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A deep(er) dive into the 4th and 8 decision by GB in the NFC title game


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20 minutes ago, Deamon said:

Right and in the likely scenario where they didn't get the td,  then they would STILL need a td and 2pc and then an ot win.

Hypothetically, which would you prefer? (assuming a stop was made by gb defense)

A= Down 5, your ball at midfield
B= 75% chance at down 8, your ball at midfield, 25% shot at tie game your ball on your own 25.

The only absolutes were that GB had to score a TD and were only guaranteed to have the ball for one play. So to me, I would rather have my MVP QB try to get a TD on that one play than kick a FG on potentially what could be the last offensive play of the season. 

On a side note, kicking there also could send a subtle (or not so subtle) message that I don’t think my QB can get us 8 yards, which isn’t exacting exuding a vote of confidence. I wouldn’t make a decision just on that, as I generally am a suck it up, buttercup kind of a guy. But look at the fallout with Rodgers the past few days. 

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I don’t want to party with you!    

TLDR version only losers go for the FG there. Of course you go for the TD. 

That's a lot of work to say it's stupid to give the ball back to Brady with a chance to run out the clock while trailing.

2 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

The only absolutes were that GB had to score a TD and were only guaranteed to have the ball for one play. So to me, I would rather have my MVP QB try to get a TD on that one play than kick a FG on potentially what could be the last offensive play of the season. 

On a side note, kicking there also could send a subtle (or not so subtle) message that I don’t think my QB can get us 8 yards, which isn’t exacting exuding a vote of confidence. I wouldn’t make a decision just on that, as I generally am a suck it up, buttercup kind of a guy. But look at the fallout with Rodgers the past few days. 

I just think it's one of those situations where he would have been praised for the decision if that dumb DPI wasn't called and Rodgers marched down and won them the game and sent them to the Super Bowl.  People always just disagree with decisions when they don't work.  I liked his line of thinking.. he had faith in his defense and faith in Rodgers to drive down for the winning TD.  I wouldn't be overly confident in a 4th and goal from the 8 either.

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1 hour ago, Anarchy99 said:

Again, people are piecing together things while ignoring possible outcomes. If GB went for it on 4th down and failed, TB would have had the ball at the 8 yard line. With a 3 and out and forcing a punt, the Packers would have gotten the ball back at midfield with a minute and a half left to get a TD and a two point conversion. 

For any of the outcomes being discussed to work and for GB to win, lots of things needed to go right. That’s why the calculated probabilities were only 10%. 

But this wasn’t a situation where GB needed 2 possessions being down by 10 points. So it wasn’t like they needed a TD and a FG and the debate was which one to get first. Kicking a FG left them STILL needing a TD. So in a one possession game they TURNED it into a two possession game. 

No matter how you slice, there was no easy, clear path to victory at that point. 

It was already a two-possession game; 8 points weren't enough to win. Another possession was necessary.

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8 hours ago, Stinkin Ref said:

this isn't even one where I think there is a smidge of debate.....especially if your mentality heading in is "we need a stop".....if that's your mentality.....the 4th down decision is actually gravy and playing with house money and basically a free play to help your chances of winning even more....

exactly^^

6 hours ago, Cobbler1 said:

It’s pretty surprising to me how quickly some people are dismissing the difficulty of getting a 2 point conversion and then winning in OT. The difference between being down 5 and down 8 is massive.

In the OP I have it as 14.4% - in other words quite difficult - this number is represented by A2. The difference between being down 8 and being down 5 is between 4.0% to win and 12.4% to win. I don't know if that is massive.

4 hours ago, Deamon said:

Exactly.  People act like it was a given that they'd get the TD, AND the 2point conversion, AND Brady would get no points on his final drive, AND Green Bay wins in OT.  All 4 of those things happening is pretty rare and I doubt all 4 would happen.  I'd rather just need the one stop and then need the TD for the win.  I think it was the right call, but of course hindsight fans are going to say how bad it was. 

No they don't. The literal point of this thread is to show the opposite. That scenario is represented by 14.4% in A2. Hardly a given.

3 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

Not to beat a dead horse, but why do people keep suggesting that the only result in scoring a TD and a 2 point conversion would be a 50% chance of winning in OT? That would greatly increase GB’s chance of winning in REGULATION.
 

Yes. Thank you. The chances of winning in regulation for GB are 17.2% if they score the TD (with or without the 2 pt conversion), based on my numbers. That was A1.

Again all of this is based on my assumptions of conversion rates and such, which are of course subject to refinement. But it isn't going to move the needle that much. And I feel the need to reiterate once again that per my OP, even in the scenarios where GB scores the 8 to tie it, they still lose 68.4% of the time!!! So I don't know what people are talking about when they say we're dismissing the difficulty of these things. This exercise only reinforced the truth of how difficult it is, even with my liberal conversion rates. It really sucks to be down 8 with 2 minutes left and about to give the ball to Brady. It isn't good for you. 

