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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 11-20-2009, 07:39 PM   #951
willie24
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by gusmahler View Post
I posted on another board, wondering why this decision is gathering so much attention while much worse decisions, like Andy Reid kicking a 52 yard FG down by 7 with 4 minutes left. The response? (paraphrased) "Reid made the proper decision there, if you go for it on 4th and 11 and fail, the game is over."

facepalm.jpg
without doing any math, i assumed, at the time, that kicking the FG was right. 4th and 11 is very hard to convert and 3 pts is not worthless. it does 2 things -
1. gives you a chance in the event the other team gets a FG before time runs out. clearly, you are unlikely to have a significant amount of time left if the other team gets 3 - but it's not impossible. for instance you might give up a big kick return or running play.
1b. also, the cost of trying an onside kick and failing is lower when you're down 4 - because you are quite likely to lose 3 pts to your opponent and get the ball back with like 1.5min when you do.
2. if you get the ball back without giving back pts and score you win instead of tie.

i could be wrong that these factors make kicking a FG right, but i don't think it's obvious that kicking was wrong. what are you - like 20% to convert on 4th?
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:46 PM   #952
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

From the SOSH board, Bill Simmons arguing the other side:

"One of the great quarterbacks of all time is on fire, just marched down the field for a touchdown in 1:49 and the crowd is feeling it. Are you going to tell me that he won't find a way to score with two minutes left and one timeout? Really?!?! REALLY?!?! Damn right I went all caps for Manning. This guy has done it to the Pats before and he just knows how to go for the win when the team is down. I know stats will tell you that no teams have had three TD drives in the fourth quarter, but stats don't matter when one of the greats is feeling it. Larry Bird made 42% of his three-point attempts in 1986, so does that mean a team should let him shoot the three with the game on the line because statistics say he will miss 58% of the time? The great ones step up and Peyton gets the Colts a TD just like Bird hits a three with the game on the line."
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:06 PM   #953
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by Triumph36 View Post
Riverman is a giant crybaby and always points stuff like this out
fyp.

although he's not a crybaby.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:10 PM   #954
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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LOL, yeah, I had a friend (not one of the earlier ones) who is also incredibly smart post about how it was a brilliant article.
sorry but your friend isnt very smart.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:11 PM   #955
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by willie24 View Post
without doing any math, i assumed, at the time, that kicking the FG was right. 4th and 11 is very hard to convert and 3 pts is not worthless. it does 2 things -
1. gives you a chance in the event the other team gets a FG before time runs out. clearly, you are unlikely to have a significant amount of time left if the other team gets 3 - but it's not impossible. for instance you might give up a big kick return or running play.
1b. also, the cost of trying an onside kick and failing is lower when you're down 4 - because you are quite likely to lose 3 pts to your opponent and get the ball back with like 1.5min when you do.
2. if you get the ball back without giving back pts and score you win instead of tie.

i could be wrong that these factors make kicking a FG right, but i don't think it's obvious that kicking was wrong. what are you - like 20% to convert on 4th?
Reasonable minds can differ on this, and you give a reasoned explanation about why the FG is good. (Advanced NFL Stats says FG/go for it is a coin flip and the big mistake was not doing an on-side kick).

My complaint was mainly that the response was so cut and dried with no analysis. It was literally, "if you turn the ball over on downs, the game is over." Without realizing that what he's worried about is:

1) fail to convert: opponent has ball at own 30 with 4 minutes left and a 7 point lead.

But the actual scenario was this:

2) make a FG and kick off: opponent has ball at own 30 with 4 minutes left and a 4 point lead.

How is the game "over" in situation 1 but not in situation 2?

Also:
Quote:
2. if you get the ball back without giving back pts and score you win instead of tie.
Going for 2 solves that problem, but that's worth a thread of its own (and I'm sure it has a thread of its own somewhere here).
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:26 PM   #956
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by gusmahler View Post
I posted on another board, wondering why this decision is gathering so much attention while much worse decisions, like Andy Reid kicking a 52 yard FG down by 7 with 4 minutes left. The response? (paraphrased) "Reid made the proper decision there, if you go for it on 4th and 11 and fail, the game is over."

facepalm.jpg
What astounds me more is the sportswriters who were critical of the Jaguars kneel-down, which is even more lopsided and simpler to analyze than any of the 4th-down ones. Of course since the result came out better the Jags coach was saved from the enormous s-storm that came down on Belichick.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:33 PM   #957
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by Bad Beat Bill View Post
Wow, one more thing:
"Kevin Faulk hauled in a pass on the 30.3-yard line. It was spotted at the 29."

So Simmons basically admits that they converted the attempt, but just didn't get a good spot? Doesn't that kind of hurt the "the Pats were big dogs to make this anyway" argument?
the fact that they actually converted wouldnt make his point of it being a big dog to happen wrong (although they may have in fact been a big dog)
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:09 PM   #958
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by gusmahler View Post
My complaint was mainly that the response was so cut and dried with no analysis. It was literally, "if you turn the ball over on downs, the game is over." Without realizing that what he's worried about is:

1) fail to convert: opponent has ball at own 30 with 4 minutes left and a 7 point lead.

