outs like a moron. 1st and goal at the 1/2 yard line with about 40 seconds, he lets the clock tick down to 15 seconds. Genius. Lucky they even got a FG. TB helped them out by calling TO with that 15 sec. left. Idiots New Orleans that is..

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23 minutes ago, TheBottomLine said:

Jets just kicked a field goal while down 24, with 5 minutes left, and inside the Dolphins 20.  Then they don't kick onside.  

Makes a ton of sense.  

Seriously. This and Payton having 45 seconds and 3 TOs and somehow having to kick a FG on 3rd down are both mind boggling.

I'm not an armchair coach but anyone who's ever played Madden, ever could manage a clock better than that. 

Just so so so dumb. 

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  • 1 month later...

I do not remember the exact scenario, but ATL was up 19 with a 1st down, maybe like 10 minutes left, at about the 30.  Rather than pretty much just run run run FG..............nope, they keep running pass plays with 20 on the play clock and end up with a strip sack.

ATL deserved to lose the game.  I don't say that too often, but they really did.  It was like they just don't know how to win.  It was painful to watch. 

Edited by ghostguy123
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Another one from yesterday: final drive, first down, no timeouts, you get a short completion to make it second and six...and you run up and spike the ball? Couldn't you have had two plays called? Now it's third and 6 and you're too deep in your own end to go for it on fourth down. So now you have one play which needs to both get the first down and end out of bounds. 

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On 11/28/2016 at 6:02 PM, Hot Sauce Guy said:

can I again mention that it's dumb for Payton to keep giving Hightower more touches every week than Ingram? I don't feel like it's a repeat if the results are continuing proof that it's stupid. 

Ingram once again did substantially more on less opportunities than Hightower - and while I'm rarely the "if such and such play didn't happen" guy, I have to point out that had Snead not thrown a 50 yard TD to Hightower on a trick play while up multiple scores, Hightower would have had a really sub-par day. 

And more importantly, looking at yards per touch, it stands to reason that Ingram would have had an even more productive day had 1/2 of Hightower's touches gone his way. 

I know I'm beating the same drum, but that's because it's still dumb. 

Ingram could have been great on just about any other team in the NFL imo.  The Saints have basically wasted his talent. 

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On 2/5/2017 at 10:19 PM, ghostguy123 said:

The next few pages of this thread should be filled with Dan Quinn and the complete idiocy of the entire fourth quarter. 

Its almost like he wants to lose.

Well, first of all, Quinn doesn't call offensive plays. Shanahan does. 

Also, things clearly didn't turn out well, but I'm not sure you can say Shanahan was "obviously stupid". This tweet offers a perfect example. Yes, the strip sack was a disaster, but it was actually a great play call that had Aldrick Robinson running free behind the DB. If Freeman doesn't have a brain fart and miss the blitz pickup, Ryan has time to get the pass off, Robinson scores, Atlanta ices the game, and we're all praising Shanahan for staying aggressive and delivering the kill shot. (Think I'm wrong? How many people were criticizing Shanahan's play calling after the Julio catch?)

I'm generally all in on crushing coaches for clear go/no-go decisions, like whether to go for it on 4th down or whether to go for two. But I'm more reluctant when it comes to play calls. There are just so many factors that go into those, and it's hard to know the full situation from the outside. Maybe they saw something they thought they could exploit. Maybe it was a failure of execution. We rarely know the whole story.

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6 hours ago, zftcg said:

Well, first of all, Quinn doesn't call offensive plays. Shanahan does. 

Also, things clearly didn't turn out well, but I'm not sure you can say Shanahan was "obviously stupid". This tweet offers a perfect example. Yes, the strip sack was a disaster, but it was actually a great play call that had Aldrick Robinson running free behind the DB. If Freeman doesn't have a brain fart and miss the blitz pickup, Ryan has time to get the pass off, Robinson scores, Atlanta ices the game, and we're all praising Shanahan for staying aggressive and delivering the kill shot. (Think I'm wrong? How many people were criticizing Shanahan's play calling after the Julio catch?)

