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Keep the points or take the first down?

Bottom line is even if they didn't gain another yard they would have been able to run off another 2 minutes running it up the middle, almost down to the 2 minute warning, and then STILL have a pretty good shot at the 3 points.
Originally posted by jimmy49erfan:
So youre happy that the HC played Singball and lost. We were up 10 points not 14 on a team that was tearing us up in the 2nd half. Not taking another series to eat up clock was pure Sing. JH played not to lose and lost playing soft and vanilla. If he takes that penalty the Cowboys have no time to drive for that FG. It would also show that the guy has some damn faith in his offense. Smith was throwing accurate passes and instead of dialing in to Smiths passing. He sticks with running vs a stacked box. JH is gonna flame out quicker than Obama if he keeps this soft ass vanilla approach.

What are you talking about? Singletary went for it on 4th down ALL THE TIME.
Originally posted by Gavintech:
Bottom line is even if they didn't gain another yard they would have been able to run off another 2 minutes running it up the middle, almost down to the 2 minute warning, and then STILL have a pretty good shot at the 3 points.

Keywords: Pretty good.
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by Gavintech:
Bottom line is even if they didn't gain another yard they would have been able to run off another 2 minutes running it up the middle, almost down to the 2 minute warning, and then STILL have a pretty good shot at the 3 points.

Keywords: Pretty good.


Over 70%? Taking the penalty is the right move every time. Worst case (minus a fumble) they run down more than two minutes off the clock and don't score. You're still up by 7 with 2 minutes left. Worst case is OT, which happened anyways.
Originally posted by Gavintech:
Over 70%? Taking the penalty is the right move every time. Worst case (minus a fumble) they run down more than two minutes off the clock and don't score. You're still up by 7 with 2 minutes left. Worst case is OT, which happened anyways.

What were the chances that we would score a TD on that drive? Put a % on it.
Originally posted by Gavintech:
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by Gavintech:
Bottom line is even if they didn't gain another yard they would have been able to run off another 2 minutes running it up the middle, almost down to the 2 minute warning, and then STILL have a pretty good shot at the 3 points.

Keywords: Pretty good.


Over 70%? Taking the penalty is the right move every time. Worst case (minus a fumble) they run down more than two minutes off the clock and don't score. You're still up by 7 with 2 minutes left. Worst case is OT, which happened anyways.

Also going for it on 4th and 1 over kicking a FG gives your team a higher percentage of winning at that location.

Harbaugh not only went for the FG when he should have gone for it (as stats indicate), he passed up the penalty.
For all these people saying Dallas would have had no time driving down the field for the game tying FG, you do realize what happened in OT right? It took Dallas 1 play to get a 77yd gain. Dallas is capable of striking quick and fast at any given time. It's foolish to think had we left them 5 minutes on the clack because we "burned" 2 minutes taking the penalty that they still couldn't drive down the field and get their points.
Originally posted by Gavintech:
Bottom line is even if they didn't gain another yard they would have been able to run off another 2 minutes running it up the middle, almost down to the 2 minute warning, and then STILL have a pretty good shot at the 3 points.

There was still 11:15 to go. We may have gotten it down to 8:45.
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Their offense had 300 yards passing against us at that time and already tied the game once down by 2 scores. As for the bold, it would have been a 37 yard FG if we run the ball three straight times for no gain.

Ball would have been on the 25. 25 + 17 = 42.

It was originally a 55 yard FG. The penalty was a 15 yarder which makes it a 40 yard FG. You were closer but we were both off.

However, now factor in that Gore rarely lost yards on carries and gained at least 2 yards. Taking the penalty and run-run-run would have been a VERY safe play also.
I am only going to say one more thing about this.

There is pros and cons to both decisions. If we had won with this strategy, Harbaugh would have looked like a genius.We lost so it definitely didn't look good.

In the end, I feel like this was a good learning opportunity for Harbaugh, who was only head coaching his 2nd NFL game. There is going to be bumps for the rookie HC and this was certainly one of them. I am more curious to see what he takes from yesterday's game.
Anyone who believes in axioms like "you never take points off the board" is essentially preaching ignorance.

Nobody is saying the D isn't to blame...it's just that Harbaugh's boneheaded conservatism also has a lot to do with it.
Originally posted by ApatheticIAm:
For all these people saying Dallas would have had no time driving down the field for the game tying FG, you do realize what happened in OT right? It took Dallas 1 play to get a 77yd gain. Dallas is capable of striking quick and fast at any given time. It's foolish to think had we left them 5 minutes on the clack because we "burned" 2 minutes taking the penalty that they still couldn't drive down the field and get their points.

This. With the way our D played down the stretch it wouldn't matter how much time would've been run off the clock, the cowboys would've still tied it up. Im surprised the Cowboys didn't take a couple of shots at the endzone during that last drive.
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Their offense had 300 yards passing against us at that time and already tied the game once down by 2 scores. As for the bold, it would have been a 37 yard FG if we run the ball three straight times for no gain.

Ball would have been on the 25. 25 + 17 = 42.

It was originally a 55 yard FG. The penalty was a 15 yarder which makes it a 40 yard FG. You were closer but we were both off.

However, now factor in that Gore rarely lost yards on carries and gained at least 2 yards. Taking the penalty and run-run-run would have been a VERY safe play also.

I don't think it was a VERY safe play. It does up the percentages, but there is other factors you have to consider. Fumbled snap by Alex and the center. DL penetrating for a 3 yard loss. Or even in the FG, you can have a bad snap or a bad hold or even get it blocked. Harbaugh took what was certain, the 3 points. Not agreeing, just saying.
All I know is if the 9ers gained 15 yards on 3rd down and were down to the 22 yard line we all would be skeeting on ourselves. If we cant trust Akers to kick a 33 yard FG 90% of the time (assuming a 2 yard gain on 3 plays) then we need a new kicker. So ridiculous.
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As I suspected, the issue is ridunculous, now let it go people:


Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats says the 49ers' win probability was .90 after Akers' field goal, and it would have been .91 had Harbaugh accepted the penalty. Burke: "In the grand scheme, this is a very small error. The common punt or FG attempt on 4th and short in most game situations is usually more costly, and most fans and analysts hardly take note of them. To put the 0.01 WP error in context, on SF's following possession that resulted in a 3-and-out, RB Frank Gore gained 2 yards on 1st and 10, costing 0.01 WPA. Had he gained 4 or 5 yds, he would have broken even in terms of WP. So the error is no worse than the difference of a couple yards on first down."


Noted: I wouldn't even call it an error when the percentages are that close. Harbaugh's feel for the situation relative to his team should count for something. If he felt as though the Cowboys' defensive scheme was giving Alex Smith some problems in the absence of Braylon Edwards and Michael Crabtree, for example, or if he felt as though Demarcus Ware was close to making a game-turning play based on a coach's feel for the game, then Harbaugh potentially made a decision with more information available to him. However, with a top-flight snapper and kicker, he could have attempted a field goal with some confidence later in the drive. Focusing on Harbaugh's decision in a game featuring such blatant breakdowns in pass coverage makes little sense. Burke's analysis confirms as much.


http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest