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Keep the points or take the first down?

Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by LambdaChi49:
I'm not saying it was a bad decision but why not grind out the clock more and still come away with points? I have a lot more trust in our offense when they're in the red zone. Alex is what...now 32 TDs and 1 INT in the redzone for his career? He's thrown 0 red zone INTs since 2005. I just feel like if you're QB is that "money" in the RZ...let him do his thing down there. Now if we are on the 40 or 50 or whatever...fine.

I don't know. There is still no excuse for the secondary biting as much as they did.

You don't start running the clock out with 11 minutes left. Especially if you're running the ball for 2 - 2.5 yards per carry. Little upside, heavy downside.

Point taken. I still trust our team in the red zone. I just think it would have been win-win. You get a little time off the clock PLUS 3 or 7 points. The way Alex was playing yesterday in DAL territory...I'd say go for it.

But I DO agree that I don't think it "cost us" the game. Secondary cost us the game. No excuse for getting beat by reality show stars and QBs with broken ribs, etc.
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by LambdaChi49:
I'm not saying it was a bad decision but why not grind out the clock more and still come away with points? I have a lot more trust in our offense when they're in the red zone. Alex is what...now 32 TDs and 1 INT in the redzone for his career? He's thrown 0 red zone INTs since 2005. I just feel like if you're QB is that "money" in the RZ...let him do his thing down there. Now if we are on the 40 or 50 or whatever...fine.

I don't know. There is still no excuse for the secondary biting as much as they did.

You don't start running the clock out with 11 minutes left. Especially if you're running the ball for 2 - 2.5 yards per carry. Little upside, heavy downside.

You also don't stop trying to score TDs with 11 minutes remaining.
Originally posted by Ninerjohn:
At the time I was fine with keeping the points and making it a 2 score game. I can understand both sides of the debate but completely get Harbaugh's logic on this one. Going up 2 scores in the 4th quarter and pinning the other team back on their 20 yard line isnt a bad call especially when your defense has played well and the opposing QB has been hurt. It didnt work out. So be it.

It isnt the worst decision EVER as some people want to claim. Also.. to the OP.. no you arent the only person who understands the game of football.

I know I'm not the only person who understands football - I was trying to get people's attention to the actual facts of the situation.
Originally posted by nickbradley:
I must be the only one who understands football, because it seems like I'm the only person supporting the Harbaugh decision. People who are angry simply do not understand the calculation Harbaugh made, and Bill Belichick would have made this decision with our team.

Simply put, the odds of scoring a touchdown were lower than the chance that we miss the make-up field goal, which is about 30% for Akers with 40-49 yard attempts...probably higher outdoors and so-so turf that had caused a lot of slippage during the game.

It was a PERFECT DECISION, a rational decision, a decision that a software program with perfect information would have made. I CHALLENGE ANYONE to make the case that we were more likely to score a touchdown than miss the follow-up.

Here's backup for the pro-Harbaugh case:

1. It's two scores that matters, not 2 touchdowns

2. Gore ran for 2.4 yards per carry and Smith was sacked once every FIVE times he dropped back. Chances of scoring were very low.

3. Accepting the penalty would have put us on the 25, or a 42-yard field goal.

4. If we didn't advance down the field again, Akers would have still been required to kick a 40+ yard field goal.

5. In his career, Akers has missed 3 out of every 10 field goals between 40 and 49 yards.

6. Half of our drives went backwards or nowhere, especially in the second half.

7. Heavy pressure causes turnovers.

I don't thing the argument was for us to accept the penalty and try to score a touchdown. I think it was more to accept the penalty and chew up some more clock before sending out Akers to attempt another field goal. If the penalty is accepted we get the ball at the 25, call 3 consecutive running plays, gain on average a total of 6 yards and run almost 2 minutes of clock before attempting a 36 yard field goal. Either way it wasn't a bad decision. Harbaugh had plenty of justification to do what he did and thats fine. It doesn't always work out the way it did. What it comes down to is that if we were a better team we would have won. For having as little time to install our new schemes on o and d and suffering the injuries we did i don't think we did fine. Atleast we are going in the right directions.
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by LambdaChi49:
I'm not saying it was a bad decision but why not grind out the clock more and still come away with points? I have a lot more trust in our offense when they're in the red zone. Alex is what...now 32 TDs and 1 INT in the redzone for his career? He's thrown 0 red zone INTs since 2005. I just feel like if you're QB is that "money" in the RZ...let him do his thing down there. Now if we are on the 40 or 50 or whatever...fine.

I don't know. There is still no excuse for the secondary biting as much as they did.

You don't start running the clock out with 11 minutes left. Especially if you're running the ball for 2 - 2.5 yards per carry. Little upside, heavy downside.

