Football Strategy Discussion - Jacksonville going for 2 last night

MNVCGUY

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I know this is not Gopher football related but it is the off-season and it would be interesting to hear what others thought of Jacksonville's decision to go for 2 late in the game yesterday.

For those that didn't see it: Jacksonville was down 30-20 in the 4th quarter. With 3:22 left in the game they scored a TD and after the play the Chargers were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct meaning they could run the 2pt play from the 1 if they wanted to. Down 30-26 they elected to go for 2 and to their credit converted it making it 30-28 Chargers. The Jags then forced a 3 and out and managed to drive down for the game winning field goal as time expired.

So the question is, how do people feel about the decision to go for 2 when down 30-26? Take out the hindsight part of how the game played out. Even if you are sure you have a great 2 point play, is it worth the risk to potentially find yourself down 30-26 and now needing to get the ball back and score a TD to win?

Couple of added factors, you are playing at home and it is the playoffs so you lose and you're eliminated.

In my opinion, you kick the extra point there to go down 3 points as opposed to risking being down 4 if you fail to convert the 2pt play. Very different strategy if you only need 3 to force OT as opposed to needing to score a TD when down 4.

What do others feel about that decision in Jacksonville's insane comeback victory after being down 27-0?
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

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I like it. The 1 yard conversion greatly increases your chances of converting. And now you are playing for the win with a FG instead of playing to force OT where it is still a toss-up. When you get the penalty and it puts the odds in your favor, I like the call to push your chips in on that play.

Also, with respect to our earlier thread about the difference between playing to win and playing not to lose, this was it.
 

Gophers1992

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I know this is not Gopher football related but it is the off-season and it would be interesting to hear what others thought of Jacksonville's decision to go for 2 late in the game yesterday.

For those that didn't see it: Jacksonville was down 30-20 in the 4th quarter. With 3:22 left in the game they scored a TD and after the play the Chargers were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct meaning they could run the 2pt play from the 1 if they wanted to. Down 30-26 they elected to go for 2 and to their credit converted it making it 30-28 Chargers. The Jags then forced a 3 and out and managed to drive down for the game winning field goal as time expired.

So the question is, how do people feel about the decision to go for 2 when down 30-26? Take out the hindsight part of how the game played out. Even if you are sure you have a great 2 point play, is it worth the risk to potentially find yourself down 30-26 and now needing to get the ball back and score a TD to win?

Couple of added factors, you are playing at home and it is the playoffs so you lose and you're eliminated.

In my opinion, you kick the extra point there to go down 3 points as opposed to risking being down 4 if you fail to convert the 2pt play. Very different strategy if you only need 3 to force OT as opposed to needing to score a TD when down 4.

What do others feel about that decision in Jacksonville's insane comeback victory after being down 27-0?
Tough to say, but you’re also forgetting there’s a risk of missing the extra point.
 

GopherJack

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I like it. The 1 yard conversion greatly increases your chances of converting. And now you are playing for the win with a FG instead of playing to force OT where it is still a toss-up. When you get the penalty and it puts the odds in your favor, I like the call to push your chips in on that play.

Also, with respect to our earlier thread about the difference between playing to win and playing not to lose, this was it.
This and this
 

PMWinSTP

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Miami was down 17 in today's Noon game halfway through the 2nd, and pulled even within 7 minutes. Crazy.
 


hungan1

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Down 27-0 and playing at home to come to 30-26, it is a heck of a good high-risk-high-reward gamble. This is the playoff!
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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If you are a team that has a Leroy Hoard… YES


Oddly though some teams that run good sometimes aren’t great at short yard gains with short yards to go… including the Gophers last season…

So it depends….
 

MNVCGUY

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I like it. The 1 yard conversion greatly increases your chances of converting. And now you are playing for the win with a FG instead of playing to force OT where it is still a toss-up. When you get the penalty and it puts the odds in your favor, I like the call to push your chips in on that play.

Also, with respect to our earlier thread about the difference between playing to win and playing not to lose, this was it.
So on the play to win vs. playing not to lose - I think we saw an example of that in the Miami/Buffalo game. Miami, up 4 with the ball deep in their own end on 3rd and 19, tries to get the first down and elects to throw a pass that gets picked giving Buffalo the ball around the Miami 30. Buffalo promptly turns that turnover into the go ahead TD, never relinquish the lead after that and ends up winning by 3.

