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Saturday, September 09, 2017

OT - 2017 NFL thread

Free agent NFL cornerback Antonio Cromartie and his wife Terricka announced the birth of baby girl Jhett Paxton, born Aug. 30.

This is the couple’s sixth child, and it is Cromartie’s fourteenth. By our count, it is his third child since (supposedly) having a vasectomy during his tenure with the New York Jets in 2013.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: September 09, 2017 at 12:36 AM | 2149 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nfl, off-topic

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   1201. stanmvp48 Posted: January 15, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5606549)
Didn't it seem like there should have been more defensive backs on that side of the the field. Looked like 3 against 3
   1202. McCoy Posted: January 15, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5606553)
The plays before it they loaded up that side but for some reason on that play you had one corner back defending two recovers with the safety playing deep. The Vikings really did call a good play there. Short enough that one defender was trying to defend two guys but deep enough that Diggs was able to get separation. The saints really should have been protecting with their safeties around the 35 yard line.
   1203. McCoy Posted: January 15, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5606554)
Any comments today in Pittsburg about the Steelers not kicking a FG when they got down to the 5? Do it right away and you got something like 55 seconds left to drive down the field for a TD should you get the onside back. Do it after the intentional grounding and you got almost 30 seconds left. In either scenario you've got at least one play you can do up the middle. The defense is going to gift you at least 20 yards on an up the middle play.
   1204. DavidFoss Posted: January 15, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5606559)
Didn't it seem like there should have been more defensive backs on that side of the the field. Looked like 3 against 3


Here is a cool gif with tracking of all 22 players on that last play.

The Saints rushed four and two defenders stayed home in the shallow middle. That left only five covering the wideouts. The other safety was worried about Thielen on the other side, but Thielen curled back well short of FG range.
   1205. stanmvp48 Posted: January 15, 2018 at 10:58 AM (#5606572)
Thanks. The point of having 2 guys guarding the short middle is not immediately obvious
   1206. McCoy Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5606576)
The only thing I can think of is to protect from some sort of play up the middle that could bust loose because of a lack of coverage there. Not sure how worried you should be there on that. Probably should have rushed 3 or 4 and had 7 DB in with possibly one linebacker if you rush 3 and are worried about the middle but at that point it probably would have been better off with 8 DBs
   1207. bunyon Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:12 AM (#5606583)
I'm not a football guy but I'd think rushing fewer makes sense. Basically, any play that isn't a TD or deep out of bounds wins the game. So lots of DBs. But you do have to guard the middle some otherwise you get what we saw but up the middle.

It looked to me like Diggs looked at OB but then noticed no one was between him and the end zone. I'm guessing that came as a shock.
   1208. stanmvp48 Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5606589)
The opposite safety does not seem to react promptly
   1209. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5606590)
Diggs looked out of bounds only because he was falling that direction and was being careful NOT to put his hand down out of bounds--just before that he saw Williams take out the cornerback and knew he had a clear path to the end zone, or at least halfway there to turn an iffy field goal into a chip shot.
   1210. McCoy Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5606592)
I'm not sure what the other safety could do. The whole pass and catch took about two seconds. He wasn't going to get over in time and he still needed to protect his side in case Thielen broke through.
   1211. bunyon Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5606594)
True. The opposite safety doesn't accelerate in earnest until well after Diggs is broken free. He ends up 10 yards away. Could he catch him if he breaks for that side of the field at full speed as soon as the ball is thrown? It looks close.

Would have been an even better play (in terms of drama) if the rush to the end zone was an actual foot race.
   1212. McCoy Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5606595)
Re 1209. Doing anything but immediately go out bounds meant Diggs had to score a TD. He wasn't trying to get closer field position. He turned around and saw nobody between him and the end zone.
   1213. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5606597)
Not true. There were 4 seconds left on the clock when Diggs turned upfield. An NFL wide receiver can easily get 20 yards in 3 seconds and then step out of bounds if anyone gets between him and the end zone. Diggs was in fact at the 8 yard line when the clock struck 1, and at the 1 yard line when it struck 0.

Had a defender started closing in from Diggs' left he could have simply stepped out of bounds at any point during that run and ensured an easy field goal to win.

That's a theoretical, though; in reality, as soon as Diggs turned and looked upfield he saw that no one was there and he was going to score the touchdown.
   1214. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5606600)
Stiggles with the attempt at the reverse jinx. You know that only works if you believe it in your heart of hearts!

it's not a reverse jinx. i don't think the eagles can win.
Here is a cool gif with tracking of all 22 players on that last play.