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15 minutes ago, barackdhouse said:

exactly^^

In the OP I have it as 14.4% - in other words quite difficult - this number is represented by A2. The difference between being down 8 and being down 5 is between 4.0% to win and 12.4% to win. I don't know if that is massive.

No they don't. The literal point of this thread is to show the opposite. That scenario is represented by 14.4% in A2. Hardly a given.

Yes. Thank you. The chances of winning in regulation for GB are 17.2% if they score the TD (with or without the 2 pt conversion), based on my numbers. That was A1.

Again all of this is based on my assumptions of conversion rates and such, which are of course subject to refinement. But it isn't going to move the needle that much. And I feel the need to reiterate once again that per my OP, even in the scenarios where GB scores the 8 to tie it, they still lose 68.4% of the time!!! So I don't know what people are talking about when they say we're dismissing the difficulty of these things. This exercise only reinforced the truth of how difficult it is, even with my liberal conversion rates. It really sucks to be down 8 with 2 minutes left and about to give the ball to Brady. It isn't good for you. 

Again, these are under YOUR assumptions of percentages (which you mention could be a factor here).

For Example, You have Rodgers as a 40% chance to convert the 4th and 8 for a TD (I think this is extremely high), and as a 67% to convert any 2 pointer (this is also high).  Drop those to the more realistic 30% and 60%, and what do your final numbers come out to?

There are other sites who have done analytics on this decision similar to what you have, and have come up with that it's the right decision to kick the FG.  So we're arguing over your assumed numbers which I believe are not realistic.

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1 minute ago, Deamon said:

Again, these are under YOUR assumptions of percentages (which you mention could be a factor here).

For Example, You have Rodgers as a 40% chance to convert the 4th and 8 for a TD (I think this is extremely high), and as a 67% to convert any 2 pointer (this is also high).  Drop those to the more realistic 30% and 60%, and what do your final numbers come out to?

There are other sites who have done analytics on this decision similar to what you have, and have come up with that it's the right decision to kick the FG.  So we're arguing over your assumed numbers which I believe are not realistic.

I've literally answered this question like 5 times already. Including in the OP. Yes, it swings it. But not dramatically. It is a really super marginal call.

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Just now, barackdhouse said:

I've literally answered this question like 5 times already. Including in the OP. Yes, it swings it. But not dramatically. It is a really super marginal call.

To be fair I don't think anyone in the world read your entire op. That's not a diss, it's impressive work. But no one read it. 

What does 30 percent td chance (prob accurate, may be a little high still. 8 yards is not easy), and a 33 percent 2 point conversion rate (packers rate on the year) do to the final numbers? 

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Well I'm not going to restate it all again. But it swings it marginally in favor of kicking the FG.

Here is a source that shows GB as having the 2nd best conversion rate between 2015-2019, at 68.75%. 13/19. I haven't double checked it and I don't know what going 33% this year does to that number. If it was 1 out of 3 it would bump it to 14/22 for 63.6% going back 6 years. If it was 2 for 6 that would make it 15/25 for 60%.

I absolutely gave a bump to Rodgers (GB more specifically) on the 2 pt conversion rate based on him being better than average, and for him being clutch. If these numbers are accurate in this link, then my estimate is almost ####### perfect, b i t c h e s. Lovingly.

https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2020/1/30/21112250/two-point-conversion-percentage-stats-success-rate-extra-point-nfl-dorktown

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19 minutes ago, Deamon said:

To be fair I don't think anyone in the world read your entire op. That's not a diss, it's impressive work. But no one read it. 

What does 30 percent td chance (prob accurate, may be a little high still. 8 yards is not easy), and a 33 percent 2 point conversion rate (packers rate on the year) do to the final numbers? 

I know it is very lengthy. I'm not dropping the conversion rate to 33%. Not happening after learning my 67% was almost perfect. I think I need to drop the 40% chance to stop TB after scoring 8, though. And some other things need tweaked. In the end it won't matter.

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12 minutes ago, Deamon said:

There are other sites who have done analytics on this decision similar to what you have, and have come up with that it's the right decision to kick the FG.  So we're arguing over your assumed numbers which I believe are not realistic.

Where have you seen any mathematical model that suggested kicking was the better option? I have seen ESPN’s Win Probability saying going for it they had a 10% chance to win the game. Kicking it was 9.5%. Anything else was people pulling percentages that they assigned themselves (ie guesses).

If GB were to tie the score there, IMO they were approaching 50% to win. The next two minutes would have been sudden death and if still tied it would have been decided in overtime. If they got a quick stop, they stood an excellent chance of winning in regulation. Even without a quick stop, all they needed to do to get to OT was prevent TB from moving the ball 40 yards. No one knows what would have happened, but the Bucs offense had its issues in the second half. As the team with the ball, TB would have started the drive as slight favorites to win but if GB got the ball back they would have been favored to pull it out in regulation. 

I realize that getting the TD and the conversion was no small task. But at some point the Packers would like have had to convert on a do or die play to win. Being tied or being down 2 points without the ball would be a much more favorable spot than needing a TD to win without the ball. 