Fleck would have punted there and people would have called that playing not to lose.
 

MNVCGUY

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Tough to say, but you’re also forgetting there’s a risk of missing the extra point.
True but with an NFL kicker that risk is very low. Plus if they were really worried about it they could have used the penalty to make the kick even shorter.

I think without the penalty they probably don't go for 2. It worked, but had they failed to convert the 2 point play it very easily could have cost them the victory.
 



highwayman

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If you are a team that has a Leroy Hoard… YES


Oddly though some teams that run good sometimes aren’t great at short yard gains with short yards to go… including the Gophers last season…

So it depends….
Wrong. If you can’t make a yard you don’t deserve to win.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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I like it. The 1 yard conversion greatly increases your chances of converting. And now you are playing for the win with a FG instead of playing to force OT where it is still a toss-up. When you get the penalty and it puts the odds in your favor, I like the call to push your chips in on that play.

Also, with respect to our earlier thread about the difference between playing to win and playing not to lose, this was it.
Oh I'd argue going for 2 is just as much playing to win as it is playing to loose.

Like doubling the bet I don't think it automatically means because you took a chance to possibly win (don't even win it right there) ... maybe a few hands later... or lose a few hands later that mean you're playing to win just because you took a chance.

Not that I disagree with the call, but if we start dialing it back and consider every play leading up to the outcome play to win or play to loose ... you're never going to see a definitive answer. Calls happen for all sorts of reasons.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Fleck would have punted there and people would have called that playing not to lose.
Or when we go for it on 4th folks complain it is a bad call if we don't make it ... play to win or loose never comes up.

I think playing to win or loose is like "clutch" it's way to dependent on people's memories.

And they don't even remember play calls like this when folks get upset that PJ is so "conservative":

 
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btowngopher

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I like it. The 1 yard conversion greatly increases your chances of converting. And now you are playing for the win with a FG instead of playing to force OT where it is still a toss-up. When you get the penalty and it puts the odds in your favor, I like the call to push your chips in on that play.

Also, with respect to our earlier thread about the difference between playing to win and playing not to lose, this was it.
During our bowl game Syracuse committed a penalty on an extra point and I was hoping we would go for two, Fleck elected to take the PAT.
 



50PoundHead

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I like it. The 1 yard conversion greatly increases your chances of converting. And now you are playing for the win with a FG instead of playing to force OT where it is still a toss-up. When you get the penalty and it puts the odds in your favor, I like the call to push your chips in on that play.

Also, with respect to our earlier thread about the difference between playing to win and playing not to lose, this was it.

I think if it stays at the 2 instead of the half-the-distance after the penalty, they probably opt to kick the PAT from the 12. Lawrence is 6-6 and it looks like his sleeve length is about a 50 (I kid, but he obviously has long arms). It didn't take much for the ball to break the plane with his outstretched arm.

Gutty call. Bonehead play by Bosa. I can't remember if Walker from Jacksonville bonehead personal foul was before or after that. I've seen a lot of boneheaded plays this year, especially by defenses.
 

upnorthkid

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I know this is not Gopher football related but it is the off-season and it would be interesting to hear what others thought of Jacksonville's decision to go for 2 late in the game yesterday.

For those that didn't see it: Jacksonville was down 30-20 in the 4th quarter. With 3:22 left in the game they scored a TD and after the play the Chargers were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct meaning they could run the 2pt play from the 1 if they wanted to. Down 30-26 they elected to go for 2 and to their credit converted it making it 30-28 Chargers. The Jags then forced a 3 and out and managed to drive down for the game winning field goal as time expired.

So the question is, how do people feel about the decision to go for 2 when down 30-26? Take out the hindsight part of how the game played out. Even if you are sure you have a great 2 point play, is it worth the risk to potentially find yourself down 30-26 and now needing to get the ball back and score a TD to win?

Couple of added factors, you are playing at home and it is the playoffs so you lose and you're eliminated.

In my opinion, you kick the extra point there to go down 3 points as opposed to risking being down 4 if you fail to convert the 2pt play. Very different strategy if you only need 3 to force OT as opposed to needing to score a TD when down 4.