I'm generally all in on crushing coaches for clear go/no-go decisions, like whether to go for it on 4th down or whether to go for two. But I'm more reluctant when it comes to play calls. There are just so many factors that go into those, and it's hard to know the full situation from the outside. Maybe they saw something they thought they could exploit. Maybe it was a failure of execution. We rarely know the whole story.

None of what they were thinking matters.  They screwed the pooch.  They gave NE a chance to win the game when they didn't need to.  What, so they wanted to win by 14 rather than just win? 

The players screwing up their assignments is only possible because of terrible playcalling, some of which had the Falcons snapping the damn ball with 20 seconds left on the play clock.  How ####### stupid. 

It was an entire idiocy show of a 4th quarter, not just one play or two plays.

And Quinn certainly deserves some blame for not stepping in and doing something about it.  It was plain as day the entire 4th quarter that the playcalling was idiotic and catering to a NE comeback.

Edited by ghostguy123
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  • 7 months later...
On 10/18/2013 at 0:04 AM, GreenNGold said:

Tonight, Bruce Arians, head coach of the Arizona Cardinals chose to kick a field goal from the 4 yard line while down 18 points in the 4th quarter. I thought NFL coaches were supposed to understand the game? I mean, how do people who are so incompetent get these jobs that pay millions of dollars per year? I really feel like acts like this should be a fireable offense, similar to how John Fox cost the Broncos any chance in the playoffs last year (2012), yet he still has a job too.

I made a post similar to this in the Seahawks-Cardinals game thread tonight, but thought it could make a good thread.

And we're back for the 2017 version!

Del Rio faced almost the exact same scenario last night as described in the very first post in this thread: 4th and goal from the 4, except they were down 17, not 18. Not surprisingly, he also kicked the FG. It didn't ultimately matter, because the Raiders never came close to scoring again, but it was clearly sub-optimal decision making. 4th and goal from the 4 is a golden opportunity to score a TD, and kicking is throwing away potential points.

There's another reason it's dumb: Daniel Adler (former analytics guy for the Jags) was on Bill Barnwell's podcast last year, and he talked about how, in these types of situations where you're behind late, the instinct is to focus on how to get back to a tie game. So Del Rio was probably thinking, "Take the FG now and then I can score 2 TDs and we'll be tied." (An even better example is when teams are in a similar situation down 10 or 11, and they kick the FG to make it a "one-score game".) But all tying the game up does is get you back to a 50/50 chance (less if you're on the road like the Raiders were). In the scenario where you're down 10, if you go for it on 4th and goal and score, you have a chance to win the game in regulation if you can score a TD on your next possession.

I kind of get the mindset that leads to this type of thinking. But then again, I kind of don't.

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Bill O'Brien's Late-Game Decisions Cost the Houston Texans a Better Chance at a Win

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The Texans only had a 25.6 percent chance to win when the game kicked off, meaning they should have taken every opportunity to increase their win expectancy, but the opposite occurred a few times throughout the game. It was Houston coach Bill O’Brien who made a few decisions that helped along the New England comeback.

 

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I think it was last week when the Colts scored a TD and it was ruled short and marked at under 1 yard from the goal line.  Instead of reviewing the play the Colts quick snap the ball to try to catch the team off guard.  The Colts then failed to punch it in from the 1 yard line on 3 straight plays.  

Just looking at the play the ball carrier looked in from first glance and the replay confirmed it.  I am not sure why you wouldn't take your time and possibly challenge the play over going with the quick snap.

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4 hours ago, zftcg said:

And we're back for the 2017 version!

Del Rio faced almost the exact same scenario last night as described in the very first post in this thread: 4th and goal from the 4, except they were down 17, not 18. Not surprisingly, he also kicked the FG. It didn't ultimately matter, because the Raiders never came close to scoring again, but it was clearly sub-optimal decision making. 4th and goal from the 4 is a golden opportunity to score a TD, and kicking is throwing away potential points.

There's another reason it's dumb: Daniel Adler (former analytics guy for the Jags) was on Bill Barnwell's podcast last year, and he talked about how, in these types of situations where you're behind late, the instinct is to focus on how to get back to a tie game. So Del Rio was probably thinking, "Take the FG now and then I can score 2 TDs and we'll be tied." (An even better example is when teams are in a similar situation down 10 or 11, and they kick the FG to make it a "one-score game".) But all tying the game up does is get you back to a 50/50 chance (less if you're on the road like the Raiders were). In the scenario where you're down 10, if you go for it on 4th and goal and score, you have a chance to win the game in regulation if you can score a TD on your next possession.

