Monday, November 16, 2009

Fourth and Doh!

I am not as smart as Steven Levitt, but I definitely didn't think Belichick should be ridiculed as much as he was for going for it on fourth down last night. As it turns out, not only should he not be criticized that much for it, he might have made the statistically better decision.

So chill out, Boston. Your coach made a defensible call and the team couldn't execute (or, it seems, play defense in the second half). Want to blame someone? Blame Peyton Manning who torched your secondary all night long.

And props to Joe Montana. Why? Because, apparently, during the week leading up to the game, all 20 living hall of fame quarterbacks were asked who they would rather have - Manning or Brady. Manning won a decisive vote - 13.5- 2.5 (four abstentions). But Montana was the only one to split the vote, saying he would take Brady in the first half, Manning in the second half. As it turned out, that was precisely the right pick last night.

Also, the Giants suck.


Open Bar said...

I missed the game last night, but I've now read several articles about the Belichick decision. And from what I've read (this is generalizing, of course), smart, thoughtful people averse to snap judgments seem to be roundly applauding the decision, whereas screaming jerkoff blowhards on ESPN and in the major papers are all "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, YOU STUPID FUCK?"

Bill Belichick has won three Super Bowls this decade. (And that doesn't even include a 16-0 regular season. On a related note, that year the GIANTS WON THE SUPER BOWL.) He's pretty much known for not giving a fuck what other people think because he knows way more about football than just about anyone, so I'm inclined to think that however odd the play initially seemed, I'm sure Belichick had a good reason for it. And yes, if they convert, it's an easy win and those same blowhard jerkoffs go back to sucking Belichick's balls for having the "guts" and "willing his team to victory" and "that's why he's got all those rings -- foresight."

Also in the Times is this piece, which breaks down the statistical probabilities.

Here's another piece which jumps off of the above link. It's more about Belichick the man than anything, but very insightful too.

ChuckJerry said...

I'll give him credit for being able to completely ignore conventional wisdom and go with the play he thought was right.

I hate when on those third and fourth down plays they throw the ball behind the first down marker and make the guy run for it. The Giants love to do that. I guess it's usually a check down, but even so I hate it.

I would view this particular play as a good call even if you grant that Peyton Manning was definitely going to score the touchdown on the fail.

Evan said...

I agree. I hate the douchebag crowd asking, “what was he thinking going for it?” I’ll tell you what he was thinking. Something like:

Hmmm. I have Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and one of the best offenses in the NFL. With this offense, I have two yards to go and the game if over. If I don’t go for it, I have to stop Peyton Manning. I have a better chance of moving the ball forward two yards than I have to stop the Colts offense with over 2 minutes.

If they get the 1st down and win the game, then, the exact same douchebags would be saying “Of course you go for it in that situation. What a great decision.”

In the end, it didn’t pay off, but that doesn’t make it the wrong decision. It’s like doubling down on 11. “I’m telling you baby you always double down on 11.”

Open Bar said...

“I’m telling you baby you always double down on 11.”

Well obviously not this time.