What do others feel about that decision in Jacksonville's insane comeback victory after being down 27-0?
Nfl data now leans towards hyper aggression given the favoritism to offense. ESPN currently has an article on it. should never not go for it on 4th and 1. And playing for OT is a crap shoot which is what they say you should try minimize
 

Gophers7NatTitlesBadgers0

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True but with an NFL kicker that risk is very low. Plus if they were really worried about it they could have used the penalty to make the kick even shorter.

I think without the penalty they probably don't go for 2. It worked, but had they failed to convert the 2 point play it very easily could have cost them the victory.
Didn't the kicker miss the pat after the third TD?

I agree that they don't go for 2 if there wasn't a penalty on Bosa!
 

TNGophfan

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Didn't the kicker miss the pat after the third TD?

I agree that they don't go for 2 if there wasn't a penalty on Bosa!
Think they missed the 2 point try earlier, that's why they had 20, not 21.

Don't hate the call. I probably would have still kicked, but I'm an old fart and pretty conservative on those type of things.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Nfl data now leans towards hyper aggression given the favoritism to offense. ESPN currently has an article on it. should never not go for it on 4th and 1. And playing for OT is a crap shoot which is what they say you should try minimize
What about on your own 9 or something like that?

But I agree about OT felling random.
 

upnorthkid

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What about on your own 9 or something like that?

But I agree about OT felling random.
Should go for it. It’s a really interesting read if you look it up. Had to do with how he values kicking the ball to the other team and how much each possession is worth. I can see if I can find it again
 


GoldenUMNGopher

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If you are a team that has a Leroy Hoard… YES


Oddly though some teams that run good sometimes aren’t great at short yard gains with short yards to go… including the Gophers last season…

So it depends….
Let's be honest if you got Leroy Hoard, you go for 2 every time even from the 2
 

Gophers7NatTitlesBadgers0

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Think they missed the 2 point try earlier, that's why they had 20, not 21.

Don't hate the call. I probably would have still kicked, but I'm an old fart and pretty conservative on those type of things.
I stand corrected. The 2 pt conversion would have made it a one score 8 pt differential.
 

hungan1

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The Vikings need someone like Trevor Lawrence at QB. Cerebral mobile QB Daniel Jones destroyed the Viking's Defense.

It will be a rebuilding mode for a couple of seasons. Their Defense is aging. They have to retool with youth.
 

MNVCGUY

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Here it is

Interesting read, thanks for posting. Here is the part relevant to the question I posted initially:

Down four points: It's better to go for two here, starting with roughly 8-9 minutes or less in the fourth quarter. Here's how you can think about it: Imagine you're down three points driving late in the fourth quarter, but you knew the result of overtime in advance. It would change how you played. If you knew you were going to win in OT, you could kick a field goal to win. But if you knew you were going to lose, you'd go for it on fourth downs and try to score a touchdown.

Going for two down four points is the equivalent to finding out the result of OT in advance. It's almost a 50/50, just like overtime. And it lets you know if you need to score a field goal or touchdown on the next drive
.

So by that logic it would appear that Jacksonville did the right thing in going for 2. I wonder if they would have had the penalty not been called with the ball being moved to the 1?

I still look at it from the standpoint of that final drive though. If you know you will be getting the ball back with limited time and needing to score it just feels to me like you would much rather be down 3 in that situation than potentially being down 4 and having to go for a TD. Even if you go aggressively for the TD, being down 3 gives you the option of kicking the field goal to extend the game into OT if you aren't able to get a TD. Down 4 you have no choice but to go for the EZ in regulation.

I think a big x-factor in this is that they probably felt super comfortable in the QB's ability to take the snap and extend the ball across the line from one yard out. If you feel like that is a near lock to work then it totally makes sense to go for 2 there and not risk something going wrong on the kick. I guess in that scenario the 2pt play might actually be the safer choice.

But hey that's why head coaches get the big bucks. If they make the call and it works out they look great and if it fails they look like fools and have to answer a ton of questions about what the heck they were thinking when they made the decisions they did. :)
 

Some guy

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Going for two down four points is the equivalent to finding out the result of OT in advance. It's almost a 50/50, just like overtime. And it lets you know if you need to score a field goal or touchdown on the next drive.
I am not sure this is sound logic at all because it misses a ton of variables.
For instance, if you kick the PAT there, then LA hits a FG….touchdown for Jacksonville wins it.
If you are down 4 and LA hits a field goal, a touchdown + PAT tied it.


