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7 hours ago, zed2283 said:

Mike Zimmer.

If I hear Collinsworth or anyone else say "the math says that's the right call" I'm going to explode.  The math doesn't say ####.  The math says  1-4.

I didn't hear all of Collinsworth on this. How was he making his case with the math? What do others think?

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10 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

I didn't hear all of Collinsworth on this. How was he making his case with the math? What do others think?

He didn't make the case, really. He just said it was an interesting decision when the vikings led by 5 with two minutes left and a fourth and inches near the goal line.  Kick the gimme field goal and you go up by 8, and give russ a chance to tie, but not win. Go for the first down and you can kneel down for the win because Seattle only had one time out left. They discussed it quickly before the two minute warning and then came back to see Zimmer go for it on 4th down, miss, and then after discussing the play itself and the Seahawks situation, Collinsworth mentioned that Zimmer had done the right thing according to the math. 

In my opinion the math suffers because going for it on 4th down is likely more difficult in the hard rain. More of a chance to fumble or slip. Hard to threaten play action because of the clock and the chance that the ball or the receiver slips. It's almost certain to be hat on hat for the goal line stand type of run.  That makes it less likely than normal for them to convert- if you run that play 1000 times in good conditions vs bad, and with 1 minute left instead of 2, the numbers probably look different.

The other thing is that taking the field goal is no gimme in the rain, but it's high percentage.  Russell Wilson coming back in two minutes is no gimme, and converting a two pointer in the rain is hard, and even then you've only tied it and now you have a good chance to win in overtime.

Add up all the ways you can win if you go for the field goal - stop them from getting a touchdown, stop the two point try, winning the coin toss and scoring etc- and compare that with the chance of making one fourth down run in the rain or stopping a touchdown. It seems intuitive to me that the field goal was the percentage play. But they really didn't explain it.  Just, the math said it was the right play. 

Which is annoying because Collinsworth owns pff and acts like he has all the numbers at his fingertips but doesn't seem to have the depth behind it at times like this. 

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1 hour ago, Joe Bryant said:

I didn't hear all of Collinsworth on this. How was he making his case with the math? What do others think?

They showed a graphic during the Seattle drive.  As I recall it showed the Vikes with a 94% win probability before the play, and then:

  • Convert 4th down added 6% (so, 100%)
  • Stopped on 4th down [or missing the FG] subtracted 15% (79%)
  • Made FG did not change the WP (94%)

So based on the above (and I'm not arguing these numbers are correct), the only way to increase the win probability was to go for it.

Edited by heckmanm
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3 minutes ago, heckmanm said:

They showed a graphic during the Seattle drive.  As I recall it showed the Vikes with a 94% win probability before the play, and then:

  • Convert 4th down added 6% (so, 100%)
  • Stopped on 4th down [or missing the FG] subtracted 15% (79%)
  • Made FG did not change the WP (94%)

So based on the above (and I'm not arguing these numbers are correct), the only way to increase the win probability was to go for it.

Intuitively I thought that going for it was the right move, but these numbers make me think that I was wrong and that kicking the FG is better.

Let's say they make the FG with probability p.  Then attempting the FG gives a win percentage of p*(.94) + (1-p)*(.79) = .15p + .79

Now let's say they convert the fourth down with probability q.  Going for it gives a win percentage of q*(1) + (1-q)*.79 = .21q + .79

Kicking the FG is better if .15p > .21q or p > 1.4q.  Actually if my math is correct that's got to be extremely close either way.  It's a little more complicated than this because missing a FG is actually worse than being stuffed on fourth down (marginally worse field position) but this is a close call if those underlying win percentages are more or less accurate.

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1 hour ago, bostonfred said:

He didn't make the case, really. He just said it was an interesting decision when the vikings led by 5 with two minutes left and a fourth and inches near the goal line.  Kick the gimme field goal and you go up by 8, and give russ a chance to tie, but not win. Go for the first down and you can kneel down for the win because Seattle only had one time out left. They discussed it quickly before the two minute warning and then came back to see Zimmer go for it on 4th down, miss, and then after discussing the play itself and the Seahawks situation, Collinsworth mentioned that Zimmer had done the right thing according to the math. 

In my opinion the math suffers because going for it on 4th down is likely more difficult in the hard rain. More of a chance to fumble or slip. Hard to threaten play action because of the clock and the chance that the ball or the receiver slips. It's almost certain to be hat on hat for the goal line stand type of run.  That makes it less likely than normal for them to convert- if you run that play 1000 times in good conditions vs bad, and with 1 minute left instead of 2, the numbers probably look different.

