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View Full Version : Abolish 4th down punts.


rockabilly
10-19-2005, 12:31 PM
I think we are so deep into the season and so outmatched against any team that we play this season, especially the colts, I think we should abolish punting on 4th down when it it is 4th and 5 or less, and we are past our own 45 yard line.

2nd down is usually OUR 4th down. I think this offense needs an extra down to get the job done and can be more efficient if they follow my "over 45 with 5 to go plan."

An extra down gives our D one more play or possible more rest time between series plus begins to tire, irritate, and confuse the opposing defense.

Im not trying to be funny here sadly. But I think it should be an option when you are already 0-5 and your offense is the least productive.

Vinny
10-19-2005, 12:33 PM
if you aren't trying to be funny then you aren't credible. Punts are a big part of field position and making teams drive the length of the field. One of our problems on offense is we have long fields we have to drive and do not have many short fields....you are talking about giving the other teams more short fields.

ArlingtonTexan
10-19-2005, 12:33 PM
:club:

rockabilly
10-19-2005, 12:37 PM
Did you see the score Sunday night? Apparently punting doesnt help this team. Our defense is too soft. The seahawks easily drove 90 yards for a td. The only way this team can win is if the other team doesnt have the ball.

On field position, if you turnover the ball on a 4th down attempt on the 50 yard line, it is not that big a difference considering our defense.

Im for punting on 4th if we are below our own 45 yard line. But I think if we get that far and close to their side of the field we need to take advantage if we only have 5 yards to go on a 4th.

Vinny
10-19-2005, 12:38 PM
Did you see the score Sunday night? Apparently punting doesnt help this team. You need some football 101. This can't work...if it did other teams would do it.

Double Barrel
10-19-2005, 12:38 PM
This sounds like a technique employed by online Madden cheesers. Never punting and always kicking offsides. :loser

As mentioned by Vinny, starting field position is probably one of the most important overlooked stats in football. It can easily make or break games with teams that are evenly matched.

Vinny
10-19-2005, 12:39 PM
This sounds like a technique employed by online Madden cheesers. Never punting and always kicking offsides. :loser: LOL, that's what I was thinking.

rockabilly
10-19-2005, 12:45 PM
This sounds like a technique employed by online Madden cheesers. Never punting and always kicking offsides. :loser

As mentioned by Vinny, starting field position is probably one of the most important overlooked stats in football. It can easily make or break games with teams that are evenly matched.

We are always un-evenly matched.

And the reason other teams don't do it is because no other team is as pathetic as we are or have a swiss cheese defense. Everyone on this board talks about how bad the offense is. Well, the defense is just as horrid.

Vinny
10-19-2005, 12:47 PM
This is not what I'd consider intelligent football talk. Most fans from other teams would just laugh at how dumb we are considering this stuff man.

Runner
10-19-2005, 12:59 PM
Never punting would certainly lead to some high scores - against the team that doesn't punt.

I remember seeing an article in Discover a few years ago where a mathematician "proved" that always going for it on 4th down would improve a teams chances of winning.

The flaw in all this, of course, was that the historical data he had to work with was skewed to:

a) 4th and very short situations, where most teams consider going for it on 4th down and many do regardless of game time

b) most teams that go for it on 4th down, even very short yardage, already have field postion on their side

c) 4th and long when teams are still close in score but time is winding down, so going for it on 4th down has a higher percentage of leading to a win when compared to going for it on 4th and 7 during the first quarter because they refuse to punt out of hand

They also explored such sports mysteries such as:

Do curve balls curve? Yes

Do "rising" fast balls rise? No - they just don't drop as far as normal.

rockabilly
10-19-2005, 01:05 PM
ok. so i guess the idea is a little stupid. sadly its the only thing i can think of..as there is nothing else this team can do this year to imrprove. I really do see 0-16.

Runner
10-19-2005, 01:17 PM
Here are some references to the statistical payback of always going for it on 4th down.