There are far too many variables to make this conclusion.

I would agree with this variable if there is no time left on the clock and you were down 1
AND the teams were perfectly matched to make OT a 50/50 proposition
 

MNVCGUY

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I am not sure this is sound logic at all because it misses a ton of variables.
For instance, if you kick the PAT there, then LA hits a FG….touchdown for Jacksonville wins it.
If you are down 4 and LA hits a field goal, a touchdown + PAT tied it.


There are far too many variables to make this conclusion.

I would agree with this variable if there is no time left on the clock and you were down 1
AND the teams were perfectly matched to make OT a 50/50 proposition
The part we can't know but would be really interesting would be to see what the reaction would have been if the two point conversion had failed and Jacksonville had then failed to score a TD on their final possession which would have eliminated them from the playoffs.

Would people still think it was a good decision to go for 2 there as opposed to cutting the lead to 3 or would the coach have been obliterated by the media and fans for making the "wrong choice" and costing them a chance to extend the game into OT?
 

upnorthkid

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I am not sure this is sound logic at all because it misses a ton of variables.
For instance, if you kick the PAT there, then LA hits a FG….touchdown for Jacksonville wins it.
If you are down 4 and LA hits a field goal, a touchdown + PAT tied it.


There are far too many variables to make this conclusion.

I would agree with this variable if there is no time left on the clock and you were down 1
AND the teams were perfectly matched to make OT a 50/50 proposition
It all depends on what your estimation of "making" it is to find your break even point, which has to be highly variable based upon the team. If you're down 4 and they kick a FG, you can still score and go for 2 and win in regulation. The situation there gave them a return that optimized things to win in regulation.

Now of course the logic actually should change wildly now because playoff overtime is different, with both teams getting possession no matter what. I'd absolutely want to play defense first in that situation particularly given you'll know what the other team does which allows you to optimize your 4th down calling.

Honestly with the advent of the rules being much more heavily leaning towards the offense, the numbers will say to go for it more and more. You just have to count on your QB not throwing a check down when you need 8 yards or reaching out the ball at the goal line when his team will clearly push him in if he just gives it a chance.
 

Some guy

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It all depends on what your estimation of "making" it is to find your break even point, which has to be highly variable based upon the team.


W
Which is exactly why all the people saying “the advanced stats say this” are wrong. It is all highly variable by team, by whether, by momentum, etc

If everyone played the analytics. The analytics would change
 

upnorthkid

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Which is exactly why all the people saying “the advanced stats say this” are wrong. It is all highly variable by team, by whether, by momentum, etc

If everyone played the analytics. The analytics would change
yeah i do agree that using mass team stats to make these calls is going to lead some error in the data. I do agree with the sentiment that the league is far too conservative generally speaking, but to blanket it in that way is too generic to be applicable to every team
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

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yeah i do agree that using mass team stats to make these calls is going to lead some error in the data. I do agree with the sentiment that the league is far too conservative generally speaking, but to blanket it in that way is too generic to be applicable to every team
Not just to evert team, but by in game situations. The games are played on a field not on a spreadsheet. The analytics should be a tool, not the final decision. I want my coach to know what the analytics say, but also to know their limitations. If the chart says go for 2, but it's a close call, and your go to 2 point conversion play leans on your right guard winning a battle, but your right guard has been getting beat all night, may want to consider kicking. I think I heard Fleck say once that a decision to go for it or punt came down to how amped up and confident the players were in the huddle when he asked if they should go for it.

People say things like "if it works the coach is a genius, if he doesn't, he's any idiot" as though that is an unfair way to evaluate coaching decisions. On the contrary, that is why coaches get the big bucks. The decision needs to factor in countless considerations, most of which fans don't have insight into. Nuances of data, what the data does and doesn't factor in, personnel, game conditions, how each individual player is doing. At the end of the day, the coach needs to make a call on whether, in light of that, they think they can get it. Seems obvious, but going for 2 never pays off it you don't get it, and it's always worth it if you do.
 




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