I kind of get the mindset that leads to this type of thinking. But then again, I kind of don't.

Later in the game the Raiders had a 3rd and 17. Instead of calling a play for a 7-10 yard pick-up, they opted to throw deep to Cooper, presumably hoping for the DPI, but the DB played it cleanly. They did this knowing they'd have to go for it on 4th down due to the time left (<7 mins) and score (14 points down).  

So instead of a 4th and 7-10, which isn't a gimme (esp considering they were 1/10 on 3rd down conversions to that point) at least it would have been reasonable compared to a 4th & 17, or as I like to call it "no friggin chance". 

Just highly questionable playcalling. One might even call it dumb. 

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I don't know if I'd call it dumb, but I hate when Coaches ignore game flow & what's been happening to follow convention.

Yesterday Atlanta had a 4th and 1 at the 46 with 2:31 left. The Lions had burned all three timeouts. The Falcons had 9 FDs rushing and had been gashing Detroit all day - Freeman & Coleman averaged 5.6 YPC.

They punted. To Matthew Stafford. With 2:21 left. Have you not been paying attention?

Predictably, Stafford took his team the length of the field, 88-1/2 yards. They came up 18 inches short, so I guess it was a good move. Seemed like the wrong move to me at the time.

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1 hour ago, Steeler said:

Before even reading the article, I thought of HOU kicking that FG instead of going for it on 4th and 1.  They win the game if they make the first down and still can win even if they don't make it.

 

57 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

Yesterday Atlanta had a 4th and 1 at the 46 with 2:31 left. The Lions had burned all three timeouts. The Falcons had 9 FDs rushing and had been gashing Detroit all day - Freeman & Coleman averaged 5.6 YPC.

They punted. To Matthew Stafford. With 2:21 left. Have you not been paying attention?

I remember having a similar discussion a couple years ago when the Jaguars did the same thing in a TNF game. I said at the time that these types of scenarios (kicking instead of going on 4th to ice the game) are the rare cases that are both statistically sub-optimal while also feeling intuitively wrong. When you're facing a) the greatest QB of all time or b) a QB who has emerged as the master of the fourth-quarter comeback, maybe you should ... oh, I don't know ... not willingly give them the ball back with a chance to win the game?!?!?!

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50 minutes ago, zftcg said:

 

I remember having a similar discussion a couple years ago when the Jaguars did the same thing in a TNF game. I said at the time that these types of scenarios (kicking instead of going on 4th to ice the game) are the rare cases that are both statistically sub-optimal while also feeling intuitively wrong. When you're facing a) the greatest QB of all time or b) a QB who has emerged as the master of the fourth-quarter comeback, maybe you should ... oh, I don't know ... not willingly give them the ball back with a chance to win the game?!?!?!

Agreed - if you're good enough on D to kick it to the opponent and stop them, you should also be good enough on D to take the risk.

seems like a high % chance of converting a 4th & 1, and anywhere in opposing territory if you fail to convert, you turn it over on downs and then have to make the stop anyway.

with the upside that if you succeed in converting you take a knee and win.

seems totally worth the risk.

 

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1 hour ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

Later in the game the Raiders had a 3rd and 17. Instead of calling a play for a 7-10 yard pick-up, they opted to throw deep to Cooper, presumably hoping for the DPI, but the DB played it cleanly. They did this knowing they'd have to go for it on 4th down due to the time left (<7 mins) and score (14 points down).  

So instead of a 4th and 7-10, which isn't a gimme (esp considering they were 1/10 on 3rd down conversions to that point) at least it would have been reasonable compared to a 4th & 17, or as I like to call it "no friggin chance". 

Just highly questionable playcalling. One might even call it dumb. 

Yeah, I chalk calls like that up to "muscle memory". Normally, your goal on third down is to try to get the first. If you know you'll be going for it on fourth, your goal on third should be to set up a manageable fourth down. But it's hard to shake that habit.

