Not that I follow the Pats THAT closely...

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Thread: Not that I follow the Pats THAT closely...

  1. #1

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    Not that I follow the Pats THAT closely...

    Advanced NFL Stats: Belichick's 4th Down Decision vs the Colts

    ...but it seems Belichick might have made the right call after all, going for it on 4th and 2. Saw this linked off a sports story, and since I'm kind of a numbers geek:

    New England coach Bill Belichick is taking a lot of heat for his decision to attempt a 4th down conversion late in the game against the Colts. Indianapolis came back to win in dramatic fashion. Was the decision a good one?

    With 2:00 left and the Colts with only one timeout, a successful conversion wins the game for all practical purposes. A 4th and 2 conversion would be successful 60% of the time. Historically, in a situation with 2:00 left and needing a TD to either win or tie, teams get the TD 53% of the time from that field position. The total WP for the 4th down conversion attempt would be:

    (0.60 * 1) + (0.40 * (1-0.53)) = 0.79 WP

    A punt from the 28 typically nets 38 yards, starting the Colts at their own 34. Teams historically get the TD 30% of the time in that situation. So the punt gives the Pats about a 0.70 WP.

    Statistically, the better decision would be to go for it, and by a good amount. However, these numbers are baselines for the league as a whole. You'd have to expect the Colts had a better than a 30% chance of scoring from their 34, and an accordingly higher chance to score from the Pats' 28. But any adjustment in their likelihood of scoring from either field position increases the advantage of going for it. You can play with the numbers any way you like, but it's pretty hard to come up with a realistic combination of numbers that make punting the better option. At best, you could make it a wash.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  2. #2

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    All the numbers aside, I'm glad it failed. I like nothing more than when he loses and his golden boy QB can't make the play.

    And fuck the Yankees.

    *Pete beats you fuckers to the punch.
    FUCK THE YANKEES, Cliff Lee, The Phillies, Tom Brady, Drew, snow,, Ebay, Bill Belichick, John Boehner, the iPhone, the gecko from the Geico commercials, shitty drivers, dealing with insurance companies, crazy ex girlfriends, my job at the moment, my shitty mood, new year's resolution's, happy people, the state of Connecticut, my cubicle at work, lower back pain, the Seahawks, anything Queensyche has done the last 15 years, NASA, Tiger Woods, the economy, people who can't drive in the rain, acid reflux, everyone in Dream Theater except John Myung, Metallica, customer service at Verizon, people who take up the whole aisle at the grocery store, The Rock, working Saturday's, waiting for Drew's album, The Packers, Robinson Cano, tires with no traction, spam email and the spam you eat, Putin, cavities, Netflix, Godzilla, Taylor Swift, the price of replacement windows on my house, squash... to be continued

  3. #3

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    Just go to Football Outsiders, where the stats geeks have already analyzed this every possible way.

  4. #4

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    Belichick made is reputation on coaching defense. Therefore it makes no sense for him not to punt the ball away and make the Colts drive 60 - 75 yards for the win.

    Colin Cowherd made the point yesterday that the only reason people are backing up Belichick on this is that he is a 3 time Super Bowl winner. If the Browns or Rams did this their coaches would be getting murdered on this.
    The only proof he needed for the existance of God was music.
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  5. #5

    Join Date: Feb 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    All the numbers aside, I'm glad it failed. I like nothing more than when he loses and his golden boy QB can't make the play.

    And fuck the Yankees.

    *Pete beats you fuckers to the punch.

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