What would have made for even more debate would have been if the PI call wasn’t called and the Packers got the ball back. And let’s say they got into gimme FG range and either ran out of time or had to convert a 4th and long and couldn’t pull it off. Then people would really be going nuts that they should have gone for it at 4th down from the 8 when a late 30 yard FG would have won them the game. 

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1 minute ago, barackdhouse said:

I know it is very lengthy. I'm not dropping the conversion rate to 33%. Not happening after learning my 67% was almost perfect. I think I need to drop the 40% chance to stop TB after scoring 8, though. And some other things need tweaked. In the end it won't matter.

The 40% Rodgers converting on a 4th and goal from the 8 is WAY too high.  Especially on 4th down when you can fully commit to defending the pass.  Do you have any numbers to back this?  He missed three straight throws from the 8 yard line and suddenly his 4th throw has a 40% shot?  No chance.

I'll concede 33% is too low... but why are you using exactly 6 years?  That is stat cherry picking.  2014 they sucked, 2016 they sucked, 2015 they were good so you happened to go back to that year and stop there?  Do the last 5 years and omit 2015 and add in 2020 and I think you'll come up much lower than 67%.

So again, plug in 30% on getting the TD, 60% on the 2pc, and bump the bucs chances at some points higher like you said, and I'm confident your analytics will say kicking the fg was the correct move.

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3 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

Where have you seen any mathematical model that suggested kicking was the better option? I have seen ESPN’s Win Probability saying going for it they had a 10% chance to win the game. Kicking it was 9.5%. Anything else was people pulling percentages that they assigned themselves (ie guesses).

If GB were to tie the score there, IMO they were approaching 50% to win. The next two minutes would have been sudden death and if still tied it would have been decided in overtime. If they got a quick stop, they stood an excellent chance of winning in regulation. Even without a quick stop, all they needed to do to get to OT was prevent TB from moving the ball 40 yards. No one knows what would have happened, but the Bucs offense had its issues in the second half. As the team with the ball, TB would have started the drive as slight favorites to win but if GB got the ball back they would have been favored to pull it out in regulation. 

I realize that getting the TD and the conversion was no small task. But at some point the Packers would like have had to convert on a do or die play to win. Being tied or being down 2 points without the ball would be a much more favorable spot than needing a TD to win without the ball. 

What would have made for even more debate would have been if the PI call wasn’t called and the Packers got the ball back. And let’s say they got into gimme FG range and either ran out of time or had to convert a 4th and long and couldn’t pull it off. Then people would really be going nuts that they should have gone for it at 4th down from the 8 when a late 30 yard FG would have won them the game. 

YOu say that anything else is people pulling percentages out, yet you're doing the same thing. 

The bolded is an understatement.   "No small task", you're looking at a very unlikely 20% or so shot of getting both of those things.  If you're getting the ball back either way, I'd rather going for a td to win instead of a 20% shot at just a tie, and even then its likely Tom goes and gets points and wins the game.

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1 minute ago, Deamon said:

YOu say that anything else is people pulling percentages out, yet you're doing the same thing. 

The bolded is an understatement.   "No small task", you're looking at a very unlikely 20% or so shot of getting both of those things.  If you're getting the ball back either way, I'd rather going for a td to win instead of a 20% shot at just a tie, and even then its likely Tom goes and gets points and wins the game.

I have not posted any numbers at all in terms of win probability other than what ESPN posted. So I have not calculated anything. I stated multiple times GB was in a tough spot and they did not have a good chance to win no matter what. I only posted in the first place because someone suggested kicking gave GB a 4.5 greater chance to win (which I felt was way off).

I have explained at least three times why I thought going for it made more sense. No matter what happens on 4th down, they could still have won. A high percentage of the time GB would not get the ball back.

In this article, they mention that kicking reduced their chance to win from 10.8% to 7.8%. Bottom line, I have not seen anyplace indicating that kicking was a clearly better option. 

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1 minute ago, Anarchy99 said:

I have not posted any numbers at all in terms of win probability other than what ESPN posted. So I have not calculated anything. I stated multiple times GB was in a tough spot and they did not have a good chance to win no matter what. I only posted in the first place because someone suggested kicking gave GB a 4.5 greater chance to win (which I felt was way off).

I have explained at least three times why I thought going for it made more sense. No matter what happens on 4th down, they could still have won. A high percentage of the time GB would not get the ball back.

In this article, they mention that kicking reduced their chance to win from 10.8% to 7.8%. Bottom line, I have not seen anyplace indicating that kicking was a clearly better option. 

Sure, and I have explained at least three times why I think kicking the FG made more sense.  I don't trust a 20% shot at tying the game, I'd rather the ball back and a TD to win the game, when it's not 4th down on the 8 yard line.  That's not a good play.

As for numbers, look to the OP, and adjust the numbers to be more accurate, and you've got your reference for a place where it shows kicking the FG is better.  This suggests the analytics show a split or could be in favour of the fg (their opinion to not use analytics is moot)

Either way, it was extremely close.  Sometimes coaches make calls that might be slightly lower in analytics, but they feel is the best shot.  Andy Reid made a bone head play (which turned out to have everyone calling him a hero for calling it) on 4th down.  Analytics probably said it was wrong.... if they missed it then it would have gone down as the worst play call of the year and he would be roasted for being dumb and doing that.... but the result often gives those arguing against the decision an easy-out and tilted argument.  Without that DPI, I believe (my opinion) that Rodgers marches down and wins the game. 

