Friday, November 20, 2009

8 comments Peter King Answers Three Questions And Calls It A Mailbag

Don't forget to update your Fantasy teams for this weekend. My comeback over Bill Simmons and Peter King begins (again) this weekend.

Last week I made a comment that I can’t understand why Peter King can’t get a bunch of pages of questions out of his weekly mailbag and I still feel that way. He has to get thousands of emails commenting on his MMQB and then he always seems to publish just a couple of the questions with his answers. It just seems really lazy to me. If I had a mailbag, I would do one of those every single week and publish as many interesting questions as I could get in the mailbag. Even though I disapprove of some of the questions in Bill Simmons’ mailbags, at least he publishes a good amount of them.

For some reason Peter takes a different direction with his mailbag, specifically this one, and answers 4 questions. That’s it…and the fourth one is not even a question, it’s more of a statement. Three freaking questions is all he has time to answer. I find this to be pathetic.

Like everything else I do regarding Peter, he is going to update us on football related topics few people probably actually care about discussing and I will make fun of him. It’s a great setup.

What should have been the biggest football news item of the day Monday: Jon Gruden decides to stay in TV for the time being, taking himself off the head-coaching market for 2010 -- and leaving Mike Shanahan atop the heap of the certain returnees to the coaching sideline in January.


What should have been the biggest football news item of the day Monday: Jon Gruden decides to stay in TV for the time being, taking himself off the head-coaching market for 2010 -- and leaving Mike Shanahan atop the heap of the certain returnees to the coaching sideline in January.

(Bengoodfella waking up) Oh, I’m sorry. I heard Peter King talking about who is available in the head coaching market and who is not available in the head coaching market and immediately fell asleep. Not that the head coaching carousel is not extremely stimulating, it’s just 649% less interesting than anything actually football player related. Which coaches are going to coach where is not a big story when there are Wild Card and divisional races going on. This coaching carousel crap is of more interest after this year is over, so I don’t see the point in speculating now.

It’s true Jon Gruden is starting to annoy me in the broadcasting booth, so whatever it takes to get him out of there so he doesn’t LOVE everything he talks about there, I am beginning to be all for. As far as Mike Shanahan goes, I am not as impressed with him as I probably should be. I think he is going to be a good coach at wherever he takes a job next, I am not just not sure he is going to be worth the personnel power is going to undoubtedly demand from Washington…I mean, from whoever hires him. When I think of Shanahan, I just recall him trying to sign every underachieving defensive player on the market and firing his defensive coordinator every year. I don’t know if personnel decisions are his thing and he is going to want power over this. (Yes, I am a firm believer in separation of coach and General Manager)

As far as Gruden goes…(Do I want to do this? Yes, I do…)

In fact, I don’t care about Jon Gruden because he is a coaching retread who didn’t exactly have as much success in his prior location as the Peter King, the media and the entire freaking world would have you believe. Again, I don’t believe he is a bad coach, he is just talked about by the media like he is Vince Lombardi or Bill Walsh, just waiting to take his next team to the promised land. As far as coaching goes, I would give him a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. Let’s take a look at his record before everyone comments that I am a dumbass.

Jon Gruden’s coaching record:

1998: 8-8

1999: 8-8 (In a mediocre division)

2000: 12-4 (Beat out a tough Denver team for the division title)

2001: 10-6 (Again, it was a fairly average division)

He did a great job with those Raiders teams with a 38-26 record, so I will give him that. The Raiders are not an easy team to coach. He did a great job there. Many people see the team as declining after Gruden left because of the poor coaching of Bill Callahan, which is partially true, but also Jon Gruden is not as shrewd a drafter as he appears to be so Callahan was a mediocre coach left with a team that was running low on young talent. The Raiders didn’t exactly re-stock the cupboard with young talent under Gruden. Let’s look at solid starters or bench players Gruden drafted each year in Oakland.

1998: Charles Woodson, Jon Ritchie

1999: Matt Stinchcomb, Eric Barton

2000: Sebastian Janikowski, Jerry Porter (borderline in my mind), Shane Lechler

2001: None

So in the four drafts Gruden had with Oakland he drafted 7 players that were solid contributors or starters for the Raiders. I don’t trust his ability to build a team. Sure, teams do miss draft picks but if you look at “great” coaches they don’t miss on this many picks…and yes, I know Gruden also had to share power with a General Manager but he still had input.