Press release for David Romer's study:
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2002/08/19_ftball.html

ESPN analysis of the study:
http://espn.go.com/nfl/columns/garber_greg/1453717.html

For the mathematically inclined, the paper itself:
http://emlab.berkeley.edu/users/dromer/papers/nber9024.pdf

Abstract
This paper uses play-by-play accounts of virtually all regular season National Football League games for 1998-2000 to analyze teamsí choices on fourth down to estimate the values of possessing the ball at different points on the field. These estimates are combined with data on the results of kicks and conventional plays to estimate the average payoffs to kicking and going for it under different circumstances. Examination of teamsí actual decisions shows systematic, overwhelmingly statistically significant, and quantitatively large departures from decisions the dynamic-programming analysis implies are preferable.



I leave further analysis of this paper to the board.

Texas
10-19-2005, 02:01 PM
Thats madden. This is real life. If you think about us doing that every time. What would that do? Nothing really accept increase the other teams Point Average against us. We 80% of the time wouldnt get the first down and when we did we'd still have to continue moving upfield. I agree this is more like a rookie on madden's type of idea but keep it up. It works there :)

Ibar_Harry
10-19-2005, 02:37 PM
if you aren't trying to be funny then you aren't credible. Punts are a big part of field position and making teams drive the length of the field. One of our problems on offense is we have long fields we have to drive and do not have many short fields....you are talking about giving the other teams more short fields.

Vinny the problem is that we never can contain the other team when we do pen them back. I understand and actually feel the same way. It sounds strange but our defense is not doing anything to get the ball back to us. We seldom see a 3 and out. The one way you beat Manning is keep the ball away from him. He looses rythm just like Carr and he gets frustrated when he's behind. He does make mistakes when pressured. You are not going to beat Indy by playing a normal game. I would say I would look at every 4th down and evaluate it based on what the punt game my get me vs if I got a 1st down. Its a must to keep the Indy offense off of the field.

humbleone
10-19-2005, 02:39 PM
I think we are so deep into the season and so outmatched against any team that we play this season, especially the colts, I think we should abolish punting on 4th down when it it is 4th and 5 or less, and we are past our own 45 yard line.

2nd down is usually OUR 4th down. I think this offense needs an extra down to get the job done and can be more efficient if they follow my "over 45 with 5 to go plan."

An extra down gives our D one more play or possible more rest time between series plus begins to tire, irritate, and confuse the opposing defense.

Im not trying to be funny here sadly. But I think it should be an option when you are already 0-5 and your offense is the least productive.

Actually, for this team, the opposite to your idea makes more sense we should punt on every third and long instead of not punting on 4th down. Why...because our ability to convert third downs is practically zero anyway and this would reduce our sacks improving field position more than it would currently cost us in missed opportunities to continue.... oh what is that word when teams make first downs and move down the field??? oh yeah "drives".

(BTW, I am venting not advocating)

ledzeppelin229
10-19-2005, 02:42 PM
Vinny the problem is that we never can contain the other team when we do pen them back. I understand and actually feel the same way. It sounds strange but our defense is not doing anything to get the ball back to us. We seldom see a 3 and out. The one way you beat Manning is keep the ball away from him. He looses rythm just like Carr and he gets frustrated when he's behind. He does make mistakes when pressured. You are not going to beat Indy by playing a normal game. I would say I would look at every 4th down and evaluate it based on what the punt game my get me vs if I got a 1st down. Its a must to keep the Indy offense off of the field.

Like our offense has done anything with the ball when it finally gets it.

Vinny
10-19-2005, 02:43 PM
I would say I would look at every 4th down and evaluate it based on what the punt game my get me vs if I got a 1st down. Its a must to keep the Indy offense off of the field. If you can't get it in three downs your odds of getting in one is not good...I can't believe our fans are discussing this credibly.

Ibar_Harry
10-19-2005, 02:54 PM
If you can't get it in three downs your odds of getting in one is not good...I can't believe our fans are discussing this credibly.

He's talking about inside of their 45. By kicking you are probably going to get it brought back to the 20. If your defense could hold them Vinny then I would say its foolish. So if your not going to hold them anyway, may be should give yourself an additinal chance. That's what the logic is all about. I understand how you feel and I know why, but again this not a normal team with a normal defense.

