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  1. #11
    NodakPaul's Avatar
    NodakPaul is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: 4th and 1 Game Call

    "Overlord" wrote:
    "PurpleTide" wrote:

    It was still early in the game and Chilly was playing percentages, and field position. With our defense that's the way it will go early in games. If the score was different then maybe we go, but not with us having a lead and momentum, early in the game.
    I didn't like the call.
    Anyone that has ever done a statistical analysis of NFL games and the decision as to whether to go for it on 4th down has concluded that you should almost always go for it on fourth and short (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2...4&sportCat=nfl).
    Certainly fourth and 1 or 2 from the 40 qualifies under any measure.
    So Childress wasn't playing the percentages, he was playing his gut and playing for field position.


    We were likely to get a first down if we had tried there.
    That would have set us up with a good chance to score on at least a long field goal attempt.
    We need to give our offense every chance we can to score points.

    That being said, the Vikings decided to punt and executed it very well.
    The defense was amazing.
    So it's not the end of the world.
    I can't agree.
    Yes, I know the percentages, and I have seen both that story before and the report that it wsa based upon.
    The problem with that is they are taking the average of many situational outcomes and applying it to a specific incident, which may or may not have the same parameters as the original situations.

    Let me try and put that more clearly.
    There are three major flaws with applying that model to the call.

    1) If we knew for certain that our offense was equal to or better than the Falcon's defense, that might have been a good rule to follow.
    Unfortunately we didn't know.
    At that point, the Falcons D hadn't even been on the field.
    Our running game to that point had not been established - we called a total of 3 running plays up to that point, and one of the resulted in no gain.
    We also didn't have any idea how well Harrington would be able to execute the spread offense against us.
    29 yards (which is what we gained by punting) can easily mean the difference between a FG or TD and a punt.
    Maybe if we had been faced with this situation in the second half, or even second quarter, I could support going for it, but the opening drive is a pretty ballsy move.
    And ballsy moves tend to be richly rewarded or severely punished.

    2) The model itself dictates that punting is a better choice when you have a strong defense and weak offense.
    There was one exception: rarely punting slightly reduced the odds of victory for the 2006 Baltimore Ravens, which had a weak offense but the league's best defense.
    The same would apply to the Vikings.

    3) The model is also based on predictions of a computer model, which has never had real situational data used for comparative analysis, making it a nice theory without much concrete support.
    There has never been a team that takes this approach to games, nor is there likely to be, so you can not validate the predictions made.
    I put a lot of credibility into the computer model Accuscore created.
    But until is has real world validation, it is just that - a computer model.
    And it is only as good as the programmers who developed it.
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

  2. #12
    BloodyHorns82's Avatar
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    Re: 4th and 1 Game Call

    Given how atrocious our special teams had been during the pre-season...I would have had to seriously consider going for it in that particular situation.
    I'd hate to punt only to have them return it right back to the 40 or 50.

    In hindsight, it appears as though the correct decision was made...or at least one that neither made or broke our day.


  3. #13
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    Re: 4th and 1 Game Call

    "NodakPaul]<br" wrote:
    might [/i]have been a good rule to follow.
    Unfortunately we didn't know.
    At that point, the Falcons D hadn't even been on the field.
    Our running game to that point had not been established - we called a total of 3 running plays up to that point, and one of the resulted in no gain.
    We also didn't have any idea how well Harrington would be able to execute the spread offense against us.
    29 yards (which is what we gained by punting) can easily mean the difference between a FG or TD and a punt.
    Maybe if we had been faced with this situation in the second half, or even second quarter, I could support going for it, but the opening drive is a pretty ballsy move.
    And ballsy moves tend to be richly rewarded or severely punished.
    I see what you're getting at, but I don't agree.
    The fact that we didn't know exactly what chance we had to succeed doesn't mean that we didn't have a good chance to make the conversion.
    If we did know, then we would be better able to predict the likelihood of success of the attempt.
    But one of the points of the mathematical analysis is that they compare it for many different teams having good offenses, bad offenses, against good defenses, against bad defenses, whatever.
    Even for bad offenses against good defenses, it's better to go for it.
    So we didn't need to know if we had an 85 rating on offense and they had an 81 rating on defense.

    2) The model itself dictates that punting is a better choice when you have a strong defense and weak offense.
    There was one exception: rarely punting slightly reduced the odds of victory for the 2006 Baltimore Ravens, which had a weak offense but the league's best defense.
    The same would apply to the Vikings.
    I read this part of the article as well, and my initial reaction was the same as yours.
    However, you have to realize that this is refering to a specific set of rules - the entire set of rules.
    This set of rules suggests that you should go for it on 4th and 4 from the 40.
    So if you're the 2006 Ravens, you should punt instead of going for it on 4th and 4.
    But the 2006 Ravens would be better off going for it on 4th and 1 from the same distance.
    And so would we.
    The likelihood of success on 4th and 1 is much better than on 4th and 4.

    3) The model is also based on predictions of a computer model, which has never had real situational data used for comparative analysis, making it a nice theory without much concrete support.
    There has never been a team that takes this approach to games, nor is there likely to be, so you can not validate the predictions made.
    I put a lot of credibility into the computer model Accuscore created.
    But until is has real world validation, it is just that - a computer model.
    And it is only as good as the programmers who developed it.
    My understanding is the computer model was developed based on actual game play.
    This isn't based on Madden ratings.
    That is, they analyzed every play over some period of time, and determined the likelihood of certain types of plays being called in certain situations, the likelihood of success of those plays against certain defenses, etc.
    I don't know what could be considered to be better 'real situational data'.
    That's how I understand it to work anyway.