The other thing is that taking the field goal is no gimme in the rain, but it's high percentage.  Russell Wilson coming back in two minutes is no gimme, and converting a two pointer in the rain is hard, and even then you've only tied it and now you have a good chance to win in overtime.

Add up all the ways you can win if you go for the field goal - stop them from getting a touchdown, stop the two point try, winning the coin toss and scoring etc- and compare that with the chance of making one fourth down run in the rain or stopping a touchdown. It seems intuitive to me that the field goal was the percentage play. But they really didn't explain it.  Just, the math said it was the right play. 

Which is annoying because Collinsworth owns pff and acts like he has all the numbers at his fingertips but doesn't seem to have the depth behind it at times like this. 

Glad you reminded everyone, most folks don't believe me when I share this tidbit, not necessarily in here. I think CC should not be in the booth as he has a controlling interest in the very stat provider they focus in on with NBC and that has spread...I like the idea PFF puts forth but I always question how they go about their ratings. I agree with some, disagree with others and he is running the NBC Show, pretty sure he is part producer of the SNF telecast, he originally was in the studio before Madden left. Feels like he has a conflict of interest and then you add in that he hasn't aged gracefully in the booth. Way too emotional about silly stuff. Majors in the Minors, I could go on and on about CC and I used to love him when he was a rebel in the 90s but he is a company man now. 

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Whoever came up with "analytics" should be shot.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but none of it is based on real game info and decisions, it's just based on some bogus "model."  This whole trend towards "the math" is why we have dumb decisions made every week and why Belichick, who pretty much plays everything by Hoyle, looks like a genius.  Just make sound football decisions (like kicking the FG in that situation) and you're going to win more often than not.

Now get off my lawn!

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4 minutes ago, zed2283 said:

Considering it was an inexplicable decision (in my view), my guess is it must have played a large part.

I do see going for it and ending the game though. I think I probably would have kicked the FG to go up by 8. But I absolutely see ending it right there. 

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I thought not kicking that FG to go up by 8 was a terrible call. Honestly, one of the worst call I've seen in a while. This is defying pure logic here. Especially when you have a guy like Wilson on the other side. Crazy call by the vikings....I was jumping on my couch last night when I saw them lining up and not kicking it. OMG....

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3 hours ago, zed2283 said:

Whoever came up with "analytics" should be shot.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but none of it is based on real game info and decisions, it's just based on some bogus "model."  This whole trend towards "the math" is why we have dumb decisions made every week and why Belichick, who pretty much plays everything by Hoyle, looks like a genius.  Just make sound football decisions (like kicking the FG in that situation) and you're going to win more often than not.

Now get off my lawn!

The model is based on an aggregation of actual results in actual game situations. 

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12 hours ago, zed2283 said:

Mike Zimmer.

If I hear Collinsworth or anyone else say "the math says that's the right call" I'm going to explode.  The math doesn't say ####.  The math says  1-4.

As a Vikings fan, this call was the final straw. I'm ready to pull the plug on Zimmer and Kirk Cousins. Losers. Sick of it. 

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I said as much on the in-game topic. 

I understand the argument for going for it. But that doesn’t mean I’ll ever agree with it.

Kicking the FG makes it essentially a 2 score game. Not 2 possessions, but 2 scores since the Seahawks would Have had to drive, get a TD, and then execute a 2PAT, which is hard to do. 

That the FG put them up 8 is a huge factor to me. Not just because you’re forcing the Seahawks to make 2 offensive scoring plays instead of one, but because it takes all the pressure off of the defense, knowing that if the Seahawks score AND get the 2PAT the worst thing that could happen is a tie.

@Joe Bryant - as for ghosts of Vikings past, I’m not sure why that would be a factor when the K had already nailed several long FGs. A chippy seems like a high % play there & it’s not like he hadn’t given Zimmer confidence by nailing a kick from 52 in that same rain. :shrug:

I don’t think it was so egregious a coaching call so as to belong in this topic. It’s just not the call I would have made. 

Edited by Hot Sauce Guy
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1 minute ago, az_prof said:

As a Vikings fan, this call was the final straw. I'm ready to pull the plug on Zimmer and Kirk Cousins. Losers. Sick of it. 

But hey, good news!  People are applauding the bold move! That doesn’t help their record, I realize, but hey, they get brownie points for “aggressiveness”, I guess. 

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5 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

I said as much on the in-game topic. 

I understand the argument for going for it. But that doesn’t mean I’ll ever agree with it.