2002: 12-4 (Super Bowl Champs with Tampa Bay)

2003: 7-9 (Did a good job, but I am going to be an ass and say he was still riding some of Dungy's players.)

2004: 5-11 (The NFC South was again weak. The Panthers finished beat out the Bucs for third place and had nearly 20 players on IR at the end of the year.)

2005: 11-5

2006: 4-12 (This was the beginning of the end in my mind and the first year the offensive genius Gruden couldn’t find a reliable quarterback. Here is the first year Gruden relied too much on older players. It’s good to have a core of players but there also has to be good drafting to replace these players. Check out the defensive stats for 2005 and for 2006, it is nearly the same players in each category and many are 30+ years of age.)

In fact, let’s look at each draft Jon Gruden had with the Bucs and that will explain the records, though they were winning records, for 2007 and 2008. The guy isn’t the greatest draft expert in the world and that is why I don’t know how well he is going to do on a rebuilding team. I got the results from this site. Here are legitimate NFL players, backups or starters that Gruden drafted for each year. He had an inordinate amount of non-contributing players and busts from his drafts in Tampa Bay:

2002: Jermaine Phillips

2003: DeWayne White, Sean Mahan, Chris Simms, and Torrie Cox (all good players but none are spectacular)

2004: Michael Clayton (for one year he was good), Will Allen

2005: Carnell Williams, Barrett Rudd, Alex Smith

2006: Davin Joseph, Jeremy Trueblood

2007: Arron Sears, Tanard Jackson

2008: Aqib Talib

So by my count he got 15 players since 2002 that were contributors to his team. At the “skill” positions he got one player in Carnell Williams (who had injury problems hold him back) and Michael Clayton has become an average receiver. Most of his success came on the offensive line, but you can’t sustain success in the NFL when you draft 15 guys in 7 years that are contributors to your team. This poor drafting led to the records in 2007 and 2008, which were winning records but veterans were relied upon because there was no one else on the Bucs team that could replace them or match their production. That’s not a formula for success in the long term and this is the main reason I think Gruden may not be the best choice to run a franchise that is rebuilding. Fortunately there are franchises looking potentially looking for a new head coach that aren't rebuilding. But, say he takes over the Cleveland Browns, well he is going to try and bring in veterans to win games immediately, but at some point he is going to have to draft well for the long term and I don’t know how well he can do that.

2007: 9-7

2008: 9-7

Gruden was 57-55 with the Tampa Buccaneers. I am not overly impressed with this record, especially since the Bucs are in a division that isn’t well known for having strong teams top to bottom every single year. Yes, he won a Super Bowl his first year in Tampa Bay, but he won a Super Bowl with Tony Dungy’s players (if we can say this about Barry Switzer, we can say it about Gruden) and he beat the team he coached the previous year, the Raiders, in the Super Bowl led by the genius of geniuses Bill Callahan. He knew nearly every single play the Raiders were running so the degree of difficulty in winning that game wasn’t too high.

Kudos to him, but still color me not that impressed. Other than that, I just see an average coach. When it came time to build his own team he went 45-51, which isn’t exactly impressive to me. Also remember he took over a Bucs team that was not a rebuilding project and the team Gruden coaches next will mostly likely need to have some major rebuilding done. In Tampa Bay he showed mixed success with this.

Basically, I don’t think Jon Gruden is a bad coach, I just think he is a good looking, very friendly and nice white guy who looks like a pop culture character (Chucky) so his name is being hyped up by the media as a great coaching candidate. I would argue a little bit with that perception of him as a great head coaching candiate. I see him as a coach that relies too much on veterans and collects quarterbacks to the point it feels like it becomes absurd. So I don’t really care if Jon Gruden coaches again because I don’t know how successful he will be when he does come back.

As far as Mike Shanahan goes…here is his career record. He seems to have had success in the NFL, even without John Elway, so I will be interested to see how he does in Washingt---I mean where he goes next.

