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View Poll Results: Do you AGREE with Belichick's 4th down attempt?
Yes 344 64.06%
No 193 35.94%
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:20 AM   #726
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Don't we need a large sample size to be able to accurately assign a percentage here? Aren't there countless factors in the game that affect this call?
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:22 AM   #727
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

My God is it hard to get people to understand this. I had a half hour conversation with my brother last night and he refuses to fully grasp the concept here. The crazy thing is that he's read the Advanced NFL Stats breakdown and doesn't dispute any of the numbers.

His argument is that it's a risk/reward scenerio. He's saying that it's riskier to go for it so it just depends on how much risk you are willing to take on. My counter was "riskier from what perspective". To me, if the risk is losing the game, it's clearly riskier to punt.

Anyone else run into this with anyone?
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:50 AM   #728
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Not sure if it was correct or not, but it is insane that people are labelling this one of the biggest coaching blunders in boston sports history and comparing it to Grady Little leaving Pedro in the ALCS...

It is so funny that people say, "You NEVER go for it 4th and 2 on your own 28!" Isn't it so obvious the correct answer to "do you go for it, 4th and 2 on your own 28?" is IT DEPENDS!

It has already been well outlined what the factors are so I won't go through them again, but i'll just say i'm sure the BB knew the factors and knew that the decision wasn't automatic. He had a play he had enough confidence in given the game situation that would satisfy the EV equation. He probably wasn't even thinking about league averages, he was thinking about the game situation and probably thought the conversion play would work a much higher percentage of the time than any kind of league average.

It turned out it didn't, and so you could criticize his play call or his evaluation of his team's abitlities to execute the play or the Colt's abilities to stop it, but you CANNOT say that the decision to go for it is wrong no matter what.

It tilts me to hear all the stupid people talk about it. Lucky for him, he doesn't seem to care. I have little doubt in my mind he knows how to arrive at the correct decision and simply made an error in his evaluation of his teams ability to execute. Someday, he will probably write a book that will change football forever (unless he decides to pass down his knowledge to someone else and keep it secret). It's funny that a play that failed made me realize he is even more of a genius than I had thought...
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:19 AM   #729
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctyri View Post
The 2-pt conv question is interesting, though. I think a team with a great QB and decent goal line RB could score >50% in 2-pt conversions -- think Indy, Minnesota, NE. Really, they should go for 2 at every chance until 4th quarter score dictates other strategies. The extra beauty of this is you can also induce opponents to consider trying to match you if you get one or two this way, and if they are <50%, they are leaving points off the board.
if we are basing on a decision being correct or not on the reaction of the opposing team's fanbase then i'd absolutely agree that Indy and the Pats should go for 2 after every TD. (not sure about Minn).

and i'd love to see the Pats score a TD on the Bills and go for 2 to go up 8-0. then have the Bills score a TD (lol, i know) and see if Jauron goes for 1 or 2.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:30 AM   #730
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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BTW chim I agree with you that he definitely should have had a plan and the sequence indicates that he didn't. I'm not sure his plan would have been different in terms what plays he would have called but I agree that it's clear he wasn't considering fourth down before third down given the way things went after third down.

For most teams I think run-run is the automatic call but with either of these teams I'm not sure.
I am just surprised that all the analysts that agree with BB's decision are not making statements like this. Truly, this is the case. Yes, the call on 4th was the correct call, and I even agree with the 4th down play call, but if your plan was to go for it on 4th, then why not attempt to run for it on 3rd down first. I mean if you get 1 yard even, it does 2 things, makes IND use it's final TO (think they would let it run to the 2 min warning, which also leaves NE with a TO instead of using that TO after 3rd because of incomplete pass stops it from getting to the 2 min warning) Then on 4th down after the 2 min warning you could run again needing only 1 yrd or a PA pass (same one you would do at 4th and goal @ the 1)
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:59 PM   #731
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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The way I have been explaining this to people is to take it to the extreme while simplifying the problem.

I will basically get people to agree with me that if for some reason they knew NE was 100% to convert the 4th down they would go for it. And if they knew they were 0% to convert they would punt it, no brainer. Both pretty simple to understand. Then I ask them about 99% to convert, then 98%, which are both yes/yes. From there it is easy to point out that there is a break even point, and it is just a matter of finding it.

