There are 149 users in the forums

Remember
Not a member? Register Now!

Keep the points or take the first down?

Originally posted by 49ersRednGold:
Originally posted by unst4bl3:
Originally posted by AZ9erfan520:
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.

Which is really weird because we did the exact thing last week, that he wouldnt do this week. We took the penalty, and ate some clock. I wish we had done that this week. Man when the cowboys had the ball, with 6 mins left, and we had a 10 point lead I was so sure we had the game.

Harbaugh took the penalty last week because of field position. Last week, we were so close to the end zone, Akers FG was a chip shot, an 18 yarder and Harbaugh ran three run plays.

Yesterday, the penalty would have given us the ball at the 22 yard line, making a FG around 37 or 38 yards. A makeable FG, but definitely not a chip shot. Also, we faced a much better defense this week. They had put quite a bit of pressure and I think they had at least 5 sacks. If Alex had gotten sack, it would have made it a much longer FG or even worse, put us out of FG range.

In hindsight, Harbaugh may have accepted the FG and tried his luck, but no guarantees we even get 3 pts.

But at the same time, you have to realize that 31 years ago, 10 points would be huge deficit to make up in the 4th quarter with only 11 minutes remaining. In today's NFL, 10 points can be covered in 2 minutes. You must think if we don't use more TOP then you will lose, especially vs an offense like DAL.
[ Edited by Joecool on Sep 19, 2011 at 10:57 AM ]
Harbaugh made the decision having confidence in his defense to hold Dallas, instead the Cowboys Offense was rolling and did what they had to to force OT and win the game. If it were me, I would have taken the 3 OFF the board with the goal to not only move the ball down field and score BUT to waste as much time off the clock. I still have 110% trust and confidence in Jim, and even losing the game I think that decision is a toss up and you can pretty much argue both sides to sticking with the points or taking it off and keeping the ball..
Originally posted by Otter:
Tell that to BYU - The moment the penalty came down Saturday my mind was transported to a beautiful autumn day on the Palouse in 1974, when Joe Danelo kicked a late field goal to put the Cougars ahead of Stanford 21-20. The Card committed a penalty on the play, so head coach Jim Sweeney opted to take Danelo’s chip-shot trey off the scoreboard and go for the touchdown.
The specifics are blury now, 31 years later, but I think it was a fumble that ended the Cougs’ quest for the additional four points that day. The result was disastrous. The Cougars lost 20-18 – putting an exclamation point on a season in which they could never catch a break, losing five games that they had every right of winning.

Or statistical modeling that shows after 50 minutes of play it gives you a better than 80% chance of winning.



You don't take points off the board, if you are looking at another field goal attempt over 40 yards, if you fail to gain another yard.

Otter, how old do those stats go to? If those stats range from the last 30 years, then they are skewed as even 20 years ago, it was difficult to come back from 2 scores in the 4th quarter unless you had a great QB.

I would like to see the stats for the last 10 years on this because it seems as though teams are always coming back from 2 scores even with 4 minutes remaining. Even SEA, last week was coming back and got within 2 points but we got "lucky" with a ST touchdown.
Originally posted by Hitman49:

That's right!! Taking the field goal was the wrong decision, because he could have taken the field goal two and a half minutes later, putting even that much more pressure on the cowboys. Rookie head coach mistake, and will not make that again I guarantee that!!!!!
  • Jcool
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 12,949
In general, Harbaugh seemed like he was playing it very safe in the fourth quarter. For starters, he decided to send Akers in for that 55-yard field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-1. Then he decided not to put his offense back on the field after the Cowboys’ penalty gave the 49ers an automatic first down.. According to AdvancedNFLStats.com, which analyzes plays based on how they affect a team’s expected probability of winning the game, both of those decisions were mistakes.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/19/jim-harbaughs-decisions-come-back-to-haunt-49ers/
Accepting the penalty for a 1st down gives the 49ers the ball at the Dallas 22, up by 7. This is worth a WP of 0.91.
The percentage play would have been to take the points off the board and accept the 1st down, but just barely. 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, EB 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.
I can see why Harbaugh felt comfortable with a 10-point lead. It meant the Cowboys would need a TD drive, a stop, and another scoring drive. A TD and then a last minute FG only gets Dallas a 50/50 shot in OT. Unfortunately for the 49ers, that's exactly what happened, and OT went the Cowboys' way.
Edit: I should have pointed out that the real mistake was not going for it on 4th and 1 from the 37. It's a no-brainer. Going for it gives the 49ers a 0.87 WP, and attempting the FG gives them a 0.84 WP, for an error of 0.04 WP. See below for the calculation.