Now I am not as far down on Mike Shanahan as a head coach as I am Jon Gruden…and I am not completely down on Gruden, I just don’t know if he is one of the best coaching candidates available in the market. It’s possible for Gruden I am just remembering his final years in Tampa Bay too much and what happened prior to him being fired was not indicative of his coaching ability. I will admit this is a possibility.

So after all that typing, I am saying I don’t care about Peter’s news about Jon Gruden because I have my doubts about Gruden.

What remained the biggest football news item of the day Monday: The Call. I'll get to that in a few paragraphs. Blessed relief. We've got something else to talk about other than all Belichick, all the time.

Great, now Bill Belichick’s fourth down decision is called “The Call,” which gives it more importance than it truly deserves. The fourth down decision wasn’t made in Super Bowl or a playoff game, so we may need to think about how important the decision truly was.

Now the herd of definites for the likes of Buffalo and whatever other jobs come open has been thinned and you won't have Gruden to kick around anymore -- at least for the time being, likely until about 2012.

Buffalo may have been a suitable spot for Gruden to land…maybe. The best situation for him would be to go to Washington because they have a young, good defense and he could concentrate on getting the offense back on track with veterans. It doesn't look like this will happen because Gruden isn't coaching this next season and the Redskins will probably fire Jim Zorn after this year. If the next coach can fix that offense I think the Redskins will have a good team. I could support Gruden going there, but Buffalo and Cleveland may not be the best landing spot for him in my mind because they need some work done on both sides of the ball through the draft.

To make it clear, Gruden told me he definitely would not coach anywhere in 2010 and didn't plan on coaching the year after; and ESPN vice president Norby Williamson told colleague Richard Deitsch that Gruden would "absolutely'' be at ESPN for the 2011 season.

What would Jon Gruden the analyst think about this decision? Let’s ask Gruden the football analyst:

“I love this decision! In fact, if I could pick one decision to see made this past year off the football field, this would have been the decision. I just can’t get over how much I like this decision. It just makes perfect sense, guys. He’s coming off a tough season, he is still young and there is no need to rush things. I love it when people don’t rush things. I think this is the perfect move for Gruden. Spend some time surveying the NFL landscape and find the perfect landing spot while staying in the game broadcasting games for the best network in the world with Mike Tirico, who for my money is the best play-by-play guy working today. And no one breaks down a game like Jaws, so that can’t be bad for Gruden to experience before he makes his triumphant return to the NFL. I can’t get over how much sense this decision makes!”

(Seriously, Gruden is too happy about everything. In Week 2 he said DeAngelo Williams was the best running back in the NFL. When given the chance to clarify and move Williams behind the other running backs who are better, Gruden refused to do so and then began talking about how much he loved Steve Smith. I am pretty sure he said positive things about the Browns this past week too.)

I told Gruden I was surprised -- that I thought it was a given he'd take this one-year hiatus from coaching and be back in 2010.

Peter really doesn’t need to relay the exact question he asked Jon Gruden, we can just get the answer and feel good about our knowledge of the situation. Of course Peter always feels the need to convey to us the exact question he asked.

"Look,'' he said, "I went into this with an open mind. They've told me they want me to stay around, and it's nice to be wanted. I was in Oakland for four years, then got traded away from there. I was in Tampa for seven years and got fired. That's a little bit of an open wound, to be honest. So it's nice to be wanted.

Everyone, Jon Gruden just wants love. That’s all he asks. If you are going to hire him, just don’t fire him at any point. Treat him gently and with care. Don’t feed him after midnight and never expose him directly to water.

We talked about the spread offense and how much he's learned about it from reaching out to college coaches. "I've really learned a lot from [Oregon coach] Chip Kelly and the Appalachian State coaching staff,'' he said. "I've liked learning more football.''

It’s good to hear he learned something from my alma mater. I bet he wishes the Appalachian State coaching staff had told him to not draft Dexter Jackson three rounds too early in 2008 (there is nothing like cutting a 2nd round pick a year after you draft him). That would have been good information for the Appalachian State coaching staff to convey to Gruden back then.