Kicking the FG makes it essentially a 2 score game. Not 2 possessions, but 2 scores since the Seahawks would Have had to drive, get a TD, and then execute a 2PAT, which is hard to do. 

That the FG put them up 8 is a huge factor to me. Not just because you’re forcing the Seahawks to make 2 offensive scoring plays instead of one, but because it takes all the pressure off of the defense, knowing that if the Seahawks score AND get the 2PAT the worst thing that could happen is a tie.

@Joe Bryant - as for ghosts of Vikings past, I’m not sure why that would be a factor when the K had already nailed several long FGs. A chippy seems like a high % play there & it’s not like he hadn’t given Zimmer confidence by nailing a kick from 52 in that same rain. :shrug:

I don’t think it was so egregious a coaching call so as to belong in this topic. It’s just not the call I would have made. 

It's actually three scores, because even a TD and 2-point conversion don't win the game for the Seahawks. They'd also need to score in OT.

But, getting six inches there wins the game immediately, and it's hard to beat those odds.

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43 minutes ago, Sasgaard said:

I thought not kicking that FG to go up by 8 was a terrible call. Honestly, one of the worst call I've seen in a while. This is defying pure logic here. Especially when you have a guy like Wilson on the other side. Crazy call by the vikings....I was jumping on my couch last night when I saw them lining up and not kicking it. OMG....

If you're that scared that Wilson is going to march down the field and score -- and you should be -- that should increase your willingness to go for the first down.  (The Raiders faced a similar situation against KC yesterday and ended the game by converting on 4th and short).

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13 minutes ago, CalBear said:

It's actually three scores, because even a TD and 2-point conversion don't win the game for the Seahawks. They'd also need to score in OT.

a fair point. 4, if you count having to win the coin toss. 
;) 

You’re correct of course, but I was only referring to the regulation time situation & to the point that it also helped take pressure off of the defense. 

I think people often underestimate how differently defensive players perform in different scenarios. Playing tense or loose is likely a significant factor. If the defenders know they can’t lose, maybe they take more chances defensively. 

you rarely see DPI in those 2 mins drive scenarios because secondaries are wired to back off - no player wants to be the reason an opponent gets a free chunk play. Rarely are DBs jumping routes. It’s very hard to play as aggressively with the game on the line.

Quote

But, getting six inches there wins the game immediately, and it's hard to beat those odds.

I don’t disagree. I think it comes down to style more than whether it’s a good or bad decision. They chose to be aggressive with the 4th and inches, and it cost them the game. 

Edited by Hot Sauce Guy
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3 hours ago, heckmanm said:

They showed a graphic during the Seattle drive.  As I recall it showed the Vikes with a 94% win probability before the play, and then:

  • Convert 4th down added 6% (so, 100%)
  • Stopped on 4th down [or missing the FG] subtracted 15% (79%)
  • Made FG did not change the WP (94%)

So based on the above (and I'm not arguing these numbers are correct), the only way to increase the win probability was to go for it.

I call BS on the bolded. There is no way that makes sense. Obviously converting the 4th down ends the game and bumps to 100%. But making the FG mathematically *has* to improve the odds above 94%. For the simple reason that being required to convert a 2pointer subtracts odds from your opponent. 

I don't hate the decision to go for it. I like the idea of just ending it. I probably kick the FG, but I don't mind. 

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8 minutes ago, Sneegor said:

If I was a Vikings fan I would have been pissed if they kicked a field goal instead of going for it.

And if I were a Vikings fan I’d be happy they went up 8 as it would mean they couldn’t lose on a Russell Wilson drive. Like they did. 

I’m skeptical there are many happy Vikings fans today going, “well; we lost the game but woohoo, what a great decision by the coach there!” 

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26 minutes ago, barackdhouse said:

I call BS on the bolded. There is no way that makes sense. Obviously converting the 4th down ends the game and bumps to 100%. But making the FG mathematically *has* to improve the odds above 94%. For the simple reason that being required to convert a 2pointer subtracts odds from your opponent. 

I don't hate the decision to go for it. I like the idea of just ending it. I probably kick the FG, but I don't mind. 

This analytics BS is causing teams to do stupid stuff. Kicking the FG is the correct move. Puts you up 8. 

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1 hour ago, IvanKaramazov said:

If you're that scared that Wilson is going to march down the field and score -- and you should be -- that should increase your willingness to go for the first down.  (The Raiders faced a similar situation against KC yesterday and ended the game by converting on 4th and short).

good point, not gonna lie. I see your angle here. Fair enough. However, what is better against a great QB with tons of weapons? to make him score twice (TD + 2 pt) in a short period of time or to take a chance and if you fail, he only needs to score once? I take my chances here and ask that QB to have to score twice in less than 2 minutes. Horrible call IMO.