Then again, maybe they saw an alignment they thought they could take advantage of with a deep shot. That's the hard part about critiquing playcalling. So much info we're not privy to.

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On the flipside. The Rams firing of Punt Fisher has turned that team into an offensive powerhouse at least for now. Refreshing change over Punt Fisher's pathetic offensive display.

The firing of Zampeze looks to have done the same for Cincy. Can't believe another Zampeze weaseled into the NFL but at least he's gone.

 

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11 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

Agreed - if you're good enough on D to kick it to the opponent and stop them, you should also be good enough on D to take the risk.

seems like a high % chance of converting a 4th & 1, and anywhere in opposing territory if you fail to convert, you turn it over on downs and then have to make the stop anyway.

with the upside that if you succeed in converting you take a knee and win.

seems totally worth the risk.

It's actually even more obvious to go for it in situations like this than the numbers suggest, because when given a short clock and a long field to defend, a lot of DCs take their foot off the gas - they know that by punting the HC is putting the onus on them and they don't want egg on their face from giving up a long game-winning TD. As a result good QBs just peck them to death all the way down the field.

A lot of times it'll take maybe 3-4 plays (and 30-40 seconds of game time) for the trailing team to pass the point where they would have started out if they'd stopped the 4th down in the first place. Except now by punting you've taken away the other 50% of scenarios, where they never got that chance because you converted and knelt out the clock.

Baffling that people can ascend to the rank of NFL HC/OC and not understand this.

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2 minutes ago, Mr. Irrelevant said:

Baffling that people can ascend to the rank of NFL HC/OC and not understand this.

One would think the highest level of sports would be able to weed out those incapable of getting the job done but the list is miles long of guys promoted WAY above the IQ levels. Most recently - Jeff Fisher, Rex Ryan & Chip Kelly. The NFL is not immune to nepotism and cronyism. The worst example is when some team hires a failure and then the failure hires all the cronies he had at his last gig.

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I'm surprised no one has brought up Ron Rivera's decision to punt from New Orleans' 35 yard line when down 21-13 in the third quarter. Of course it was kicked into the end zone, for a fantastic net of 15 yards.

NO did not score off that possession but the idea of punting from the other team's 35 yard line is just crazy to me.

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1 minute ago, Jon F. said:

I'm surprised no one has brought up Ron Rivera's decision to punt from New Orleans' 35 yard line when down 21-13 in the third quarter. Of course it was kicked into the end zone, for a fantastic net of 15 yards.

NO did not score off that possession but the idea of punting from the other team's 35 yard line is just crazy to me.

What was the distance they needed to go? 4th and...

 

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12 minutes ago, Jon F. said:

I'm surprised no one has brought up Ron Rivera's decision to punt from New Orleans' 35 yard line when down 21-13 in the third quarter. Of course it was kicked into the end zone, for a fantastic net of 15 yards.

NO did not score off that possession but the idea of punting from the other team's 35 yard line is just crazy to me.

Has to be one of the dumbest decisions we will see all yr. Or for many yrs 

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40 minutes ago, Mr. Irrelevant said:

It's actually even more obvious to go for it in situations like this than the numbers suggest, because when given a short clock and a long field to defend, a lot of DCs take their foot off the gas - they know that by punting the HC is putting the onus on them and they don't want egg on their face from giving up a long game-winning TD. As a result good QBs just peck them to death all the way down the field.

A lot of times it'll take maybe 3-4 plays (and 30-40 seconds of game time) for the trailing team to pass the point where they would have started out if they'd stopped the 4th down in the first place. Except now by punting you've taken away the other 50% of scenarios, where they never got that chance because you converted and knelt out the clock.

Baffling that people can ascend to the rank of NFL HC/OC and not understand this.

I think that's completely understandable.  These aren't game theorists, they're football coaches.  Completely different skillsets and core competencies.

What's baffling is that a billion-dollar organization doesn't have a guy on staff to manage these situations for the HC.

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3 minutes ago, davearm said:

I think that's completely understandable.  These aren't game theorists, they're football coaches.  Completely different skillsets and core competencies.