Gruden on Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 from his own 28 with 2:08 to play and a six-point lead Sunday night at Indianapolis:

Good thing Peter got the inside scoop on what Gruden thought about Belichick’s decision to go for it on fourth down AFTER he gave the 5 minute version on Monday Night Football. There is nothing like hearing an opinion you don’t care about on television and then in print the next day.

"A couple of things. If you give Peyton Manning the ball and let him play with four downs, that's a big difference from giving him three downs. [Meaning because the Colts wouldn't punt, Manning would always have four downs to keep the chains moving.] In Tampa, we had a 35-14 lead on Manning with five minutes left, and he beat us.

I have no idea what this means. So should Belichick have made the decision or not? It sounds like Gruden would have made the call himself to go for it on fourth down. The comment about how three downs are different from four downs is just stupid. Yes, there is a big difference in a team getting 3 chances to get a first down and 4 chances to get a first down. That’s not insight, but common sense.

So two minutes, one timeout, four downs ... that's an eternity for Peyton Manning. I know this: There's not too many guys out there, maybe Sean Payton, who would have made that call.''

So now it sounds like Jon Gruden wouldn’t have made the call, even though he vividly recalls Peyton Manning beating his team in a similar situation. This is why I am not a big fan of asking ex-coaches and current coaches what they would do in this situation, because they aren’t going to give a straight answer to us.

So I called Payton. What would Payton have done in this case?

Whythefucknot, let’s call Sean Payton and see what he has to say.

"The question you're asking is something I really can't know without actually being there and knowing all the variables,'' he said. The question can't exist in a vacuum, he said.

Peter King: Ace Reporter, has gotten his readers yet another scoop! I am kidding of course, we learn nothing in this sentence, though I do find it funny the questions Sean Payton asked after this (in rhetorical fashion) were extremely answerable and yet he still didn’t answer. Possibly Peter should have left this part out because it didn’t really tell us anything. Is Peter that hard up for material he includes non-answers in his Tuesday mailbag?

Let’s get to the questions Sean Payton asks that would have helped him answer whether he would have gone for it or not, which are easily answerable…yet Payton still didn’t give an answer.

How's your defense holding up?

They seemed to be tiring, though they have held off the Colts in the second half a few times, the Colts still have some momentum and Manning seems to be getting hot towards the end of the game.

What kind of confidence do you have in your quarterback?

It’s Tommy Brady! There is 1,236.43% confidence in him.

Do you fear the other team's offense?

It’s Peyton Manning and the Colts. Yes, there is fear involved.

Do injuries from the night play a factor?

Banta-Cain, the one of the Patriots best pass rushers is injured.

So, why did Peter go to Sean Payton if he can’t answer the question? Let’s get more Payton knowledge…

"Sometimes the conventional thing is what the defense wants you to do."

Well Mr. Genius Coach, the Colts defense wants Tom Brady to hand the ball directly to Dwight Freeney or possibly lightly toss the ball to a Colts cornerback. So I say “fuck convention” and don’t do it.

The Colts wanted Bill to punt. But I'm watching the game at home Sunday night, and about five seconds after they didn't make the third down, I'm looking at their sidelines and I say, 'He's going for it.' ''

So here is what Peter has wasted space telling us from what he learned from Sean Payton: It depends on the situation, we don’t know exactly what was going on in the mind of Belichick, the Colts defense wanted the Patriots to punt the ball and avoid trying to convert a fourth down, and he thought Bill Belichick would go for it. I am glad we got his opinion. It told us exactly what we have been discussing for 4 days now.

I got the strong feeling Payton would have punted, but as he said, he wouldn't know for sure without being on his sideline and considering everything -- whether he felt good about getting the two yards, and how he regarded the matchup between his defense and the opposing quarterback.

I’m glad we asked Sean Payton. It wasn’t a waste of time at all.

There's no question in my mind that having Peyton Manning on the other side of the ball changed everything for Belichick.

Peter comes through in the clutch and tells us something completely obvious as if it is new and important news. You mean to tell me the fact a Hall of Fame quarterback was ready to get the ball, if the Patriots punted, affected Belichick’s decision? No way, I don’t believe it. So Peter is telling us that if Rex Grossman or Derek Anderson were on the other side of the field the Patriots would have punted and NOT gone for it?