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57 minutes ago, DonnieA said:

This analytics BS is causing teams to do stupid stuff. Kicking the FG is the correct move. Puts you up 8. 

Pretty sure even the most ardent analytics fan knows how to add 5 and 3.

The question is, is it better win the game immediately, be up by 8 and kicking off, or be up by 5 with the opponents having the ball on the 6 yard line, and what are the relative probabilities of those three events? To figure that out, you might have to, you know, analyze it.

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Thielen could have gotten a first down on his third down run.  He was too concerned with staying inbounds.  The first down was more important.  Also, Minnesota should have called a timeout after Seattle got the first and goal at the six.  If Seattle did not have a TO left it is better to let the clock run.  However since they still had a TO,  the Vikings should have saved clock.

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 I thought going for it was a no brainer last night. Get a yard, get a win.  If  you came up short you make him drive 95 yards instead of 75 yards based on average starting field position after a score but my main factor would have been seizing a chance to seal the game instead of giving Russ a chance to tie and ultimately beat you.

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Just now, JoeKappBudGrant said:

Thielen could have gotten a first down on his third down run.  He was too concerned with staying inbounds.  The first down was more important.  Also, Minnesota should have called a timeout after Seattle got the first and goal at the six.  If Seattle did not have a TO left it is better to let the clock run.  However since they still had a TO,  the Vikings should have saved clock.

I was saying same thing during the game.

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9 minutes ago, JoeKappBudGrant said:

Thielen could have gotten a first down on his third down run.  He was too concerned with staying inbounds.  The first down was more important.  Also, Minnesota should have called a timeout after Seattle got the first and goal at the six.  If Seattle did not have a TO left it is better to let the clock run.  However since they still had a TO,  the Vikings should have saved clock.

I sure thought he made the effort and was driven to the ground short. I don’t think he coulda had the 1st there. That was a great tackle by the defender - I didn’t see Thielen coming down short to stay inbounds I saw him driven to the ground & he wisely made sure he touched in-bounds. 

I’d have to go watch a replay to be certain, but I’m 93% sure that was the case. 

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3 hours ago, CalBear said:

Pretty sure even the most ardent analytics fan knows how to add 5 and 3.

The question is, is it better win the game immediately, be up by 8 and kicking off, or be up by 5 with the opponents having the ball on the 6 yard line, and what are the relative probabilities of those three events? To figure that out, you might have to, you know, analyze it.

Yeah, here's the analysis needed: If we kick the FG, they have to drive the field, score a TD AND a 2 Pt conversion and it's a tie, or maybe we even have enough time to march down the field and kick a GW FG after they score. Also, being up 8, you don't have to go prevent D like teams do all the time. You can bring the heat. Best they can do is tie.

If we don't and fail, they just have to score a TD and we lose.

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2 hours ago, DonnieA said:

Yeah, here's the analysis needed: If we kick the FG, they have to drive the field, score a TD AND a 2 Pt conversion and it's a tie, or maybe we even have enough time to march down the field and kick a GW FG after they score. Also, being up 8, you don't have to go prevent D like teams do all the time. You can bring the heat. Best they can do is tie.

If we don't and fail, they just have to score a TD and we lose.

And if you don't kick the FG, and succeed in making a first down, you never have to play defense. The game is over and you win. When you leave out that possibility, you leave out the most important part of the question.

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6 hours ago, DonnieA said:

Yeah, here's the analysis needed: If we kick the FG, they have to drive the field, score a TD AND a 2 Pt conversion and it's a tie, or maybe we even have enough time to march down the field and kick a GW FG after they score. Also, being up 8, you don't have to go prevent D like teams do all the time. You can bring the heat. Best they can do is tie.

If we don't and fail, they just have to score a TD and we lose.

Come on now this makes no difference whatsoever.

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On 10/12/2020 at 9:22 AM, CalBear said:

It's actually three scores, because even a TD and 2-point conversion don't win the game for the Seahawks. They'd also need to score in OT.

But, getting six inches there wins the game immediately, and it's hard to beat those odds.

Yes, the FG kicker had made his kicks earlier in the game, but the Vikings had been stuffed already on a fourth and short situation.  Seattle had been getting pressure in the backfield all game.  

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On 10/12/2020 at 6:11 PM, CalBear said:

The model is based on an aggregation of actual results in actual game situations. 

How specific are they with the parameters though?  If they are exact, then I would think sample could skew the results one way or the other.  How many times has a team had the ball with that field position, with that much time on the clock, with that down and distance, with that deficit?

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2 minutes ago, Navin Johnson said:

How specific are they with the parameters though?  If they are exact, then I would think sample could skew the results one way or the other.  How many times has a team had the ball with that field position, with that much time on the clock, with that down and distance, with that deficit?

#######' PFR sold out so now I need to find another query tool for this kind of stuff. But I don't think that fourth-and-1, up by 5, ball inside the opponent's 10, ~2:00 left on the clock, is particularly unusual. There are probably at least dozens of examples. And dozens more on the edges of those cases (ball inside the 5, ~1:30 left, and so on). It's never exactly the same but you can get a decent idea of the parameters.

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3 minutes ago, CalBear said:

#######' PFR sold out so now I need to find another query tool for this kind of stuff. But I don't think that fourth-and-1, up by 5, ball inside the opponent's 10, ~2:00 left on the clock, is particularly unusual. There are probably at least dozens of examples. And dozens more on the edges of those cases (ball inside the 5, ~1:30 left, and so on). It's never exactly the same but you can get a decent idea of the parameters.

I don't really care about the 4th and 1.  I want to see the probabilities firing back at me, kicking off up 8 or defending up 5 from that field position.  I can use those to figure out the break even point I need for converting that 4th and 1.

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2 hours ago, Navin Johnson said:

I don't really care about the 4th and 1.  I want to see the probabilities firing back at me, kicking off up 8 or defending up 5 from that field position.  I can use those to figure out the break even point I need for converting that 4th and 1.

In that case there are a ton of examples. First-and-10 inside your own 10 down by 4 -6 points with ~2:00 left has to happen pretty regularly. Kicking off up by 8 with ~2:00 left has to happen multiple times a season.  

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4 hours ago, Navin Johnson said:

I don't really care about the 4th and 1.  I want to see the probabilities firing back at me, kicking off up 8 or defending up 5 from that field position.  I can use those to figure out the break even point I need for converting that 4th and 1.

i don't know if you are arguing or what, but this is literally what the analytics departments do.  the eagles,for instance, plan for all these scenarios and the analytics head is in regular communication with Pederson on gameday relaying what the numbers say, though Doug doesn't always do what they say.

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1 hour ago, CalBear said:

In that case there are a ton of examples. First-and-10 inside your own 10 down by 4 -6 points with ~2:00 left has to happen pretty regularly. Kicking off up by 8 with ~2:00 left has to happen multiple times a season.  

The only thing that bothers me about those analytics is that they are based on the entire NFL which varies greatly on personnel.  The VIkings Offense vs the Seattle defense for that exact situation is not going to be the same as the entirety of the NFL over those situations.  I know it is in the ballpark (most likely) but specific game situations and tendencies of each team have a bigger factor than what the Chiefs did against the Dolphins in 2018 during week 17 in a meaningless game.  Yes, it's an average from the analytics but game specifics also play a part.

 

I still think the decision to go for it was correct but the play call was terrible.  The best chance to win that game was keeping the ball away from Wilson (whether down 5 or 8).  The only way you do that for sure is going for it in that situation. 

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My other question is how many of the people saying it was a bad decision to go for it would still have come in here with that opinion if they got the first down?  My guess is there would be nobody in here saying it was stupid decision to go for it. 

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51 minutes ago, Long Ball Larry said:

i don't know if you are arguing or what, but this is literally what the analytics departments do.  the eagles,for instance, plan for all these scenarios and the analytics head is in regular communication with Pederson on gameday relaying what the numbers say, though Doug doesn't always do what they say.

I was kind of shocked when Zim said “well don’t always have time to ask the analytics guys.” Then he doubles down & says he’s do it again.

I respect Mike a lot as a coach, there’s a lot that goes into being an NFL HC and he gets most of it right. But to hear him say those things is astonishing. If those comments reflect reality - the Vikings aren’t gaming out scenarios ahead of time - then you’re saying “we’re gonna make gut calls without considering data.” Welp, OK fine, be stubborn, but you’re putting yourself needlessly at a competitive disadvantage. 

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11 minutes ago, zed2283 said:

Bottom line is that the analytics are severely lacking and the coach is supposed to use it as a tool in his arsenal based on his experience and the game situation/conditions.  "The math" isn't the be all end all that people want to think it is.

It's a hell of a lot better than "You kick the FG there. Go up by 8. Obvious." Which is what passes for analysis most of the time.

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