Had they missed the 8 points on 4th down, I don't believe they would have marched down and tied it and won in OT.  Had they made the 8 points on 4th down, I believe there was a very good shot Tom marches down and gets them to kick the game winning FG and they lose.  I believe he made the right call, and data supports my opinion, or your opinion, depending on what percentages you hand out.

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If your input %s are nothing more than your guesses about the actual probabilities, then that fact doesn't invalidate your thesis, but does your conclusion. In fairness, my gut says they absolutely should've gone for it on that 4th down, too. :)

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1 hour ago, LawFitz said:

If your input %s are nothing more than your guesses about the actual probabilities, then that fact doesn't invalidate your thesis, but does your conclusion. In fairness, my gut says they absolutely should've gone for it on that 4th down, too. :)

Sure, percentages are all educated guesses.  But if you simply look at likely vs unlikely, it plays out this way:

A:  Go for it:
Likely scenario (above 50% chance), they miss the 4th down play.
Best case scenario, let's say they get the ball back.
1st down, down 8, on your own 40.

B: FG
Likely scenario (above 50% chance), they hit the FG
Best case scenario, let's say they get the ball back.
1st down, down 5, on your own 30.

*Clock remains the same.


I pick B every time and it's not close.  The slim chance (25% in my mind) of getting the TD + 2PC is MORE than cancelled out by the chance of TB going down the field and scoring to win if the game was tied (35% in my mind)

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6 hours ago, barackdhouse said:

I know it is very lengthy. I'm not dropping the conversion rate to 33%. Not happening after learning my 67% was almost perfect. I think I need to drop the 40% chance to stop TB after scoring 8, though. And some other things need tweaked. In the end it won't matter.

I think the main thing you need to tweak is to consider that the guy who made the decision is an NFL coach who has game planned for this exact situation during the week using access to reams of data and a team of assistants, and is making the decision while standing on the Packers sideline with crucial real time information we don’t have.  Your projections are fun for stat nerds and fantasy geeks to debate, but have no relevance to the actual issue being discussed.  It’s a fun question to debate in a down week, but anyone saying it’s an obvious call, a dumb decision, etc. as we see here and elsewhere is delusional in their arrogance. 

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7 hours ago, barackdhouse said:

exactly^^

In the OP I have it as 14.4% - in other words quite difficult - this number is represented by A2. The difference between being down 8 and being down 5 is between 4.0% to win and 12.4% to win. I don't know if that is massive.

No they don't. The literal point of this thread is to show the opposite. That scenario is represented by 14.4% in A2. Hardly a given.

Yes. Thank you. The chances of winning in regulation for GB are 17.2% if they score the TD (with or without the 2 pt conversion), based on my numbers. That was A1.

Again all of this is based on my assumptions of conversion rates and such, which are of course subject to refinement. But it isn't going to move the needle that much. And I feel the need to reiterate once again that per my OP, even in the scenarios where GB scores the 8 to tie it, they still lose 68.4% of the time!!! So I don't know what people are talking about when they say we're dismissing the difficulty of these things. This exercise only reinforced the truth of how difficult it is, even with my liberal conversion rates. It really sucks to be down 8 with 2 minutes left and about to give the ball to Brady. It isn't good for you. 

I should have mentioned awhile ago as a numbers guy I appreciate the OP! As for the bolded, I think that is massive. It’s triple the chances of winning. The difference of 8.4% looks small in a vacuum but when we’re talking a small % chance to win that bump is big. It’s that bump contrasted with the roughly 12-15% chance of being down 2 and roughly 15% chance of tying the game that makes this conversation so interesting.
 

For reference in the debate on Rodgers 4th and 8 conversion chances, in the article Anarchy linked in the other thread the league conversion rate was 23%. I have no idea what and how many scenarios went into that calculation. You’d give Rodgers a bump for not being an average Qb but Tampa’s front 7 has also given the Pack fits this year and I’d consider them above average as well. 25-30% seems right to me.

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Analytics aside it was a terrible decision then and in hindsight of course. Rogers a guarantee of one chance to get the TD if you go for it.

Kicks the FG and you get MAYBE a few  plays to get the TD.

Get stopped on the fourth down and you have Bucs inside the 10 with the same 2 minute time out and 3 of your own.

I had no skin in the game and I like the coach,but it was a terrible decision.

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14 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

Again, people are piecing together things while ignoring possible outcomes. If GB went for it on 4th down and failed, TB would have had the ball at the 8 yard line. With a 3 and out and forcing a punt, the Packers would have gotten the ball back at midfield with a minute and a half left to get a TD and a two point conversion. 

For any of the outcomes being discussed to work and for GB to win, lots of things needed to go right. That’s why the calculated probabilities were only 10%. 