This is why Peter gets paid the big bucks, to tell us things we already know. Don’t envy him too much, he also has to deal with SO MANY annoying traveling problems and inconveniences like people who are inconsiderate on airplanes, buses, subways, cars, and even hotel lobbies. But he deals with all these horrible inconveniences so he can tell you, the reader, that having Peyton Manning ready to get the ball with a chance to win the game, if the Patriots punted, had an effect on Belichick’s decision to punt the ball in this situation.

Quoting John Roumas of Leominster, Mass., "Regarding your analysis of the odds for BB's decision: Using your own odds, 65 percent Brady makes the two yards. 35 percent Manning drives 72 yards. That would make Manning's odds of NOT driving 72 yards 65 percent, which sounds like a tie. Also, the odds of Hansen getting off a good punt with no (or negligible) return aren't 100 percent, and on the other side, Manning's chances of scoring even from the Pats' 30 aren't 100 percent either. Those numbers would tell me that BB made a good choice, odds-wise.''

A few people noted that Peter doesn’t seem to be too good at math. What does Peter say?

PK: My base disagreement with the call is that I think the situation that most favors the Patriots is forcing Manning to drive the Colts 72 yards to score a touchdown in two minutes with one timeout. (I arrive at 72 yards by factoring in Chris Hanson's average net punt on the day, which was 44 yards on four punts.) And yes, my math in MMQB basically was nearly a wash.

Yet, as John just said and again Peter ignores, there is not a 100% chance there is no (or negligible) return on the punt, so regardless of what Hanson’s net had been for the day there is still a chance the Colts would have tried to return the punt knowing that any yardage on the punt return was going to be absolutely crucial to winning the game.

I like how Peter disagrees with the call by not changing any of his numbers, but just keeping the numbers the same that said it would be a wash either way. So he is basing his opinion on absolutely zero facts, other than what he thought was right.

I've read the intelligent piece on about the call being right and smart. I respect the numbers -- but wouldn't live by them. They are based on football statistics over time, not on what was happening in this particular game. Why use the historical average net punt of 38 yards when Hanson's average net for the night, for four punts, was 44 yards?

The same reason we still show Peyton Manning respect in this situation and possibly think about going for it on fourth down even if he had struggling the entire game…because Hanson’s stats over his entire career are a larger sample size and therefore more representative of what the punt will possibly look like.

Peter wouldn’t walk Ryan Ludwick who is (hypothetically) 2-3 with a HR in a game to get to Albert Pujols who is 0-3 in a game would he? That doesn't make sense to ignore all past data and only focus on what is happening ONLY in this current game. Same idea here. The larger the sample size, the more representative of what the next piece of data will look like. Hanson’s net average for the night was 44 yards, but why trust a sample size of 4 kicks to make a decision and not trust 552 kicks (Hanson’s career punts) to help make the decision?

Why take every drive instead of focusing on what the Colts had done that night? Over the previous 32 minutes, the Colts, in inverse order, went touchdown, interception, touchdown, punt, interception, punt and punt.

Because every drive is literally a new drive and a new chance for Peyton Manning.

Would Manning drive it 72 yards on me? Maybe. But I'll take my chances on a 72-yard drive -- after picking off Manning twice in the second half -- over converting a fourth down and risk giving him a 29-yard field.

As we have all discussed at length, this decision was a wash. Though I can’t help but feel like Peter’s criticism of the decision is based on the outcome of the game. If the Patriots had punted, he may have suggested Belichick go for it. We live in a results oriented society and sometimes our analysis is affected by what the outcome of the game was.

From Matt Burk of Pittsburgh: "Peter, not to take anything away from the Bengals, they beat the Steelers fair and square. However, remember that the Steelers had to play a big Monday night game in the high altitude of Denver, come back almost cross-country, and prepare for another big game against a tough opponent just five days later. Surely that had to take something away from their game. Maybe a little something, I don't know... But something nonetheless. Agree?''

Oh Steelers fans. You have to love them. It’s not like the Bengals are not in the same division as the Steelers and the Steelers don't have tons of tape on Carson Palmer and the Bengals offense and defense. Teams only have three days to prepare if they play a Sunday game and then a Thursday game and they have to get over it. I don’t think a Monday night to Sunday game would be any more difficult. Stop whining.