You also don't stop trying to score TDs with 11 minutes remaining.

Thats the Singletary way....
Originally posted by 9inermaniac:
Thats the Singletary way....

No. Singletary would have taken the penalty and went for it on 4th down.

Singletary wasn't conservative. He was stupid.
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by 9inermaniac:
Thats the Singletary way....

No. Singletary would have taken the penalty and went for it on 4th down.

Singletary wasn't conservative. He was stupid.
You have to go with the odds and the odds were in our favor that we would have at least gotten a FG with more time run off the clock if we accept that penalty. I bet Dallas was ecstatic we declined that penalty. Just imagine, a team is driving on us and we stop them to a FG only to give them a 15 yard penalty putting them near the Red Zone and they decline.

Harbaugh made a bad decision for these reasons:
1. Could have mentally gotten DAL out of their game
2. Could have gained tons of momentum
3. Very low odds in accepting the penalty being a bad decision
4. Opportunity to use more TOP
5. Opportunity to score a TD (Alex Smith is very good in the Red Zone)
6. Would have been in position to make a much easier FG
The past is the past, I think the biggest takeaway from this game is that this team cannot play conservative because the pass defense sucks. Going forward, Harbaugh needs to be aggressive and go for the TD because it is evident the D cannot stop teams at the end of games. Even Seattle was having success in the 2nd half when they started passing more. If not for Ginn this team might be 0-2. This is a high scoring passing league. Conservative teams will never be more than mediocre.
Originally posted by Joecool:
You have to go with the odds and the odds were in our favor that we would have at least gotten a FG with more time run off the clock if we accept that penalty. I bet Dallas was ecstatic we declined that penalty. Just imagine, a team is driving on us and we stop them to a FG only to give them a 15 yard penalty putting them near the Red Zone and they decline.

Harbaugh made a bad decision for these reasons:
1. Could have mentally gotten DAL out of their game
2. Could have gained tons of momentum
3. Very low odds in accepting the penalty being a bad decision
4. Opportunity to use more TOP
5. Opportunity to score a TD (Alex Smith is very good in the Red Zone)
6. Would have been in position to make a much easier FG

Our offense was very ineffective that day and was getting worse (pass protection). And Akers misses 3 out of every 10 40-something yarders.
  • Otter
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Originally posted by qnnhan7:
It's about winning. Think back to the last 6-7 years of this team. Did we have anything to lose by taking the 15 yds, run off more time, maybe win the game with a TD, and still have a chance at a FG after 3 more tries. It's not like we can't kick a FG on at the end of those fresh downs.

A chance for a knockout punch or wait on a decision at the end of the fight.

You don't take points off the board.
Originally posted by Otter:
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
It's about winning. Think back to the last 6-7 years of this team. Did we have anything to lose by taking the 15 yds, run off more time, maybe win the game with a TD, and still have a chance at a FG after 3 more tries. It's not like we can't kick a FG on at the end of those fresh downs.

A chance for a knockout punch or wait on a decision at the end of the fight.

You don't take points off the board.

Once again, the "you don't take points off the board" idea comes from the situation where it's 4th and 6 and you make a FG but there's an offsides to make it 4th and 1. THAT'S the situation that saying applies to. Not 1st and 10 on the opponents 22, LOL. You don't stop trying to score TDs in the 4th quarter of a 7 point game.
It was the "safe" decision rather than the "correct" one.
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by Joecool:
You have to go with the odds and the odds were in our favor that we would have at least gotten a FG with more time run off the clock if we accept that penalty. I bet Dallas was ecstatic we declined that penalty. Just imagine, a team is driving on us and we stop them to a FG only to give them a 15 yard penalty putting them near the Red Zone and they decline.

Harbaugh made a bad decision for these reasons:
1. Could have mentally gotten DAL out of their game
2. Could have gained tons of momentum
3. Very low odds in accepting the penalty being a bad decision
4. Opportunity to use more TOP
5. Opportunity to score a TD (Alex Smith is very good in the Red Zone)
6. Would have been in position to make a much easier FG

Our offense was very ineffective that day and was getting worse (pass protection). And Akers misses 3 out of every 10 40-something yarders.

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.
I think that when odds are stacked against you, that's the time when "great" teams defy the odds and make something special happen. This team is obviously taking baby steps.
You do when your Oline is getting worse with every posession. Who's to say the ball is moved forward and 2 minutes comes off the clock? The way the Oline was performing the odds were better the ball would go backwards and only 1 minute would come off the clock. If the team was able to move the ball as effectively in the third as they did in the first half I might be scratching my head a little. But given the performance upto that point it was the right call.