But this wasn’t a situation where GB needed 2 possessions being down by 10 points. So it wasn’t like they needed a TD and a FG and the debate was which one to get first. Kicking a FG left them STILL needing a TD. So in a one possession game they TURNED it into a two possession game. 

No matter how you slice, there was no easy, clear path to victory at that point. 

While that may true in the strict sense the fact is they were giving the ball back to TB one way or the other and in order to win/prolong the game they needed to get the ball back in regulation with a stop of some sort.  In all cases they needed a TD at some point.  By kicking the FG now the TD gives them the win outright without having to worry about a two point conversion or going to OT.  I understand the reasoning.  I still go go for the TD on 4th and goal but kicking is not as far fetched as originally thought.

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5 hours ago, Cobbler1 said:

I should have mentioned awhile ago as a numbers guy I appreciate the OP! As for the bolded, I think that is massive. It’s triple the chances of winning. The difference of 8.4% looks small in a vacuum but when we’re talking a small % chance to win that bump is big. It’s that bump contrasted with the roughly 12-15% chance of being down 2 and roughly 15% chance of tying the game that makes this conversation so interesting.
 

For reference in the debate on Rodgers 4th and 8 conversion chances, in the article Anarchy linked in the other thread the league conversion rate was 23%. I have no idea what and how many scenarios went into that calculation. You’d give Rodgers a bump for not being an average Qb but Tampa’s front 7 has also given the Pack fits this year and I’d consider them above average as well. 25-30% seems right to me.

I agree you're looking at 25-30% for that 4th down conversion.  OP has it set at 40% which is way too high and skews the numbers.  You change that to 27.5% and suddenly the analytics say to kick the FG.

Throw in a 60% chance at converting a 2pc (which I think is generous), and GB has a 16.5% chance of getting those 8 points.  Those are terrible odds.

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On 1/27/2021 at 8:46 AM, barackdhouse said:

The simplest and most likely explanation is that they are working from the historical DB of all QBs in such situations, whereas I would strongly argue that either Rodgers or Brady should be expected to outperform those numbers.

However, the factor by which they might outperform is a guessing game. I calibrated this thing so that Rodgers has a 40% chance of converting the 4th and 8. If I bump that down to 30% that changes the comparison to Go For TD = 10.9% which is less than the 11.6% chance under Go For FG. So like I said there is a lot of pliability. 

There are other small factors that I haven't included, which ESPN surely has. For example, the possibilities of Pick6,Fumble6, onside kicks, or another scenario which is much greater than 0, which is to say if they go for it on 4th but come up just short on say the 1 or 2 yard line, then the likelihood of a safety and subsequent shortish field becomes another (probably small) bump to the Go For TD side.

30% is still high, as someone mentioned it is around 23%.  But sure, let's go with an inflated 30% and inflated 67% 2pc.... Kicking was the right choice.

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1 minute ago, Deamon said:

30% is still high, as someone mentioned it is around 23%.  But sure, let's go with an inflated 30% and inflated 67% 2pc.... Kicking was the right choice.

The bigger question not being fleshed out is what percentage chance A) the Packers had of getting the ball back and B) having any time left to go the length of the field for a TD. IMO, those two combined offer slightly lower win probability than the gain-8-yards-on-one-play-and-make-a-2-point-conversion probability. That's baked into the computer models that held gong for it slightly more advantage than kicking in that spot.

So I agree that some people are inflating the chances of scoring 8 points, I think others are overestimating the chances of getting a stop, getting the ball back, and driving the length of the field. And for the 10th time . . . there was no clear path to winning the game and all the outcomes would be very unlikely to result in a Packers victory.

There may be a middle ground that might have been mathematically better. If GB DID score the TD but DID NOT get the conversion, that would set up a scenario where they needed the ball back but would only need to drive half the distance to kick a FG (compared to needing a TD if they were down by 5 points). That could combine the best of both worlds . . . no chance of going to OT while TB would not be trying to score or gain chunk yardage.

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1 minute ago, Anarchy99 said:

The bigger question not being fleshed out is what percentage chance A) the Packers had of getting the ball back and B) having any time left to go the length of the field for a TD. IMO, those two combined offer slightly lower win probability than the gain-8-yards-on-one-play-and-make-a-2-point-conversion probability. That's baked into the computer models that held gong for it slightly more advantage than kicking in that spot.

So I agree that some people are inflating the chances of scoring 8 points, I think others are overestimating the chances of getting a stop, getting the ball back, and driving the length of the field. And for the 10th time . . . there was no clear path to winning the game and all the outcomes would be very unlikely to result in a Packers victory.

There may be a middle ground that might have been mathematically better. If GB DID score the TD but DID NOT get the conversion, that would set up a scenario where they needed the ball back but would only need to drive half the distance to kick a FG (compared to needing a TD if they were down by 5 points). That could combine the best of both worlds . . . no chance of going to OT while TB would not be trying to score or gain chunk yardage.