http://www.advancednflstats.com/2011/09/should-49ers-have-taken-points-off.html

Harbaugh made another tactical mistake late in the game: The 49ers still had two timeouts left after they stopped the Cowboys on a third down with 43 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, and they should have immediately called timeout and forced the Cowboys to kick the field goal then. Instead, they allowed the Cowboys to let the clock run down to just four seconds remaining before kicking the game-tying field goal that sent the game into overtime on the final play of the fourth quarter. If Harbaugh had called timeout with 43 seconds left, the Cowboys would have had to kick their field goal right then, and then kick off to Ted Ginn, the 49ers’ dangerous return man, with 38 seconds left — and even if Ginn didn’t get a big return, the 49ers’ offense would have had time to try to get into field goal range for a game-winning field goal of their own at the end of the fourth quarter.
But instead Harbaugh let the Cowboys control the clock, they controlled it effectively, and they won.


http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/19/jim-harbaughs-decisions-come-back-to-haunt-49ers/
[ Edited by Joecool on Sep 19, 2011 at 11:12 AM ]
The team didn't convert a single 3rd down in the second half. That's not good. Everyone cries we would have had the points anyways is fooling them selves. The chances were better that a sack would have occurred and the ball driven far enough back that Akers would end up with another 45-50 yard attempt. That is no gimme. Ask Bailey about gimme FGs.
The thread of this title is correct. You NEVER, EVER take points off the board for ANY reason, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. Period, end of story. Anyone who argues the opposite does NOT know the game of football. Nuff said.

Harbaugh's decision to keep the three on the board did not cost us the game. The collapse of our defense did.

Keep in mind that this is a DAMN young team. It will be a thing of beauty at times (See: Ginn punt teruns). It's also going to make you want to TOSS THE FAMILY DOG OVER THE FENCE (please, ignore this urge, poor doggy). That is the mark of a young and GOOD team. Yes, I said good.

Boys and girls -- this is a good team. Repeat after me: This is a fine young team. Repeat after me: Alex Smith just might, MIGHT, mind you -- develop into a pretty good QB under Harbaugh. Coming from his most outspoken critic? This takes a real leap of faith. But DAYUM -- that man is suddenly playing lights out football.

So -- don't fret kids. This one hurts like Hades. Damn, if I wasn't depressed yesterday. But I have this feeling that this team is learning how to win. And if and when the rematch comes in January -- that blue star is going to be a TARGET -- not a sign of pride.
I agree with his call. He has/had faith in the D to make the stops, and they let him down.
Originally posted by kingairta:
The team didn't convert a single 3rd down in the second half. That's not good. Everyone cries we would have had the points anyways is fooling them selves. The chances were better that a sack would have occurred and the ball driven far enough back that Akers would end up with another 45-50 yard attempt. That is no gimme. Ask Bailey about gimme FGs.

Even more of a reason to accept the penalty. We were GIVEN a first down 15 yards up field. You take that and DAL gets more frustrated and even more urgent.
  • jimrat
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 11,739
Which one of you guys just called KNBR.............49erswebzone!!!!!
Originally posted by billbird2111:
The thread of this title is correct. You NEVER, EVER take points off the board for ANY reason, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. Period, end of story. Anyone who argues the opposite does NOT know the game of football. Nuff said.

Harbaugh's decision to keep the three on the board did not cost us the game. The collapse of our defense did.

Keep in mind that this is a DAMN young team. It will be a thing of beauty at times (See: Ginn punt teruns). It's also going to make you want to TOSS THE FAMILY DOG OVER THE FENCE (please, ignore this urge, poor doggy). That is the mark of a young and GOOD team. Yes, I said good.

Boys and girls -- this is a good team. Repeat after me: This is a fine young team. Repeat after me: Alex Smith just might, MIGHT, mind you -- develop into a pretty good QB under Harbaugh. Coming from his most outspoken critic? This takes a real leap of faith. But DAYUM -- that man is suddenly playing lights out football.

So -- don't fret kids. This one hurts like Hades. Damn, if I wasn't depressed yesterday. But I have this feeling that this team is learning how to win. And if and when the rematch comes in January -- that blue star is going to be a TARGET -- not a sign of pride.

Stats say otherwise. Also, when you have a chance to take up more TOP and get better field position, you take it. This isn't the 1970's NFL where two scores is difficulty to come back from. DAL is a potent enough offense to be able to recover.

Ask yourself this, what is the primary strategy when playing against a very potent offense? Keep that offense off the field. We let them on the field with more time.

The bold is an out of date philosophy. It may have been a solid one 30 years ago but not in this passing league vs a very capable QB.
Originally posted by monsterzero789:
I agree with his call. He has/had faith in the D to make the stops, and they let him down.

No. Versus a potent offense and a top QB, the gameplan is to keep that offense off the field. Harbaugh did the opposite.
[ Edited by Joecool on Sep 19, 2011 at 11:17 AM ]
  • fryet
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 2,840
As we know, Harbaugh chose the FG and we lost the game, because the defense couldn't protect a 10 point lead late in the 4th quarter. If the 49ers had taken the first down, they would have been on the 22 yard line, and looking at a 39 yard field goal if they didn't gain another yard. One strategy that they could have employed was then running ball 3 times to take an additional 2 minutes off the clock, plus ensure that they don't get sacked and have an even harder FG to try. Ideally they get a first down, and can run even more time off the clock. A third option would be to pass the ball and go for the TD and a 14 point lead. Which option would you choose?