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49ers offense would benefit from mathematics

Harbaugh goes for it on 4th down when the situation is right.
The ability to think > mathemathics
Originally posted by JiksJuicy:
The ability to think > mathemathics

to like... think.. wut?

Originally posted by Furlow:
I don't think anyone is a proponent of going for it on 4th down EVERY time, regardless of the situation. A little bit of an overreaction, guys. But I'm not surprised, this is the WZ.

The point is that statistically, it more often than not makes sense to go for it on 4th and short. That doesn't mean go for it on 4th and 10 at your own 2 yard line. It also doesn't mean go for it on 4th down at the opponent's 2 yard line with 2 seconds left and you're down by 1. DUH. It is a simple illustration that coaching from the conventional, ultra-conservative perspective costs teams victories.

We have a solid running game, and a smart QB who doesn't turn the ball over. I would venture to guess that if we make 10 trips into the Red Zone, and all 10 end up in a 4th down situation, that we'd score more points if we went for it every time. Let's say Akers makes all 10 field goals, that's 30 points. If we convert only 50%, and end up scoring a touchdown, we'd end up with 35 points. The last two years, we are 11/18 on 4th down conversions (61%), and that's not taking into account the distance. The article is talking about 4th and 2 yards or less. The conversion percentage is very high.


Greg Easterbrook talks about this a lot in his Tuesday Morning Quaterback column. I've been following it for 3-4 years.



http://search.espn.go.com/gregg-easterbrook/
Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
Originally posted by JiksJuicy:
The ability to think > mathemathics

to like... think.. wut?


Just saying there are parts to the equation math doesn't solve. Mathematics are most definitely part of the game, but human knowledge, and human feelings are the bigger part. Some defenses are better, some coaches "feel" more confidant in one aspect of the game. Some are happy to kick the ball, or get a f.g. because they have the defense. If you want to break it down it eventually becomes odds and what not, but matter of the fact is that coaching takes more than just knowing those odds. It takes knowledge and certain characteristics that are bigger in making these decisions that an equation.... If that makes any sense again?
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
Remember the Falcons last year going for it on 4th & inches on their 30 because they didn't think the defense can stop Brees and the Saints.... yeah how did that worked out. Mathematics don't get you 4th and inches over 300 pounders x4, plus 255 LBs x3. That's more than 1000pds of humanity mathematics has to account for.

How does math account for the one ref guessing on the spot of the ball and give you a short spot when replay don't show crap.

The deal about going for it on EVERY fourth down is this, it radically changes play calling if you know you are using all 4 downs, that leads to more converted fourth downs. Also you could have one more full time player on the squad...no punter!
Originally posted by JiksJuicy:
. If that makes any sense again?

Sorry.. I wasn't at all clear that I was just being goofy.
Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
Originally posted by JiksJuicy:
. If that makes any sense again?

Sorry.. I wasn't at all clear that I was just being goofy.

Good ole Mcgibbs

.
Originally posted by GolittaCamper:
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
Remember the Falcons last year going for it on 4th & inches on their 30 because they didn't think the defense can stop Brees and the Saints.... yeah how did that worked out. Mathematics don't get you 4th and inches over 300 pounders x4, plus 255 LBs x3. That's more than 1000pds of humanity mathematics has to account for.

How does math account for the one ref guessing on the spot of the ball and give you a short spot when replay don't show crap.

The deal about going for it on EVERY fourth down is this, it radically changes play calling if you know you are using all 4 downs, that leads to more converted fourth downs. Also you could have one more full time player on the squad...no punter!

I think I know what you are saying. It's about the confidence in the offense. Like in our juggernaut years where the offense was so good that sometimes when they are in 4th and short I wanted them to go for it because they were clearly kicking azz. It's much easier to think that way, but when the offense is inconsistent, not sure if anyone wanting to win the game would play that way. And I'm not even mentioning a crappy defense getting on the field if you don't make that conversion. It's easy to think of what the positive would be if a team make the conversion. What's being avoided in the article is what are the consequence when it's not converted. It's a more dire situation than not 'winning' the game by kicking a field goal.

The ability to punt the ball is not an offensive play but a defensive play to prepared you defense in the best position possible when they hit the field. Allowing your defense enough field position so that even if they make a few mistakes, will allow your defense to recover if a big play happened. If you think a 4th down is solely an offensive play than you are neglecting the other half of your team -- the defense.

Hope all this wordiness makes sense
Originally posted by Furlow:
I don't think anyone is a proponent of going for it on 4th down EVERY time, regardless of the situation. A little bit of an overreaction, guys. But I'm not surprised, this is the WZ.

The point is that statistically, it more often than not makes sense to go for it on 4th and short. That doesn't mean go for it on 4th and 10 at your own 2 yard line. It also doesn't mean go for it on 4th down at the opponent's 2 yard line with 2 seconds left and you're down by 1. DUH. It is a simple illustration that coaching from the conventional, ultra-conservative perspective costs teams victories.

We have a solid running game, and a smart QB who doesn't turn the ball over. I would venture to guess that if we make 10 trips into the Red Zone, and all 10 end up in a 4th down situation, that we'd score more points if we went for it every time. Let's say Akers makes all 10 field goals, that's 30 points. If we convert only 50%, and end up scoring a touchdown, we'd end up with 35 points. The last two years, we are 11/18 on 4th down conversions (61%), and that's not taking into account the distance. The article is talking about 4th and 2 yards or less. The conversion percentage is very high.

Only having a 5 point difference in 30 tries is not worth it to always go for it in the red zone. I would definitely go for it more on 4th and short in between the 20's but the red zone is a different animal and the defense actually gains advantage in the red zone vs a more open part of the field.
2+2 = 4
Originally posted by Afrikan:
because Head Coaches don't treat these games as if its Madden online.

Winner winner chicken dinner.
  • fryet
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 2,860
The difference between the NFL and college is that the defenses are better in the NFL. The likelihood of converting on 4th and 1 in the NFL is much lower than in college or high school. With those changed percentages, the decision to go for it, is not as mathematically sound. You also have to consider how strong your offense is (and for that matter your defense). If I was the Buffalo Bills, I would be going on 4th down a lot - they have a strong offense and a weak defense. If I was the Cardinals, I would be punting on 4th down.
Originally posted by fryet:
The difference between the NFL and college is that the defenses are better in the NFL. The likelihood of converting on 4th and 1 in the NFL is much lower than in college or high school. With those changed percentages, the decision to go for it, is not as mathematically sound. You also have to consider how strong your offense is (and for that matter your defense). If I was the Buffalo Bills, I would be going on 4th down a lot - they have a strong offense and a weak defense. If I was the Cardinals, I would be punting on 4th down.

the bills do not have a strong offense
More ammo:

The math doesn't lie! This was an analysis done on the NFL, so don't give me the "college defenses aren't as good BS."



Part 4 is the conclusion of all evidence gathered:
http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/09/4th-down-study-part-4.html

Here are the other parts:
http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/09/4th-down-study-part-1.html
http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/09/4th-down-study-part-2.html
http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/09/4th-down-study-part-3.html