I know it ignores a couple of things, but it gets people thinking properly about it imo.
But did you even PLAY high school football? (I was at a bar after this and actually got that question )
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:02 PM   #732
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by PLAYOFFS View Post
Don't we need a large sample size to be able to accurately assign a percentage here? Aren't there countless factors in the game that affect this call?
We have a huge sample size on certain things, like the chances an average offense gets the first, or the likelihood that an average offense scores after being given the ball on the 30 or returning a punt. We can make reasonable adjustments given what we know about the teams that were playing.

The thing is, it wasn't a close enough call for that stuff to matter. Assuming the Patriots and Colts both have average offenses going for it was a good call. Once you try to adjust for reality it becomes a better call.

If there is some in-game thing that greatly changes the odds, is there anyone on the planet better suited to make that call than Belichick?
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:04 PM   #733
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by Goodie View Post
My God is it hard to get people to understand this. I had a half hour conversation with my brother last night and he refuses to fully grasp the concept here. The crazy thing is that he's read the Advanced NFL Stats breakdown and doesn't dispute any of the numbers.

His argument is that it's a risk/reward scenerio. He's saying that it's riskier to go for it so it just depends on how much risk you are willing to take on. My counter was "riskier from what perspective". To me, if the risk is losing the game, it's clearly riskier to punt.

Anyone else run into this with anyone?
Someone had a good post about this earlier. Most people are really risk averse. Going for it makes one play really important. If you punt the eventual outcome will be decided over a number of less important plays. That is a lot easier for people to stomach, even if the EV is lower.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:11 PM   #734
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

My cousin said it best last night. We were talking about the play and he said it was obviously the right call because even if NE punted, it's not like Manning can't throw 2 20 yard passes to get to the 30 yard line in 10 seconds.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:13 PM   #735
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by JaredL View Post
Flee,

I think he gets that, the question is at what point does maximizing expected points no longer maximize win equity.
This would require a much more substantive model to figure out, maybe something like a monte carlo model to chain together tons of randomly generated drive outcomes to see how exactly it all works out. That would require a ton of work though, whereas the down by two touchdowns late situation is easy to understand and conceptualize.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:14 PM   #736
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SL__72 View Post
Someone had a good post about this earlier. Most people are really risk averse. Going for it makes one play really important. If you punt the eventual outcome will be decided over a number of less important plays. That is a lot easier for people to stomach, even if the EV is lower.
Note that if you are down by 15 and score a touchdown, nobody ever goes for the 2 point conversion on the first TD, they always want to push the "moment of truth" off into the future.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:17 PM   #737
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Not surprisingly, TMQ says good call:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2...7&sportCat=nfl
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:32 PM   #738
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodie View Post
My God is it hard to get people to understand this. I had a half hour conversation with my brother last night and he refuses to fully grasp the concept here. The crazy thing is that he's read the Advanced NFL Stats breakdown and doesn't dispute any of the numbers.

His argument is that it's a risk/reward scenerio. He's saying that it's riskier to go for it so it just depends on how much risk you are willing to take on. My counter was "riskier from what perspective". To me, if the risk is losing the game, it's clearly riskier to punt.

Anyone else run into this with anyone?
I was watching this in a bar and thus ran into every fallacy possible and maybe ran into some new ones that haven't been cataloged yet

I thought I had shown that they were inconsistent when i pointed out that as the Colts you want them to kick so kicking for the Pats can't be that bad of a decision. At the least, I thought this showed that either they are wrong to think it is awful for your team to go for it in NE's spot or wrong for being happy to field the punt in Indys spot rather than having to stop them on 4th. I was wrong. The response I got from a local expert was that "Football is not a zero some game. Things can be good for you and good for your opponent and bad for you and bad for your opponent."


Last edited by Max Raker; 11-17-2009 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Better visual
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:36 PM   #739
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by Max Raker View Post
"Football is not a zero some game. Things can be good for you and your opponent and bad for you and bad for your opponent."
Clearly he's referring to some weird situation, maybe late in overtime where both teams need a win a make the playoffs and a team just kneels out the clock to play for the tie. Genius, really.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:46 PM   #740
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Not surprisingly, TMQ says good call:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2...7&sportCat=nfl
Then he ruins it by saying the MJD kneel at the 1 wasn't correct because "what if you miss the field goal?"
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:59 PM   #741
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by FlyWf View Post
Note that if you are down by 15 and score a touchdown, nobody ever goes for the 2 point conversion on the first TD, they always want to push the "moment of truth" off into the future.
I never understood that either. Seems to me that we can make better decisions with more information, and going for 2 on the first TD, make it or not, gives us more information for the rest of the game. Not doing that seems insane.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:00 PM   #742
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Then he ruins it by saying the MJD kneel at the 1 wasn't correct because "what if you miss the field goal?"
That isn't what he said. He said the kneel was good, but that after wasting the first 40 seconds he would then try to run it in for the score. I don't think I agree (although doing it after a second kneel down makes sense).
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:00 PM   #743
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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I never understood that either. Seems to me that we can make better decisions with more information, and going for 2 on the first TD, make it or not, gives us more information for the rest of the game. Not doing that seems insane.
Odds are much better after the 2nd TD ldo.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:00 PM   #744
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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I am just surprised that all the analysts that agree with BB's decision are not making statements like this. Truly, this is the case. Yes, the call on 4th was the correct call, and I even agree with the 4th down play call, but if your plan was to go for it on 4th, then why not attempt to run for it on 3rd down first. I mean if you get 1 yard even, it does 2 things, makes IND use it's final TO (think they would let it run to the 2 min warning, which also leaves NE with a TO instead of using that TO after 3rd because of incomplete pass stops it from getting to the 2 min warning) Then on 4th down after the 2 min warning you could run again needing only 1 yrd or a PA pass (same one you would do at 4th and goal @ the 1)
if they ran on 3rd down, clearly, with 2:08 left, indy would let the clock run to the 2min warning. then if they don't get it on 4th there's like 1:54 left...so running takes 6 seconds off the clock, which actually (very very) slightly HURTS NE.

so the clock is not an issue at all when choosing the 3rd down play. (and he couldn't have predicted that he would need the TO. the fact that he called TO itself indicates that something unexpected came up or that he changed his mind. and besides, the TO is relatively unimportant at that point. it only becomes important in hindsight.)

so it's almost totally - what gets the first down more often, run/x or pass/x? for NE, i'm not at all convinced that run/x gets it more often.

Last edited by willie24; 11-17-2009 at 03:05 PM. Reason: x is the 4th down play, which might be either run or pass, depending
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:01 PM   #745
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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That isn't what he said. He said the kneel was good, but that after wasting the first 40 seconds he would then try to run it in for the score. I don't think I agree (although doing it after a second kneel down makes sense).
Oh, ok. Still disagree though.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:11 PM   #746
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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I never understood that either. Seems to me that we can make better decisions with more information, and going for 2 on the first TD, make it or not, gives us more information for the rest of the game. Not doing that seems insane.
Bold is exactly right, but then wrong conclusion.

Waiting is probably the smarter strategy since you'll have more info when you actually need to go for 2 or not. What happens if a safety somehow occurs due to a bad punt snap after you failed on a 2-pt conversion that left you down 9? Now you're down 7, whereas if you waited to go for it, you'd now be down 6 and don't even need a 2-pt conversion if you score.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:17 PM   #747
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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The response I got from a local expert was that "Football is not a zero some game. Things can be good for you and good for your opponent and bad for you and bad for your opponent."
No point in even continuing the conversation , since this guy is clearly not capable of rational thought. The best thing to do is just invite him to your next poker game.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:21 PM   #748
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by FlyWf View Post
Note that if you are down by 15 and score a touchdown, nobody ever goes for the 2 point conversion on the first TD, they always want to push the "moment of truth" off into the future.
which is ******ed because your giving yourself less information to work with this way
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:25 PM   #749
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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which is ******ed because your giving yourself less information to work with this way
Okay, I can also see the case why this is true. It tells you whether you still need 2 scores or not.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:31 PM   #750
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

If you are down 15, then score and go for 2 and miss the information gain for the opposing team is more significant than it is for you.
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