St Louis was playing the perfect game against INDY until the QB tried to be a hero and took himself out of the game. At that point it was all over. But St Louis did expose a weakness of INDY in that they are human to and do not like pressure. Manning does loose his cool. Like I said in an earlier post wehn he starts talking to the officials you try to upstage that and upset him. We also have to blitz regardless of the consequences, because if we get to him he will throw a hissy fit. Manning himself is the key to upsetting INDY.

Vinny
10-19-2005, 02:56 PM
:brickwall

Double Barrel
10-19-2005, 03:16 PM
We've got a great punter. Probably one of the better players [at his position] on our team.

I think the chances of downing the ball inside the 20 on a punt are greater than our chances of making it on even 10% of our fourth downs (especially considering most of our fourth downs are long).

Talk like this is for defeatists. We already have a mountain to climb to get an 0-5 start (and most likely 0-6 after Sunday) out of our team's mentality. But giving up on playing field position, a basic premise of ball control football, smells of desperation.

And if there is anything worse than a losing attitude on a team, it's a desperate losing attitude.

We have to keep making sound football judgement calls if we want any credibility to exist with our organization, because our long term ability to create a successful team goes well beyond this one season.

We start making calls like this, we will be the laughing stock in the national media for more than just losing games. And that tag would stay with us for a long, long time (well after Coach Capers & co. have left the building).

Ibar_Harry
10-19-2005, 03:21 PM
We've got a great punter. Probably one of the better players [at his position] on our team.

I think the chances of downing the ball inside the 20 on a punt are greater than our chances of making it on even 10% of our fourth downs (especially considering most of our fourth downs are long).

Talk like this is for defeatists. We already have a mountain to climb to get an 0-5 start (and most likely 0-6 after Sunday) out of our team's mentality. But giving up on playing field position, a basic premise of ball control football, smells of desperation.

And if there is anything worse than a losing attitude on a team, it's a desperate losing attitude.

We have to keep making sound football judgement calls if we want any credibility to exist with our organization, because our long term ability to create a successful team goes well beyond this one season.

We start making calls like this, we will be the laughing stock in the national media for more than just losing games. And that tag would stay with us for a long, long time (well after Coach Capers & co. have left the building).

Yes we have a good punter who has been successful at putting the ball inside the opponents 20, but the defense has not held them once that's happen. That's the problem. So if you can't hold them there anyway, you might as well see if you can keep the drive going. The best defense in this game might be a great offense. Again with a normal team and a normal game I would say punting would be wise. But in this game I think you have to look at each 4th down as a potentail 1st. We actually have a better 4th down conversion rate than a 3rd down conversion rate.

Ibar_Harry
10-19-2005, 03:25 PM
Again the gentleman was saying short and 4th inside the other teams 45. He's not talking about when we have a long ways to go. We have to keep the pressure on Indy somehow. If you just keep punting to Manning its all over anyway.

Its like playing nolimit Texas Holdem. If you are weak player against an expert your best play is to keep going all in and pray for the best. You actually negate the play of the best player and put it all on chance. We are in a similar situation with Indy.

infantrycak
10-19-2005, 03:53 PM
But St Louis did expose a weakness of INDY in that they are human to and do not like pressure. Manning does loose his cool. Like I said in an earlier post wehn he starts talking to the officials you try to upstage that and upset him.

St. Louis invented this hmmm? Not the Patriots or say the Texans last year when Dunta sacked Manning twice (but for refs would have been 4 times with a fumble) the DB's picked him off twice and he was whining about calls to the refs. What am I doing?--I forgot you don't watch 90% of the Texans games.

Bubbajwp
10-19-2005, 03:55 PM
This is a brilliant idea. Now we can lose 60-17 instead of 42-10. By doing this we would clinch the first pick in the draft. So I say go ahead.

Texas_Thrill
10-19-2005, 03:56 PM
I think this was an idea produced out of frustration.

That being said I'm sure you know its not good solid FUNDAMENTAL football which is what we need to try and play more of.

Run, Defense, Field Position. Ugly Ball.

Unfortunately....Run - DD gets 9 Man Lines. Seahawks even had some 10 man ones. Talk about getting rodney dangerfield.

Defense....yea well 320 (on the ground) answers that.

Field Position....yes i saw the 90 yard drive.

All that said it just means we need to FIGURE IT OUT. MINUS the coaches we presently have.

touttail
10-20-2005, 07:04 AM
I do feel that certain situations warrant going for it on 4th down. Would be nice if we had 4th and a foot with Refridgerator Perry in the backfield. :rofl:

It would be the kiss of death to go for it every 4th down past our 45yard line. True it seems to make no difference with our defense if a team gets it on the 10 or 50 yard line, but the odds are much better in our favor that they have to move the ball 90/95 yards for a score than just go 50 yards to score! If you are on the fifty yard line, One decent pass & you are in FG range. Common sense would tell you this!

bobby 119C

HJam72
10-20-2005, 07:29 AM
Hey, great idea! While we're at it, we could have 5 receivers and no backs on EVERY play....we don't need Bruener in there to block or anything anyway.

There is one thing I do wonder about, talking about kicking out of bounds:

Why don't punters punt out of bounds more often? I mean they always try to get it to stop (or be stopped) inside the 10, so why not just kick it out of bounds at about the 5 yd. line? Obviously, this idea isn't the answer to the Texans problems, but I just wonder about it. Guess it must be harder to do than I think or something.

infantrycak
10-20-2005, 09:04 AM
Punters have a hard time with fine tuning the angle--really the distance is easier to peg than the angle. That combined with the fact that NFL officials are incredibly generous to the receiving team when spotting where a punt goes out of bounds makes it a non-starter although logical idea.

texan279
10-20-2005, 09:06 AM
This sounds like a technique employed by online Madden cheesers. Never punting and always kicking offsides. :loser
As mentioned by Vinny, starting field position is probably one of the most important overlooked stats in football. It can easily make or break games with teams that are evenly matched.

The titans were doing it in the last half of last season... :tv:

Vinny
10-20-2005, 09:14 AM
The titans were doing it in the last half of last season... :tv:
No they weren't. The last 8 games they went for it 4 times on 4th down (probably about the NFL average). Everything in the NFL is recorded you know.

texan279
10-20-2005, 09:20 AM
No they weren't. The last 8 games they went for it 4 times on 4th down (probably about the NFL average). Everything in the NFL is recorded you know.

I was talking about the onsides kicks, do they keep records of those?

Malloy
10-20-2005, 09:25 AM
This sounds like a technique employed by online Madden cheesers. Never punting and always kicking offsides. :loser


I don't remember what team it was, that last season made onside kicks like three times in the fisrt half against.. The Colts I believe it was. I think the idea were that it did not matter what the field position would be like since Manning and co. would score anyway. SO, onside kicks, if the Colts got the ball they would score regardless, but if *insert team name here* got the ball back, it would mean that Manning were not on the field. Since we have not seen it since (afaik) I would suppose that.. it did not work :)

texan279
10-20-2005, 09:27 AM
No they weren't. The last 8 games they went for it 4 times on 4th down (probably about the NFL average). Everything in the NFL is recorded you know.

And FYI according to NFL.com, they attempted 12 4th down conversions in the last 8 games, they tried it 27 times total for the season.

Malloy
10-20-2005, 09:30 AM
b) most teams that go for it on 4th down, even very short yardage, already have field postion on their side


So, if a team chose to consider their opponents part of the field as fourth-down-land, it might be possible? :)

Runner
10-20-2005, 09:34 AM
So, if a team chose to consider their opponents part of the field as fourth-down-land, it might be possible? :)

I don't know - I didn't run the dynamic-programming analysis with my own assumptions. :bomb:

Vinny
10-20-2005, 09:37 AM
I just went thru the gamebooks.... I may have taken the wrong team a time or two but dont have time to look it up again...I just checked the last three and they had 3 vs the Raiders and zero vs the other two. They had 5 vs the Colts but the Colts beat them 51-24....Bottom line is most games that werent blow outs they went for a first down zero or one time. 27 attempts is still just a bit more than one a game.

4th-Down Conversions 0-0
Lions 4th-Down Conversions 0-0
Denver 4th-Down Conversions 0-1

Detroit Lions vs Tennessee Titans
1/2/2005 at The Coliseum
Final Team Statistics
Visitor
Lions Home
Titans
TOTAL FIRST DOWNS 23 15
By Rushing 5 4
By Passing 17 10
By Penalty 1 1
THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY 5-15-33% 5-13-38%
FOURTH DOWN EFFICIENCY 1-2-50% 0-0-0%

http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/gamebook/NFL_20050102_DET@TEN

texan279
10-20-2005, 09:44 AM
I just went thru the gamebooks.... I may have taken the wrong team a time or two but dont have time to look it up again...I just checked the last three and they had 3 vs the Raiders and zero vs the other two. They had 5 vs the Colts but the Colts beat them 51-24....Bottom line is most games that werent blow outs they went for a first down zero or one time. 27 attempts is still just a bit more than one a game.

4th-Down Conversions 0-0
Lions 4th-Down Conversions 0-0
Denver 4th-Down Conversions 0-1

Detroit Lions vs Tennessee Titans
1/2/2005 at The Coliseum
Final Team Statistics
Visitor
Lions Home
Titans
TOTAL FIRST DOWNS 23 15
By Rushing 5 4
By Passing 17 10
By Penalty 1 1
THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY 5-15-33% 5-13-38%
FOURTH DOWN EFFICIENCY 1-2-50% 0-0-0%

http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/gamebook/NFL_20050102_DET@TEN

They led the NFL last season with 27 4th down attempts and guess who was second, the Texans with 21. :tv:

Vinny
10-20-2005, 09:45 AM
Heck of a losers stat. When you are behind you go for it late. I bet most of them were 4th and short on the opponents side of the field too.

texan279
10-20-2005, 09:56 AM
Heck of a losers stat. When you are behind you go for it late. I bet most of them were 4th and short on the opponents side of the field too.

I know Vinny, and I wasn't trying to be an *** in my posts, I guess what I was trying to say is playing/coaching with a loser's mentality is probably not the best thing for the Texans to for the rest of the season.

Texans Horror
10-20-2005, 09:59 AM
This is the intriguing part of the ESPN analysis:

"Even on its own 10-yard-line -- 90 yards from the end zone -- a team within three yards of a first down is marginally better off, on average, going for it."

At this point in the season, why not go for it?

Is this professor looking to coach a team? I'd be willing to let probability equations fuel the Texans for a while. How about a game theorist for offensive coordinator?

Vinny
10-20-2005, 10:07 AM
I know Vinny, and I wasn't trying to be an *** in my posts, I guess what I was trying to say is playing/coaching with a loser's mentality is probably not the best thing for the Texans to for the rest of the season.
It's all good...I had too much coffee earlier and was doing too many things at once as well.

eriadoc
10-20-2005, 10:47 AM
How did this topic make three pages?

Runner
10-20-2005, 10:48 AM
How did this topic make three pages?

Boredom.

Malloy
10-20-2005, 11:09 AM
How did this topic make three pages?

The usual way. Out of frustration we start to flame each others pants off ;)

rockabilly
10-20-2005, 12:33 PM
hehe. wow i started the thread...and even im suprised it went this far.

touttail
10-20-2005, 02:49 PM
Why don't punters punt out of bounds more often? I mean they always try to get it to stop (or be stopped) inside the 10, so why not just kick it out of bounds at about the 5 yd. line? Obviously, this idea isn't the answer to the Texans problems, but I just wonder about it. Guess it must be harder to do than I think or something.


A good idea! Did you see what Florida's punter did against LSU. He took the snap, made 3 steps to the right and kicked the ball so Skylar Green couldn't return it. He did this on every punt! They either got to it or it went out of bounds. Worked great!

bobby 119C