But the actual scenario was this:

2) make a FG and kick off: opponent has ball at own 30 with 4 minutes left and a 4 point lead.

How is the game "over" in situation 1 but not in situation 2?
oh i agree with you totally that this guy's logic makes no sense. the game is NOT over if you turn it over - if it were, kicking the FG would be suicidal.

Quote:
Also:
Going for 2 solves that problem, but that's worth a thread of its own (and I'm sure it has a thread of its own somewhere here).
i don't think it solves the problem at all. even if you were 50% to convert the 2 pts (which i think is generous) you are still effectively "tied" once you score the TD. i.e. you are about 50% to win.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:15 PM   #959
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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even if you were 50% to convert the 2 pts (which i think is generous) you are still effectively "tied" once you score the TD. i.e. you are about 50% to win.
incidentally, it's failing at this type of simple abstraction that caused so many analysts to be wrong about the jaguars kneeling.

the idea that "you should never refuse a touchdown when you are behind" does not really apply because they weren't behind. they had fewer points, but they were HUGE favorites...they were winning.

Last edited by willie24; 11-20-2009 at 09:16 PM. Reason: i'm in no way implying that you failed at understanding this - it's just something i thought of wrt the jaguars game
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:36 PM   #960
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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sorry but your friend isnt very smart.
No, he is very smart. He's just not smart at this for some reason (probably due to lack of actually thinking about things this way). I'm pretty sure he's capable of understanding it, just ignorant.

I think I found the flaw in his thinking. He is thinking that this decision comes down to low-risk, low reward vs. high-risk, high reward.

Unfortunately, while that is correct when referring to strategies for maximizing scoring EV vs. playing conservative, coaches need to always be maximizing their win% at every point in the game. Unless margin of victory matters, of course.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:46 PM   #961
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by chim17 View Post
According to ANFLS Reid kicking that FG was breakeven.
A problem with ANFLS W(P) model is that it doesn't properly account for timeouts. In this case since Reid has 0 timeouts there was effectively a lot less time on the clock, which made it a lot worse.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:11 PM   #962
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by willie24 View Post
without doing any math, i assumed, at the time, that kicking the FG was right. 4th and 11 is very hard to convert and 3 pts is not worthless. it does 2 things -
1. gives you a chance in the event the other team gets a FG before time runs out. clearly, you are unlikely to have a significant amount of time left if the other team gets 3 - but it's not impossible. for instance you might give up a big kick return or running play.
1b. also, the cost of trying an onside kick and failing is lower when you're down 4 - because you are quite likely to lose 3 pts to your opponent and get the ball back with like 1.5min when you do.
2. if you get the ball back without giving back pts and score you win instead of tie.

i could be wrong that these factors make kicking a FG right, but i don't think it's obvious that kicking was wrong. what are you - like 20% to convert on 4th?
A huge problem is that the FG was > 50 yards and Akers' chances of making that FG weren't all that much greater than the Eagles converting that 4th down. He's 50% for his career, but over the last 4 years (actually 3, he didn't even attempt a 50 yarder in 2006) he's 4 for 11, 3 for 10 going into the kick.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:19 PM   #963
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

"Put it this way: The Colts weren't exactly on fire. Admittedly, I am terrified of Manning and have written as much. But Indy had already started and completed two long touchdown drives in the fourth quarter against a good defense. Had the Patriots punted, Indy would have had to pull off a third long touchdown drive to win the game. I asked Peter Newmann to research the number of times a team started and completed three touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to erase a double-digit deficit and win an NFL game since 2005. Here's how the list looked before that fourth-and-2 call.

2005: 1
2006: 2
2007: 0
2008: 1
2009: 0

In 78 weeks of football dating back to 2005, it happened a whopping four times. Four! If you're playing the statistics card, why not play that one? By punting, the Patriots would have been asking Peyton Manning to pull off something THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN EVEN ONCE EVERY EFFING SEASON. You're damned right I just went all caps. Hold on, I have to repeatedly bang my head against my desk again."



Just wow at anyone that can write this. I'm a ****ing idiot and even I realize how dumb this is
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:22 PM   #964
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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the new simmons is up.

i'm a fan of simmons and generally i laugh and gloss over his more questionable stuff.

this article is horrible. horrible. i'm actually a little heated right now.
couldn't finish it. skimmed most of it. facepalmed when he started talking about Durant and Tim Thomas. Skimmed some more. Basically seems like he's covering his ears and shouting "lah lah lah I can't hear you".
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:29 PM   #965
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

I'm still trying to figure out the 34% and 3-1 bet part. Was that intentional or not?
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:33 PM   #966
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

the "disrespecting the D" part is the worst. It's the ultimate respect for the D. "We're gonna lock this up now but if not you guys can keep them out of the endzone." they proceeded to get carved up in a few plays.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:38 PM   #967
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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the "disrespecting the D" part is the worst. It's the ultimate respect for the D. "We're gonna lock this up now but if not you guys can keep them out of the endzone." they proceeded to get carved up in a few plays.
it can be looked at either way, which is to say that it's neither respecting nor disrespecting the defense.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:44 PM   #968
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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This is overstated. The upside is not winning the game. The upside is (from the math calculations I have seen) a 3% or so better chance at winning the game. So for it to be worth that extra 3%, then you would have to say that the distractions are a total non-factor to the team going forward.

