Originally posted by Blitz:
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.
This does not include context. If Poker players and Black jack players strictly went by stats, they would be losers. You must go by context more than anything and their offense was starting to rev up and our primary goal should have been keeping that offense off the field for longer.