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Rams use 2 fake punts to tie 49ers - Desperation fluke or Sign of evolving NFL?

Rams use 2 fake punts to tie 49ers - Desperation fluke or Sign of evolving NFL?

Watching the Rams successfully convert two 4th downs by using fake punts, I was reminded of this excellent article:

http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/men-action/201211/how-oregon-coach-chip-kelly-can-spark-moneyball-revolution-nfl

It discusses Oregon coach Chip Kelly's use of statistics in making in-game strategical decisions that may seem hyper-agressive but are statistically the proper decision. It predicts that complex statistical strategy, while often counterintuitive, will soon become commonplace in the NFL. Highlights of the article:

"What the average football fan doesn't realize is that Chip's play-calls (the fourth down tries, fake punts, two-point conversions, etc.) are almost always the correct mathematical decision. Like Paul DePodesta and Billy Beane did in baseball, Kelly's genius comes from exploiting arithmetic that other coaches are too naïve to acknowledge."

"Whenever Kelly does enter the [NFL], he'll play the game aggressively, with "aggressively" meaning in a mathematically logical fashion. By the end of the season every coach will be going for it on fourth down, attempting fake punts, fake field goals, two-point conversions, and they'll likely do all of this oblivious to the fact that there's astounding mathematical evidence supporting the decisions they're making."

"The average team's miscalculations account for approximately one loss per year."

"The numbers are so overwhelming that teams that kick field goals on fourth and short at the 20-yard line aren't just wrong, they're so wrong it's ludicrous."

"In reality a field goal kicker (like a punter) should only be used in times of desperation."

What do you think? The numbers don't lie? Or stats are for losers? Are we about to witness a mass movement away from decades-old "take the points" strategy? Or will tradition prevail? Is such use of statistical analysis a fad or is it here to stay?
I think that if you're not worried about trying to block a punt/field goal (i.e. having a lead), you should be conservative and protect against these fakes from happening.

An anticipated fake has a really LOW shot at converting. They only work because of the element of surprise, and even then a little bit of luck.

The good that comes out of it is that Seely will make sure this never happens again. We not only would have killed that drive and gotten the ball back, but in great field position. Game should have been iced.

Damn it.
what they won? cause i was at the game and i left with no time left in OT and the score was the same. but what do i know.
I guess a tie is a win in st louis
It was a desperate p***y ass move
If we stopped the first fake punt - we win!
They beat us?
Yes of course it was a tie, sorry, I just think of it as a loss because it was the Rams.
But whether it was a tie or loss, the point remains: we probably win the game if the Rams don't convert 2 fake punts.
Is this the dawn of a new strategical era? I personally think so.
Originally posted by LasVegasWally:
If we stopped the first fake punt - we win!

IMO...that first fake punt was not planed...the corner came off of the receiver and the punter read it and tossed it to him...just not a good call by ST coach...u can never uncover a receiver like that in the NFL and not expect to pay for it...

although Kap did miss Williams wide open on a blown coverage.... ...just an all around wierd game for both sides....
I think Seely got his lunch handed to him by the Rams special teams coach.
Look, we were playing a team that had nothing to lose. They aren't going to the playoffs so why not pull out a few tricks. What I would have liked to see if Harbaugh call a time out on the second fake punt. You could see it. The guy shifted position. Right when they saw that call a timeout and that basically kills the play.
The first fake punt was idiotic. They pulled it off but it was a stupid play. The 2nd one was a good call for a team that was trying everything it could to pull out a win in the end. Niners should have been more prepared for it.
Originally posted by SportsFan:
Look, we were playing a team that had nothing to lose. They aren't going to the playoffs so why not pull out a few tricks. What I would have liked to see if Harbaugh call a time out on the second fake punt. You could see it. The guy shifted position. Right when they saw that call a timeout and that basically kills the play.

Agree.
  • sfout
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The 1st fake wasn't played the punter and gunner just saw it and reacted on a split second move, im sure they said if a gunner moves away from you to turn and look for the ball but they would've never thrown it of Cully hadn't have been sent on that block.

The second one was planned and thoroughly worked. IMHO it wasn't desperation but Fisher saying he would do anything to win the game. Had they won they would've only been 2 games out of the wildcard so its fitting for him to push the envelope.
De-evolving if you considered the second one should have been stuffed like Tony's train thread.
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