What's baffling is that a billion-dollar organization doesn't have a guy on staff to manage these situations for the HC.

To a certain extent, you're right and my sentence was shorthand for "... or hire someone who does."

But even if they don't understand the math, most of these guys have spent 20, 25, 30 years in various NFL-related jobs, working 80, 90, 100-hour weeks all the while. At a certain point I'd expect them to twig to this concept even if they're solely basing the call on their prior observations and experience. It's not like it's a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence.

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11 minutes ago, davearm said:

I think that's completely understandable.  These aren't game theorists, they're football coaches.  Completely different skillsets and core competencies.

What's baffling is that a billion-dollar organization doesn't have a guy on staff to manage these situations for the HC.

I think there are two trends in football that predict these outcomes. First, football culture is incredibly conservative (I mean temperamentally, not politically, although that, too). It's not so much that coaches go "by the book" because they're afraid of what will happen if they don't. It's more that the entire process of ascending to top jobs tends to weed out non-conformists.

Second, coaches are notorious control freaks. Andy Reid does nearly everything well, but he's terrible at in-game management. Yet somehow it would be considered wrong for him to outsource that component. A notable exception is Jim Caldwell, who hired someone last season to handle this stuff for him. (Coincidentally or not, the Lions have had a fantastic record in one-score games ever since).

These guys are obviously smart; I think their inability to make in-game decisions that optimize their chances of winning can only be explained as "blind spots".

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28 minutes ago, Jon F. said:

I'm surprised no one has brought up Ron Rivera's decision to punt from New Orleans' 35 yard line when down 21-13 in the third quarter. Of course it was kicked into the end zone, for a fantastic net of 15 yards.

NO did not score off that possession but the idea of punting from the other team's 35 yard line is just crazy to me.

:lmao: I literally would not have believed this was true if I hadn't read it in this thread.

No, really, I mean "literally" ... as in I would have thought it more likely that a couple random strangers on the Internet would have gotten together and decided to play a practical joke specifically on me, than that a coach whose team just spent a 1st-round draft pick on Christian McCaffery would have punted the ball back to Drew Brees on 4th-and-5 from the Saints' 35.

I feel confident in stating that this thread will never run out of source material.

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1 minute ago, zftcg said:
18 minutes ago, davearm said:

I think that's completely understandable.  These aren't game theorists, they're football coaches.  Completely different skillsets and core competencies.

What's baffling is that a billion-dollar organization doesn't have a guy on staff to manage these situations for the HC.

I think there are two trends in football that predict these outcomes. First, football culture is incredibly conservative (I mean temperamentally, not politically, although that, too). It's not so much that coaches go "by the book" because they're afraid of what will happen if they don't. It's more that the entire process of ascending to top jobs tends to weed out non-conformists.

Second, coaches are notorious control freaks. Andy Reid does nearly everything well, but he's terrible at in-game management. Yet somehow it would be considered wrong for him to outsource that component. A notable exception is Jim Caldwell, who hired someone last season to handle this stuff for him. (Coincidentally or not, the Lions have had a fantastic record in one-score games ever since).

These guys are obviously smart; I think their inability to make in-game decisions that optimize their chances of winning can only be explained as "blind spots".

I think a lot of NFL head coaches - Caldwell, Reid, and Tom Couglin come to mind - are really good at many aspects of their job. They hire good coordinators, they are fantastic at administration, they understand how to motivate men. But the way they process information doesn't lend itself to good decision making in the moment. They have plenty of intelligence, but they are like a single thread processor trying to perform hyper thread computations. They repeatedly make bad decisions with clock management and time outs.

Thing is, it's one of the few areas of in game coaching fans think they understand. It's low hanging fruit to jump on. Meanwhile there are 100s of other decisions about personnel packages, adjustments to coverages, deciding to mix up formation looks, pulling out a play that hasn't been run in months - that the average fan hasn't clue one about. They recognize none of the genius at work, but decide "Reid's a freaking moron, here we are at the end of the first with one timeout again."

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51 minutes ago, Jon F. said:

I'm surprised no one has brought up Ron Rivera's decision to punt from New Orleans' 35 yard line when down 21-13 in the third quarter. Of course it was kicked into the end zone, for a fantastic net of 15 yards.