    Point being, 4th and 1 on the forty, you should go for it.
    You are more likely to win the game if you do.

    Again though, it's how you execute the plays you do run.
    In this case, the Vikes punted and pinned the Falcons deep.
    Throughout the game, our D was so good that it wouldn't have mattered what we did on that one play - we weren't going to lose that game.
    When the age of the Vikings came to a close, they must have sensed it. Probably, they gathered together one evening, slapped each other on the back and said, "Hey, good job." - Jack Handey [Deep Thoughts]

  4. #14
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    Re: 4th and 1 Game Call

    "Overlord" wrote:
    "NodakPaul]<br" wrote:
    might [/i]have been a good rule to follow.
    Unfortunately we didn't know.
    At that point, the Falcons D hadn't even been on the field.
    Our running game to that point had not been established - we called a total of 3 running plays up to that point, and one of the resulted in no gain.
    We also didn't have any idea how well Harrington would be able to execute the spread offense against us.
    29 yards (which is what we gained by punting) can easily mean the difference between a FG or TD and a punt.
    Maybe if we had been faced with this situation in the second half, or even second quarter, I could support going for it, but the opening drive is a pretty ballsy move.
    And ballsy moves tend to be richly rewarded or severely punished.
    I see what you're getting at, but I don't agree.
    The fact that we didn't know exactly what chance we had to succeed doesn't mean that we didn't have a good chance to make the conversion.
    If we did know, then we would be better able to predict the likelihood of success of the attempt.
    But one of the points of the mathematical analysis is that they compare it for many different teams having good offenses, bad offenses, against good defenses, against bad defenses, whatever.
    Even for bad offenses against good defenses, it's better to go for it.
    So we didn't need to know if we had an 85 rating on offense and they had an 81 rating on defense.

    2) The model itself dictates that punting is a better choice when you have a strong defense and weak offense.
    There was one exception: rarely punting slightly reduced the odds of victory for the 2006 Baltimore Ravens, which had a weak offense but the league's best defense.
    The same would apply to the Vikings.
    I read this part of the article as well, and my initial reaction was the same as yours.
    However, you have to realize that this is refering to a specific set of rules - the entire set of rules.
    This set of rules suggests that you should go for it on 4th and 4 from the 40.
    So if you're the 2006 Ravens, you should punt instead of going for it on 4th and 4.
    But the 2006 Ravens would be better off going for it on 4th and 1 from the same distance.
    And so would we.
    The likelihood of success on 4th and 1 is much better than on 4th and 4.

    3) The model is also based on predictions of a computer model, which has never had real situational data used for comparative analysis, making it a nice theory without much concrete support.
    There has never been a team that takes this approach to games, nor is there likely to be, so you can not validate the predictions made.
    I put a lot of credibility into the computer model Accuscore created.
    But until is has real world validation, it is just that - a computer model.
    And it is only as good as the programmers who developed it.
    My understanding is the computer model was developed based on actual game play.
    This isn't based on Madden ratings.
    That is, they analyzed every play over some period of time, and determined the likelihood of certain types of plays being called in certain situations, the likelihood of success of those plays against certain defenses, etc.
    I don't know what could be considered to be better 'real situational data'.
    That's how I understand it to work anyway.


    Point being, 4th and 1 on the forty, you should go for it.
    You are more likely to win the game if you do.

    Again though, it's how you execute the plays you do run.
    In this case, the Vikes punted and pinned the Falcons deep.
    Throughout the game, our D was so good that it wouldn't have mattered what we did on that one play - we weren't going to lose that game.
    A momentum shift could have cost us that game.
    Lets assume we go for it, miss, Birds come on the field, and decide to take advantage of the turnover, and go deep, and score on the first play out the huddle.
    Just like that it is 7-0, and we are down.
    Their offense has confidence, their D has some confidence, and maybe our confidence is weakened a bit.


    Chilly made the right call, though I like going for it most times within reason.
    This years Viking team will be bases on field position, and we will kick the ball away to gain that.

    Also, if I remember correctly, Chilly went for it on 4th down very frequently last year, so he is not afraid to make that call at the time.

  5. #15
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    Re: 4th and 1 Game Call

    "BloodyHorns82" wrote:
    Given how atrocious our special teams had been during the pre-season...I would have had to seriously consider going for it in that particular situation.
    I'd hate to punt only to have them return it right back to the 40 or 50.

    In hindsight, it appears as though the correct decision was made...or at least one that neither made or broke our day.
    i agree, even if the special teams doesnt give up a big return, an unlucky bounce or poor punt into the endzone resulting in a touchback would net only 20 yards in field position.
    I would prefer that we be aggressive and go for points when we are in the opponents end instead of punting on 4th and short.
    We cannot rely on the defense to contantly score touchdowns every game and the offense must produce more points.
    The offense scored only 10 points today - the offense must find a way to score more.
    Sure, its great to pin them back inside their own 10, buts its even better if we come away with a TD.
    When we start playing better teams, i expect that we will be more aggressive

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