But again you are acting like TB trying to score/gain chunk yardage would be advantageous to GB.  Say all you want about how the game was going in the 2nd half, but Brady with the ball with 2 minutes left in a tie game, and gun to my head I'm picking him to get the 40 yards needed to get into FG range and win the game.  If I'm GB I'd rather him try to milk the clock and go 3 and out.... something they pretty much accomplished without that penalty. 

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for those saying that the penalty on King should not have been called......there is no way for the refs to "pass" on that one.....sure other things were let go earlier and it seemed a little inconsistent.....but there is a huge difference between letting some hand fighting go and passing on a dude getting his undershirt yanked out around the field....

it's the equivalent of a cop sitting there at a speed trap in a 55 MPH zone and letting some people go by at 62-65.....and then somebody flying by at 90+.....90 getting pulled over every time

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4 hours ago, Stinkin Ref said:

for those saying that the penalty on King should not have been called......there is no way for the refs to "pass" on that one.....sure other things were let go earlier and it seemed a little inconsistent.....but there is a huge difference between letting some hand fighting go and passing on a dude getting his undershirt yanked out around the field....

it's the equivalent of a cop sitting there at a speed trap in a 55 MPH zone and letting some people go by at 62-65.....and then somebody flying by at 90+.....90 getting pulled over every time

The penalty was the right call. The unanswerable question is, if the penalty doesn't happen does the pass get completed? That ball was pretty far out in front of him even given the holding.

Incomplete pass there would have put Green Bay in a pretty strong position.

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5 minutes ago, CalBear said:

The penalty was the right call. The unanswerable question is, if the penalty doesn't happen does the pass get completed? That ball was pretty far out in front of him even given the holding.

Incomplete pass there would have put Green Bay in a pretty strong position.

Are you asking if King doesn't pull the shirt at all will Godwin get to the pass?  I would say probably because King was pulling the shirt for a good 5-10 yds.  That is a pretty big anchor slowing Godwin down and throwing off the timing by a lot.  

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19 hours ago, Deamon said:

To be fair I don't think anyone in the world read your entire op. That's not a diss, it's impressive work. But no one read it. 

What does 30 percent td chance (prob accurate, may be a little high still. 8 yards is not easy), and a 33 percent 2 point conversion rate (packers rate on the year) do to the final numbers? 

College course in Decision Theory.  I read the entire OP.

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5 hours ago, Gally said:

Are you asking if King doesn't pull the shirt at all will Godwin get to the pass?  I would say probably because King was pulling the shirt for a good 5-10 yds.  That is a pretty big anchor slowing Godwin down and throwing off the timing by a lot.  

Yes, it's possible that even if he doesn't pull the jersey that Godwin can't get to the pass. Like I said, it's unanswerable. A completion is a Tampa Bay win; an incompletion gives Green Bay a very good shot at winning. 

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18 hours ago, Stinkin Ref said:

for those saying that the penalty on King should not have been called......there is no way for the refs to "pass" on that one.....sure other things were let go earlier and it seemed a little inconsistent.....but there is a huge difference between letting some hand fighting go and passing on a dude getting his undershirt yanked out around the field....

it's the equivalent of a cop sitting there at a speed trap in a 55 MPH zone and letting some people go by at 62-65.....and then somebody flying by at 90+.....90 getting pulled over every time

It was the right call. But "some hand fighting" it wasn't. The interception in the first half by TB, the GB WR was clearly held and led to the INT.

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On 1/27/2021 at 10:18 AM, Anarchy99 said:

I don’t see how 40% is the right number. They tried three times in a row and got zero yards. Should the conversion rate be higher than the average team? Probably. But 40% on 4th and 8 in the red zone seems too high. 

As I posted in the other coaches decision thread, GB can’t win without scoring a TD. And they can’t score a TD without the football. That’s why I suggested they needed to go for it. All outcomes are dependent on them stopping TB OB their next possession (except for winning an on side kick).  But IMO the additional chance of GB “making it” on 4th down would be negated by TB having Brady. I would guess the chances of GB winning the game were higher by going for it but even so I would not have given them a great chance to win the game. 

this & yes they should have went for it.. I was shocked when they didn't.

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1 hour ago, KingPrawn said:

It was the right call. But "some hand fighting" it wasn't. The interception in the first half by TB, the GB WR was clearly held and led to the INT.

that was really the only other play that "stood out" to me and I agree that one should have been called.....pretty surprised it wasn't to be honest....it was pretty clear the holding led to the turnover/int....which makes it worse and even more surprising they missed it........but none of the other ones including that one had the big bright pink neon sign with an arrow pointing at it saying "look at me" like the undershirt being pulled away from the body.....

 

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Start reading this gem when you think you aren't quite ready to fall asleep for the night. J/K

Excellent topic and I was hoping when you were done that the verdict is you go for it on 4th and Goal inside the opponent's 10 yd line, down 8 with about 2:00 left and a Hall of Fame and Super Bowl winning QB at your disposal and the WR with the most yds and TDs pretty much for the season and a TE who managed 11 TDs and slips into the end zone often, POINT AND SHOOT!!!