From Calvin Curd of Nashville: "Have to disagree with your assessment of Jack Del Rio's decision to have Maurice Jones-Drew kneel at the 1-yard line. A TD here means the Jets would need a TD of their own to win, and with the Jags still trailing, I think they have to take the free TD there. No FG is as sure as the TD that the Jags gave away; just ask Tony Romo."

As I said two days ago, if you can’t trust your kicker to make that kick then he shouldn’t be on the roster. It was a risk but it also left the game in the hands of the Jaguars and didn’t allow the Jets to have a chance and control the outcome of the game on offense. It’s another judgment call but I would probably take the field goal 90% of the time here because it should not be blocked or missed. If the field attempt is blocked or missed, the special teams coach needs to get fired ASAP.

PK: I equate the field goal the Jags kicked with an extra point. Also, Josh Scobee is 41 of 42 in his career on field goals between 20-29 yards. But if Jones-Drew scores, the Jets have 90 seconds to drive the field and score a game-winning TD. The chances of that happening are what -- 10-15 percent? I'd rather kick my virtually guaranteed extra point.

Since when did it become fine for sportswriters to just make up percentages in their columns? Isn’t there someone Peter can email and get an answer to this question of what the percentages are that the Jets score a touchdown with 90 seconds remaining? is a pretty big company. Why not research this and stop making numbers up? When did it become acceptable to do this? I agree with the Jags decision but I am tired of guessing percentages for occurrences in football when there is a research department at the disposal of the writer.

From Doug of Austin, Texas: "Peter, the bye weeks just concluded with the Giants and Texans getting the most advantageous spots. I think the league should change the bye week schedule so all the byes are in Weeks 9 and 10. This evens the advantage and what's wrong with "only" eight games to televise for two weekends of the season?''

These are the three questions Peter answered for this week. This is it. I can’t believe there weren’t better questions that were asked.

YOU GUYS ENJOYED THE DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCY DEPT. After my note on Jesse Palmer using the phrase "MAC conference," you guys came through with a few more:

VIN number. (Joe of New York)
ATM machine. (Jess of San Diego)
SAT test. (Samuel of Alexandria, Va.)
HIV virus. (Claude of Miami)

Absolutely hilarious. How about this one? Peter calls his column MMQB for short but it is spelled out Monday Morning Quarterback with “quarterback” being one word. Maybe his column should be called MMQ?

(Yes, I know “QB” is an accepted shortened form of “quarterback” but my complaint is about as useful and relevant as the ones about the “Redundancy Department” examples are.)

Next week I look forward to reading Peter’s mailbag which will contain two questions from his readers…if we are lucky. Does it count as a mailbag if there is only a minimal amount of mail?


Go said...

Fox should have been fired after last night. I think it was in the 3rd quarter and Carolina went 50-60 yards in 2 plays with Williams and Stewart. Next play a Deholmme int. WTF? Why do put the ball in te air when your running game is on a roll? Do you think Fox stays next year?

RuleBook said...

Wow. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Simmons just made a really good point about the Patriots going-for-it statistics:

Given these realities, if you're feeding me "Here's what happened in this situation historically" numbers, shouldn't we be looking at the data for two-point conversions?

For the most part, that is exactly what this play was. Yes, theoretically, the Patriots could have thrown the ball downfield, but that wasn't going to happen, so this was essentially a 2-point conversion play for both teams.

We had such a debate about what numbers to use for the Patriots conversion percentage because there wasn't a lot of 4th down data. However, we have more 2 point data (I believe). Thus, the 40% 2-point conversion try would likely be the better statistic to use. Still, the choice is a wash even with that number, but I think Simmons makes a great point comparing the play to the 2-point conversion.

Go said...

Rule, that is a good point but the defense only has to cover 12.5 yards when defending a 2pt conversion. The Colts had a lot more field to cover on the 4th and 1.

Bengoodfella said...

Go, I don't even know what to think about Fox, though he has a real problem with figuring out when to stick with the run and when to pass the ball. He can't seem to get it right. Last night, they should have run until Double Trouble's legs fell off and they didn't.

