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Down 29-nil, before ever touching the ball

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by Idgit, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    I've talked about this for years. How much fun would it be to have a bottom NFL team with a new coach do this as an experiment? No punting. Only onsides kicks on kickoffs. Then the other team finally gets the ball, and he rushes 11. So cool.

    To give the thread a bit of Cowboys flavor, I'll just say I wouldn't mind seeing a bit of this brought to bear in Dallas. Say, always going for it on 4th and less than 4. Or never punting from inside our own 20.
  2. hornitosmonster

    hornitosmonster Well-Known Member

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    It would be dumb. Quick slant for TD all day/everyday. An NFL team doing this would give up 50 points plus.
  3. jaybird

    jaybird Well-Known Member

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    What should happen more is to go for it when you are between th opponents 45 and 35.
  4. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    Seems ridiculous to have concrete rules like that.

    What's the success rate for his onside kicks and 4th down attempts?

    Doing it against a gang of high school kids, most of which will never even play for a junior college is one thing.

    Doing it at the College level when most of those kids won't even make the Canadian League is another.

    Doing it at the Pro Level is just stupid.
  5. bootyhunta

    bootyhunta Active Member

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  6. CATCH17

    CATCH17 1st Round Pick

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    This was my exact strategy on NCAA 2000.
  7. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    Of course you're not going to rush 11 in the NFL. Still cool to do it and win, though.

    There are a lot of things you *can* do, though, where the probabilities are in your favor. As I said, going for it on 4th and less than 4 is a no-brainer, for example. Or going for it in situations where the opponent scoring probability differential between taking the risk and not taking it is low (eg, 4th down inside your own twenty v. punting from your own end zone) makes sense.

    And, not only is it smart, for a team that's not competitive, it also would make the games a lot more interesting for the fans. If you're Buffalo for example.

    Or even if you're a team like Minnesota this year. Give Adrian Peterson four chances to get 10, he'll do it more often than not. Play action off of that every second series or so and take a shot deep and trust probabilities and that defense to hold you over b/c you don't have a QB. I'd watch.
  8. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    Did you win? Or did you suck?
  9. JustDezIt

    JustDezIt Formerly sm0kie13 ROY

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    this has always been my madden strategy. no punts. no field goals. onside kicks. you can def win with this, but prob only in video games.
  10. BraveHeartFan

    BraveHeartFan We got a hat. I want a ring.

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    You'd want to go for it on 4th down, rather than punt, inside your own 20?

    Are you planning to just basically give the game away? Do you realise just how many times an NFL team would then turn that 20 yard field into a TD? At the very least you've all but given them 3 points every time.

    This would be stupid beyond belief for an NFL team to do.

    I can see possibly going for it on 4th down, more often, when you're between the 35 and 45 of your opponent, rather than kicking a long field goal or punting, but not from your own 20. That would be plain stupid. It wouldn't be exciting for any NFL fan it would piss them off, and rightfully so.

    No coach would ever do that unless his sole goal was to be fired after the game, which he would and should be.
  11. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    Hard to say without knowing the probabilities for NFL offenses, but if they're similar to the numbers from the article, and teams score 77% of the time when they take over on your 40, and 92% of the time when recovering on downs inside the 10, then the variance is only 15%. How does that compare to your likelihood of converting, say, a fourth and four play and keeping the drive alive? And then how much do those additional downs and yards help you down the road if you do have to punt?

    The whole argument about it not working against NFL defenses only works if you don't also realize that we're also talking about NFL offenses. Probabilities are probabilities, and the other factors even out when you're talking about bigger and faster athletes on both sides of the line.
  12. CATCH17

    CATCH17 1st Round Pick

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    I was great that year.

    Eric Crouch and the option was devestating.
  13. Cowboys22

    Cowboys22 Well-Known Member

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    Thats sounds like a great gameplan. If you are coaching 8 and 9 year olds!
  14. WV Cowboy

    WV Cowboy Waitin' on the 6th

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    Our middle school coach never punts.

    I'm not sure about the onsides kick.
  15. jimnabby

    jimnabby Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    The onside kick thing wouldn't work - the recovery percentage in the NFL for non-surprise onside kicks is much too low.

    Teams should absolutely go for it much much more often on 4th down, even on 4th and short in their own territory. But of course, there's a very good reason coaches won't do it. Each success gives you a fairly modest benefit (a new set of downs is actually worth a lot, but it's not a score, so it doesn't seem huge). Each failure costs you a lot, and it's obvious to everyone that it's a lot. So even if you have many more successes, more than enough to make it the right strategy, the only things anyone remembers are the failures, and they run you out of town on a rail.
  16. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    Let me ask it this way: what's unique about the NFL game that makes you think the probabilities for success for some of this stuff would be different? Any actual reasons why it couldn't work?
  17. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    Thanks, jimnabby, for the answer. I agree that the onsides kick stuff seems low-probability, but I don't really know the NFL percentages.

    Re: 4th down, it all comes down to how modest the benefit really is. If you're successful, you get the additional field position, and the additional likelihood of scoring. Plus, you keep the other team from getting field position, and you decrease their likelihood of scoring. Plus you get other benefits like keeping your own defense off the field and the increased likelihood of playing with a lead. Add it all up, it's not that modest.

    Of course, the downside of going and missing is obvious, but even then, it's offset by the fact that you'd be giving the other guys the ball anyway with a punt.

    I know why coaches don't do it. But the coach's job is to win games, not to keep fans happy. Fans are never happy. We've got fans complaining about Garrett's play calling last weekend, for crying out loud.
  18. jimnabby

    jimnabby Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    The numbers are overwhelmingly in favor of going for it on 4th down in most cases - countless studies have been done that show this. But the fact is that part of a coach's job is to keep his job, and that's a big reason why coaches are so conservative. They never get pilloried for going by the book, but they get pummeled the first time they do something novel and it doesn't work.
  19. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    Ugh, street football. I thought the XFL went out of business?

    DOUBLE WING Well-Known Member

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    In addition to what someone already said about the onside kicks, I think going for it on fourth down in your own territory is extremely risky.

    The article says:

    "According to Kelley's statistics, when a team punts from near its end zone, the opponent will take possession inside the 40-yard line and will then score a touchdown 77 percent of the time. If it recovers on downs inside the 10, it will score a touchdown 92 percent of the time."

    What about field goals though? Maybe in high school it doesn't matter since a lot of teams don't have good kickers, but in the NFL if you turn it over inside the 40 you're basically giving the other team a Field Goal.

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