And as I stated in my post, he is the master at this so he may be able to make it a non factor. But just remember when he let Lawyer Milloy go right before the first game of the season with Buffalo. He eventually made that controversial move a non factor but the team was clearly distracted that first game after the firestorm. In that situation it was definitely worth sacrificing one game because of the long term implications, but in the present case, there are no long term benefits of his call. Only a short term gain of a 3% better chance of winning the game they were playing.
I mentioned the Milloy thing several pages ago (remember it well since it's the only Bills brightspot this decade). It is extremely results-oriented imo to say that:
A) There would be long-term benefits
B) The short-term negatives would cease as early as Week 2 when they spanked the Eagles.

If those guys got over a respected veteran leader being unceremoniously cut, I doubt criticism from Trent Dilfers are going to bother this team.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:45 PM   #969
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Despite some athletes diva like attitudes off the filed, I don't think their on-field egos are anywhere near as fragile as most writers seem to think.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:51 PM   #970
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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My email to BS:


Bill,

You've now got the nerds in a foaming rage. Don't forget that a lot of sports fans are pretty bright. Sports can give the young Keith Olberman's of the world something to focus on, especially if, say, they aren't partial to dungeons and dragons.

I'm not going to go though your statistical analysis line by line, though I assume some will. Suffice to say that it is a mess. Also, I know you don't want to hear it, but bad decisions of others at a BJ table have no effect on the expected value of your decisions.

However, I've liked you for years and you often offer some genuine insight. So let's just forget this little episode and put it behind us and not mention it again.
That's pretty solid. I imagine he doesn't take the time to read the line-by-line stuff.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:05 PM   #971
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

He also argues against himself when he downplays the chance of the Colts scoring after a punt with a bunch of semi-plausible reasons about how the Pats D was rested and how their problem was against the run and etc. etc.

Like a paragraph away he has his bookie hypothetical showing that the Colts were locks to go 30 yards.

Simmons is a HUGE results oriented/narrative fallacy moron. Anybody remember when the Giants and Eagles played before a World Series game? Simmons decided to make a rare prediction about the future about how those games were interrelated because of karma or whatever and, of course, different teams won. Because things are almost all independent events.

His blackjack stories are great, though. When people like Bill Simmons start thinking like sharps gambling will disappear as a pasttime.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:05 PM   #972
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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the "disrespecting the D" part is the worst. It's the ultimate respect for the D. "We're gonna lock this up now but if not you guys can keep them out of the endzone." they proceeded to get carved up in a few plays.
What is even more moronic is the BS was talking about disrespecting the COLTS defense. Like the Colts D needed any additional motivation to try to stop the Pats on that one play.

And I love how he framed his argument: "well, obv Manning was gonna score from the Pats 30, cuz he's awesome, but he had almost no chance to score from his own 30, cuz he had struggled in the second half and the Pats D was rested". It must hurt to mentally contort yourself like that.

Last edited by AriesRam; 11-20-2009 at 11:07 PM. Reason: just a bit slow
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:26 PM   #973
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Blackjack is a good analogy, but not the hand he used - more like A7 vs a 6.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:27 AM   #974
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
the new simmons is up.

i'm a fan of simmons and generally i laugh and gloss over his more questionable stuff.

this article is horrible. horrible. i'm actually a little heated right now.
just read this and im so tilted
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:26 AM   #975
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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This post is from a while ago, but I think it illustrates that one of the major flaws in the average person's thinking is with risk aversion:

For the Pats fans, going for it on 4th is atrocious because OMG if you don't make it the colts are probably going to win.

For the Colts fans, they want the Pats to punt because OMG if they go for it and make it they win the game.

The issue is that you're putting a huge part of the win probability of the game into one play which takes place immediately. Because of risk aversion, people on both sides don't want to do that -- they would rather have the risk spread over a larger number of future plays, even if that decreases their win probability. Hence the illogical "BB is gambling recklessly" comments -- folks can't see that it's a gamble either way, since they are incapable of weighing short term risks versus overall win probabilities. So that's how you can have both sets of fans wanting the Pats to punt there, and neither can see the inherent contradiction.



Oh and to everyone complaining about how the mainstream response is tilting them: you do realize that this is why you make money at poker, don't you?
Best Post of the thread, IMO
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