I think Fox stays next year because the Panthers will go 7-9 and have a big win at the end of the year. The players like him and he is a great coach. He is overly conservative and has never upgraded the passing game like he really should. The defense is really banged up so I don't blame them as much, though Chris Gamble can retire tomorrow and let the Panthers have some of that 6 year $50 million contract back and it won't hurt my feelings. He got burnt repeatedly by Bess last night, which is unacceptable. Fox stays and will torture us with the team's inconsistency for at least one more year.

Rulebook, that is a decent point, but I do have to wonder how the ball being on the 2 yard line and there being an out of bounds line in the end zone affects 2 pt conversions when that problem is not present during the play the Patriots run. I would think the shorter field would affect the play call more, so I don't know if the numbers are really that similar. I could be wrong. I know we say the Patriots weren't going to throw downfield but the Colts defense still had to honor a 14 yard pass play which wouldn't be possible on a 2pt conversion.

It's a good out-of-the-box point and the result is the exact same as it was earlier in the week with it being a wash. I would love to know, like Go, said how the shorter field affects the play calls though.

Syed Ashrafulla said...

RuleBook: Jeff Clarke (a commenter on Advanced NFL Stats) mentioned that NFL bookkeeping prevents 2 point conversions from being a valid stat, because any missed XP in which the ball is not kicked (read: missed snap or bobble) is considered a failed 2 point try. Jim A replied that it only causes a small fluctuation, but he mentions that it is still league-average (he quotes 70 attempts per season roughly).

The one I like the most is 3rd and short because it is the exact same situation (2 yards or drive over). Plus that happens a hell of a lot more than either 4th-and-short or 2-point-try. Plus it allows you to be team-specific, only using a combination of NE's 3rd-and-short offensive success rate and IND's 3rd-and-short defensive failure rate. There is also very little time bias because everyone plays 3rd and short as if it was 4th and short, not planning for 4th and short (because they want to avoid 4th and short).

Martin said...

The other thing about 2 point conversions is that the % has fluctuated quite a bit the last few years, which I pointed out on teh other thread. 2 point conversions have been as low as 40% and as high as 51% the last couple years. 11% is a significant fluctuation. As Syed mentioned, Patriot specific 3rd and 2 might be a better stat to look at.

I will never understand today's modern football coach and offensive co-ordinator. They almost feel that they have to pass, no matter how successful they are running the ball.
"Holy crap, we ran it 3 times in a row...need to pass!" It's one reason i find the Dolphins so refreshing this season...keep running that ball Fins!

KentAllard said...

The best thing about Gruden staying in the booth is there is one less mediocre coach in the pool as the ol' alma mater goes a'lookin'.

When I think of Mike Shanahan, I think of the only coach in the NFL with the guts to draft Maurice Clarrett. Wait, did I say guts? I meant "lunacy."

One of the reasons it is better to use historical data rather than game data in evaluating THE CALL is great quarterbacks have a habit of raising their game in the clutch, which is why they are considered great. Anyone who watched Joe Montana play average football then turn into Superman with the game on the line has observed this.

Peter is correctly applying a new and little known rule in the NFL. For your last punt of the game, you don't actually kick it, your average net gain on previous punts is applied. Since it's a stone cold certainty that's what you're going to get, why bother to waste time with a real kick?

Bengoodfella said...

Syed, I didn't believe 2 pt conversions were that good of a measurement either. Good try to think outside the box by Simmons but I am not sure it makes sense here.

Martin, teams for some reason try to be tricky when it comes to what is working on offense. That's what I don't get. The Panthers in some games have no problem running the ball a ton and not throwing but Thurs night they had no problem throwing when they should have kept running. It's like teams are afraid the opponent will figure out the run. If it is working, try not to stop doing it.

Yeah, I am not a huge Gruden fan and your Shanahan comment about Clarett proves what I was saying about his questionable personnel decisions.

Game data has its relevance but you can't completely ignore historical data when looking at game data. Again, you don't walk Ludwick to get to Pujols because Pujols is having a bad game.

Haha, I like that little known rule. It just adds some certainty to a boring game and makes Peter's BS argument seem logical.