To me it was like watching a person leave a loaded gun on the floor before walking out of the saloon unarmed for a High Noon shootout with Billy the Kid. It showed where LaFleur was green in the playoffs and having to make big decisions in big moments. Doubt he repeats the same mistake next time if there is a next time, there's usually a next time. 

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I should have posted a summary table after the OP so here goes, I'm not good at formatting a table in these threads, so we shall see. May work on PC but not cell. I am sticking with the 67% conversion rate on the 2pointers as referenced above and I will link again below. I have settled on 31.5% for the chance of scoring the TD on 4th down. I have looked at data from FBG Data Dominator to back this up, @Joe Bryant and will post those results as well.

********************Slice of Pie*****GB win in Reg(1)****GB win in OT(2)****Tampa win in Reg(3)****Tampa win in OT(4)****GB Win%****Weighted Win%
A = TD+2PTS =       21.0%                 17.2%                       14.4%                         54.0%                           14.1%                   31.6%                6.6%
B = TD+0PTS =       10.5%                 17.2%                       DNA                            82.8%                           DNA                     17.2%                1.8%
C = FAILED TD =     68.5%                0.02%                       4.02%                          91.9%                           4.02%                   4.0%                 2.8%

X = MADE FG =        90.0%                 12.0%                       0.4%                           87.2%                           0.4%                   12.4%              11.2%
Y = MISSED FG =     10.0%                 0.02%                       4.02%                         91.9%                           4.02%                   4.0%                0.4%
 
This changes the outcomes to:

GOING FOR THE TD : 6.6 + 1.8 + 2.8 = 11.21% to win
GOING FOR THE FG : 11.2+0.4          = 11.57% to win

Although I am about to post links and info on real NFL data on these stats, there are still parameters in my model that are probably off a bit. Like the 40% chance I have given GB to stop Tampa and get the ball back. If we knock that down to a 35% chance, the final numbers come out 9.94% to 10.2% in favor of the FG. Pretty close to ESPN.

 

Edited by barackdhouse
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Going back to 2002 in the FBG Data Dominator Tool, I have selected for a number of variations on Team Stats of passing attempts on 4th down of 4th quarters when down by 4 or more points. I looked at conversions divided by attempts. I did not include rushing stats at this time and that is a weakness, because even though they should all be passing, a QB scramble would count as a rush attempt and I can't really parse that. But this is adequate for a rough estimate IMO.

4th and between 5 and 15 yards to go from OPP20 to OPP-GL, and any score:   137/414 attempts 33.1% 87 TDs
4th and between 7 and 13 yards to go from OPP15 to OPP-GL, and any score:   48/155 attempts 31.0%  38 TDs
4th and between 5 and 11 yards to go from OPP15 to OPP-GL and any score: 99/278 attempts 35.6%  72 TDs

These are the closest to reality, though:
4th and between 6 and 10 yards to go from OPP10 to OPP-GL and any score: 36/113 attempts 31.9%  35 TDs
4th and between 6 and 10 yards to go from OPP10 to OPP-GL and down by 4 or more: 35/111 attempts 31.5%  34 TDs

I started this OP going with a 40% number and this would seem to not be too far off from what the data actually show. 

One wrinkle, though, is that Rodgers is inarguably the very best in the league at generating free plays and drawing an offside. In fact, check out the graphic on this link. It includes all downs of course, but it is a strong indicator.

https://operations.nfl.com/gameday/analytics/stats-articles/aaron-rodgers-takes-advantage-of-free-plays-better-than-anyone/

I don't know how to give him a bump over the NFL average here but I think he deserves a bump based on what I have said about him being clutch, better than average in the first place, and the absolute very best (by a really wide margin) at generating offsides plays. The 40% number I came up really wasn't that far off. In the end, as I have mentioned, the comparison is still super marginal in the end.

Also, other professional analytics teams such as the NYT and 538.org all mention that the most basic analytic truth to all this is that the later it gets in the game, and if you are trailing on the scoreboard, the more aggressive you should be, not less.

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/05/upshot/4th-down-when-to-go-for-it-and-why.html 

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/nfl-coaches-are-finally-getting-more-aggressive-on-fourth-down/

https://subscribers.footballguys.com/apps/ddform.php  <<<<FBG Data Dominator Tool

That 2 pointer study:

https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2020/1/30/21112250/two-point-conversion-percentage-stats-success-rate-extra-point-nfl-dorktown

 

 

 

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I have brought up and asked what people felt the chances were of GB getting the ball back. That has mostly been ignored. Maybe if I ask a different way . . .

Which would people say was MORE likely in each case?

GB scoring a TD on 4th down - OR - GB getting the ball back?
GB scoring a TD on 4th down AND getting the 2 point conversion  - OR - GB preventing TB from getting a game winning FG if the game were tied?
GB scoring a TD on 4th down, failing on the 2 point conversion, and getting the ball back for a FG - OR - GB kicking the FG, getting a stop, and going the length of the field for a TD?

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On 1/26/2021 at 10:09 PM, barackdhouse said:

 

I'll tell you right now, though, that those numbers are pliable and you can find plenty of wiggle room based on many of the assumptions I made. But perhaps more fundamentally than any of this, the difference is very marginal. That is the ultimate conclusion. 
 