NO did not score off that possession but the idea of punting from the other team's 35 yard line is just crazy to me.

:lmao: What a moron. That's a 52 yard FG. If your kicker can't make that, get a new one.

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15 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

I think a lot of NFL head coaches - Caldwell, Reid, and Tom Couglin come to mind - are really good at many aspects of their job. They hire good coordinators, they are fantastic at administration, they understand how to motivate men. But the way they process information doesn't lend itself to good decision making in the moment. They have plenty of intelligence, but they are like a single thread processor trying to perform hyper thread computations. They repeatedly make bad decisions with clock management and time outs.

Thing is, it's one of the few areas of in game coaching fans think they understand. It's low hanging fruit to jump on. Meanwhile there are 100s of other decisions about personnel packages, adjustments to coverages, deciding to mix up formation looks, pulling out a play that hasn't been run in months - that the average fan hasn't clue one about. They recognize none of the genius at work, but decide "Reid's a freaking moron, here we are at the end of the first with one timeout again."

Yeah, Reid is like the ur-example because he's such a good coach in nearly every aspect of the game. His coaching tree is amazing (meaning he hires good assistants), he has a strong track record of getting the best out of QBs and RBs, and he's won consistently throughout his career (well, at least in the regular season). But his in-game decision making is literally a punchline. It's really so inexplicable that he wouldn't take steps to address that weakness, especially considering that he's running out of time to win his first Super Bowl. Any explanation you or I could come up with is probably going to be incomplete, because the whole thing is just so damn weird.

And yes, decision making is the most easily understandable to fans, so that's what people focus on. It's also the most binary. Should you go for two or kick the PAT? The percentages are pretty straightforward, and pretty universal. Something like playcalling is much more subtle. Should you run or pass in this situation? Well, what kind of run? What is the defense doing? What trends have you spotted on film? What personnel do you have on the field? The complexity quickly spins out of control.

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24 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

I think a lot of NFL head coaches - Caldwell, Reid, and Tom Couglin come to mind - are really good at many aspects of their job. They hire good coordinators, they are fantastic at administration, they understand how to motivate men. But the way they process information doesn't lend itself to good decision making in the moment. They have plenty of intelligence, but they are like a single thread processor trying to perform hyper thread computations. They repeatedly make bad decisions with clock management and time outs.

The thing is, they do pretty well with the complex stuff. It's the simpler decisions they consistently screw up.

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2 minutes ago, zftcg said:

The thing is, they do pretty well with the complex stuff. It's the simpler decisions they consistently screw up.

Yep, that’s true. I do think it’s something to do with how they process information but in reality we all have blind spots & weaknesses.

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OK, technically this is an ex-coach who's not actually involved in decision making, but 4th quarter of MNF, Cards down 11, they get a first down on the Cowboys 35, and from the booth Gruden says, "I'd kick the FG right now." Huh? First of all, it's a 53 yarder, with a kicker who has been fairly inconsistent this year, Second, we frequently talk in this thread about the value of information: If you're down 15 and score a TD, go for two right away because then you know if you need one or two scores. That's even more obvious in this scenario. If you score the TD, you'll know after the 2PT whether you need a FG or a TD on your next drive. That's really important info!

If you're facing 4th and 10 from the 30, sure, you're probably better off kicking the FG. But anything else, you have to try to get the TD.

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17 hours ago, davearm said:

I think that's completely understandable.  These aren't game theorists, they're football coaches.  Completely different skillsets and core competencies.

What's baffling is that a billion-dollar organization doesn't have a guy on staff to manage these situations for the HC.

This is an interesting argument because Doug Pederson is getting skewered for this very situation this week. 4th and 8 on the Giants 43 with less than 3 minutes in the half to go. Eagles only up 7-0. Doug mentioned that his analytics guy said the odds favored going for it. The result of the play is what he's getting killed for though. Wentz took a sack back at the Eagles 48. Had he done anything else (gained 1-7 yds, thrown a pick, incomplete) it wouldn't have been as bad. The reward being that if his offense (who was moving up and down just not scoring) could gain 8 yards, they keep it for the rest of the half and almost assuredly score at least 3 points if not more.

