Originally Posted by Reality
The one thing no one is considering is that most of those 3rd/4th and 15 plays were not in desperation situations. If a team is up by 4-8 points with less than 2 minutes to play, they will play a soft defense giving up the short plays to protect against the big plays. Meaning, 4th and 15 will have a much higher conversion rate in those scenarios. That is even before you consider what VietCowboy said about several penalties negating any down and distance relevance.
Yup. Goofy plan.
Onsides kicks takes the ball out of the QBs hands and forces special teams to get it back with a low percentage gamble. Onsides kicks are recovered about 20% of the time but that is mainly due to higher percentages on surprise attempts.
4th and 15 is a low percentage play for sure but you give the QB the ball and open up penalty issues. 5 yards holding call... bam first down.
Plus you give a hot team that has just scored a TD the chance to just keep on keeping on. No need to play defense at all.