On 1/27/2021 at 7:46 AM, barackdhouse said:

The simplest and most likely explanation is that they are working from the historical DB of all QBs in such situations, whereas I would strongly argue that either Rodgers or Brady should be expected to outperform those numbers.

However, the factor by which they might outperform is a guessing game. I calibrated this thing so that Rodgers has a 40% chance of converting the 4th and 8. If I bump that down to 30% that changes the comparison to Go For TD = 10.9% which is less than the 11.6% chance under Go For FG. So like I said there is a lot of pliability. 

There are other small factors that I haven't included, which ESPN surely has. For example, the possibilities of Pick6,Fumble6, onside kicks, or another scenario which is much greater than 0, which is to say if they go for it on 4th but come up just short on say the 1 or 2 yard line, then the likelihood of a safety and subsequent shortish field becomes another (probably small) bump to the Go For TD side.

 

On 1/27/2021 at 7:55 AM, barackdhouse said:

There are several other %s built into my model that are also arbitrary in this same sense, and all of them can change the outcomes. I think the fact that my numbers came as close as they did to ESPN actually supports much of my assumptions. Within a range anyway.

 

I've been clear since the beginning that these numbers are subject to revision. I pulled them out of thin air but I was actually really close to the real data set(s).

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On 1/27/2021 at 10:56 AM, barackdhouse said:

Yeah it would be nice to see some real data on Rodgers for example. Career 2point conversion rate. GB conversion rate that includes running plays seems an easy fruit to pick. 

I honestly think Rodgers might be something close to double the historical success rate in the 4th down situation and I think it is inappropriate to assign a value at the historical rate without giving Rodgers at least some measure of a  "better than the average" bump. Is 40% too high? Possibly. I don't see compelling evidence (yet) to decide it should be closer to 20%.30% doesn't change my conclusion that the difference is marginal. The upside is tremendously more with going for the TD, though. 
 

I stand by the bolded, even more so after diving into real data.

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On 1/27/2021 at 9:31 PM, Deamon said:

The 40% Rodgers converting on a 4th and goal from the 8 is WAY too high.  Especially on 4th down when you can fully commit to defending the pass.  Do you have any numbers to back this?  

Yes. 

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Just now, barackdhouse said:

Yes. 

Show?  Because other numbers that sites have given have shown their conversion rate on 4th and 8 to be much much lower than 40 

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On 1/27/2021 at 10:01 PM, LawFitz said:

If your input %s are nothing more than your guesses about the actual probabilities, then that fact doesn't invalidate your thesis, but does your conclusion. In fairness, my gut says they absolutely should've gone for it on that 4th down, too. :)

I agree completely actually. My point here, as I have stated since the beginning is to demonstrate a better way of conceiving of this model as "inclusive", while acknowledging the assumptions. I think I did that in the first paragraph of the OP. But if we use real data, the conclusions become *much* stronger.

For the 100th time, though, the conclusion is that the difference is marginal and well within any range of error such that the best analysis in the world would still say go with your gut. Which for most of us is to go for the TD.

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On 1/28/2021 at 9:51 AM, Deamon said:

30% is still high, as someone mentioned it is around 23%.  But sure, let's go with an inflated 30% and inflated 67% 2pc.... Kicking was the right choice.

I haven't seen the work that shows the 23%, I did show the work going back to 2002 where it was 35/111 for 31.5% for an average NFL quarterback.

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On 1/28/2021 at 9:51 AM, Deamon said:

30% is still high, as someone mentioned it is around 23%.  But sure, let's go with an inflated 30% and inflated 67% 2pc.... Kicking was the right choice.

I also showed you a link that had GB as 13/19 on 2 pointers over the last several years. Granted one season with Rodgers hurt but the league average on 2 point attempts is 50%.

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3 minutes ago, barackdhouse said:

Scroll up a few posts. 

Ahhh just did. 40 is far, far too high. He just missed 3 straight attempts from there.  And again, you cherry picked 6 years to get your 67 percent 2pc and ignored this year's. I'd like to see what the math is if you sub in a proper 5 yrs 2pc percentage and 33 percent on the td.   Also increase Brady's shot of getting in fg range as you mentioned you should have done. Can you please compute the above numbers?  Im a math guy but that's beyond my scope. 

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1 minute ago, barackdhouse said:

I also showed you a link that had GB as 13/19 on 2 pointers over the last several years. Granted one season with Rodgers hurt but the league average on 2 point attempts is 50%.

Yes you cherry picked 6 seasons to include that good 6th season and ignore the bad 7th and bad current year. 

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How good is your QB and the skill players?

How good is the other teams QB and offense?

How good is your kicker?

How is the weather?

How does your team handle "less than aggressive" coaching?

Where are the +/- on the percentages for these?

Obvious choice was to go for it.  I think it was an obvious bad call to kick.  Not because these percentages are all out of whack.  They are probably close enough.  The optics and impact on your team make it an obvious bad decision

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