It's on the outside range of the risk reward curve but I think it was good calculated risk to get more points and keep the ball away from the opponent.

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17 hours ago, Mr. Irrelevant said:

To a certain extent, you're right and my sentence was shorthand for "... or hire someone who does."

But even if they don't understand the math, most of these guys have spent 20, 25, 30 years in various NFL-related jobs, working 80, 90, 100-hour weeks all the while. At a certain point I'd expect them to twig to this concept even if they're solely basing the call on their prior observations and experience. It's not like it's a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence.

I think we're neglecting to recognize how quickly most of these decisions need to be made, with a playclock running down, personnel groupings to be sent into the game, playcall to be made and sent into the huddle, etc.

In theory it seems to make sense to have some dude with the title "win probability maximizer" sitting in the press box advising the HC, but in practice I'm not sure that guidance can effectively be communicated in real time.

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9 minutes ago, zftcg said:

OK, technically this is an ex-coach who's not actually involved in decision making, but 4th quarter of MNF, Cards down 11, they get a first down on the Cowboys 35, and from the booth Gruden says, "I'd kick the FG right now." Huh? First of all, it's a 53 yarder, with a kicker who has been fairly inconsistent this year, Second, we frequently talk in this thread about the value of information: If you're down 15 and score a TD, go for two right away because then you know if you need one or two scores. That's even more obvious in this scenario. If you score the TD, you'll know after the 2PT whether you need a FG or a TD on your next drive. That's really important info!

If you're facing 4th and 10 from the 30, sure, you're probably better off kicking the FG. But anything else, you have to try to get the TD.

Down 10 with the clock running down, I can see the merits in that advice if I squint (maybe not the kicking-on-first-down bit, but the general principle), since you need two scores anyway and if you keep pushing downfield the defense is going to do whatever they can to keep the play in front of them and the clock running.

Gruden's mental block there is the same one most coaches (and announcers) have - they consider being down 11 (or 15) the same as being down 10 (or 14), when in reality it's not only not the same, it's literally half the win probability (which itself has already been halved by your implicit decision to play for OT). People just aren't good at multiplying out series of probabilities in real time.

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1 minute ago, davearm said:

I think we're neglecting to recognize how quickly most of these decisions need to be made, with a playclock running down, personnel groupings to be sent into the game, playcall to be made and sent into the huddle, etc.

In theory it seems to make sense to have some dude with the title "win probability maximizer" sitting in the press box advising the HC, but in practice I'm not sure that guidance can effectively be communicated in real time.

I'd have bought that argument 25, 15, maybe even 5 years ago. Nowadays, that's no excuse. If the team staff can review six different video angles of a play, come to consensus, and communicate to the HC whether to throw a challenge flag in the time it takes for the other team to hustle to the line and snap the ball, they can sure as hell have a guy plug down, distance, and yard line into an R program (or even an app) and have it spit out a probability and a recommendation in less.

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14 minutes ago, Insein said:

This is an interesting argument because Doug Pederson is getting skewered for this very situation this week. 4th and 8 on the Giants 43 with less than 3 minutes in the half to go. Eagles only up 7-0. Doug mentioned that his analytics guy said the odds favored going for it. The result of the play is what he's getting killed for though. Wentz took a sack back at the Eagles 48. Had he done anything else (gained 1-7 yds, thrown a pick, incomplete) it wouldn't have been as bad. The reward being that if his offense (who was moving up and down just not scoring) could gain 8 yards, they keep it for the rest of the half and almost assuredly score at least 3 points if not more.

It's on the outside range of the risk reward curve but I think it was good calculated risk to get more points and keep the ball away from the opponent.

I didn't mind the call in real time since the most likely outcome of punting is only gaining 23 yards of field position, although with as bad as the Giants offense had looked through 2-1/2 games to that point I wouldn't have been bothered by a punt either.

But if you're gonna make that call you absolutely have to ensure Wentz knows to just throw the ball deep up for grabs if he's in any danger of getting sacked. If you aren't 100% sure you and he are on the same page in that regard, just punt it away. It's that I question Doug on more than the call.

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