The Saints rushed four and two defenders stayed home in the shallow middle. That left only five covering the wideouts. The other safety was worried about Thielen on the other side, but Thielen curled back well short of FG range.
they had 4 defenders (52, 26, 20, 43) for 3 play side receivers.
the play call was a zone/man beater. 19 ran a 15 yard out, while 14, 17, 82 ran a flood on the play side.
52 was responsible for crossing routes, but there were none, so he was schemed out of the play.
25 was spying 21 out of the backfield.
if NO played man under coverage, the throw would have gone to 19. that would have gotten 15-20 yards and stopped the clock.
they played zone, so the read for the QB was to the strong side.
82 ran a 5 yard out and drew 26.
17 ran a 15 yard out and drew 20.
14 ran a corner route, which was 43's responsibility.

20 and 26 were too aggressive. they should have gotten more depth, even if it meant giving up a quick completion. that's harsh since they did their primary job perfectly, but it put 43 in a tough spot. 43 couldn't know whether 14 was running a corner or a post, so he couldn't break on the route early and risk 14 crossing his face (that's how martavis bryant caught PIT's TD before halftime yesterday).

48 was slow to react after the ball was thrown. if he broke hard towards the endzone, he would have forced 14 to step out of bounds and MIN would have had to kick a 30-40 yard FG for the win.
   1215. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5606604)
48 was slow to react after the ball was thrown. if he broke hard towards the endzone, he would have forced 14 to step out of bounds and MIN would have had to kick a 30-40 yard FG for the win.


This is very true--on a play like that, the instant the ball is thrown every defender should be running toward the ball full tilt. You never know what in the hell might happen.

I don't think it would have made a difference on that play, though. Diggs is very fast and he was gone no matter how fast any defender broke toward the ball, IMO.
   1216. bunyon Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5606605)
Mularky out.
   1217. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5606607)
The word from the Tennessee front office is that Tennessee offered Mularkey an extension on the condition that the offensive coordinator be replaced, and Mularkey refused.

The rumor is that in fact the owner wanted to keep Mularkey but the GM (Jon Robinson, hired from the Patriots just last year) talked her out of it at the last minute.

I think Mularkey simply lost a power struggle with the GM that had been going on for months--I also think Robinson is confident he's going to get Josh McDaniels, who for reasons incomprehensible to me is the hottest commodity on the coaching market right now.
   1218. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5606608)
I don't think it would have made a difference on that play, though. Diggs is very fast and he was gone no matter how fast any defender broke toward the ball, IMO.

maybe, but i don't think he could have risked getting caught short of the endzone. if he saw a defender closing, i think he'd get out of bounds with time on the clock and made sure they could attempt a FG.
   1219. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5606610)
Not true. There were 4 seconds left on the clock when Diggs turned upfield. An NFL wide receiver can easily get 20 yards in 3 seconds and then step out of bounds if anyone gets between him and the end zone. Diggs was in fact at the 8 yard line when the clock struck 1, and at the 1 yard line when it struck 0.

Had a defender started closing in from Diggs' left he could have simply stepped out of bounds at any point during that run and ensured an easy field goal to win.

This is very easy to say, when you are looking at the video after the fact, with the clock in the bottom corner. In the heat of the moment, you are asking way too much of someone, if you expect him to be able to time his step-out to within 1 second of the game clock expiring. I know I was screaming for him to step out of bounds, until I realized there was no defender left that could get him. Getting an extra 10 yards or so, just is not worth the risk of screwing it up, once you are in FG range.
   1220. bunyon Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5606612)
Not saying I don't believe you - I don't really have any idea - but do you have a link showing the clock and Diggs in the same frame? I'm surprised he had that much time.
   1221. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:46 AM (#5606616)
maybe, but i don't think he could have risked getting caught short of the endzone. if he saw a defender closing, i think he'd get out of bounds with time on the clock and made sure they could attempt a FG.


I hope he would have done that, though we've seen others fail in similar situations. However, given how he reacted after the catch, I tend to think he would have taken the prudent play if necessary.
   1222. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5606617)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFMZ1e_zfj4

The clock's on screen the whole time on the FOX broadcast.


This is very easy to say, when you are looking at the video after the fact, with the clock in the bottom corner. In the heat of the moment, you are asking way too much of someone, if you expect him to be able to time his step-out to within 1 second of the game clock expiring. I know I was screaming for him to step out of bounds, until I realized there was no defender left that could get him. Getting an extra 10 yards or so, just is not worth the risk of screwing it up, once you are in FG range.


That's a fair point. There were 10 seconds left when the play began, though, so Diggs had to know he had at least time enough to run 15 yards upfield before stepping out, and there's a big, big difference between a 35 yard field goal attempt (~95% for NFL kickers) and a 50 yard field goal attempt (~60%).

(Those numbers are higher in a dome, I assume. Forbath had already both made one and missed one from 50+ earlier in the game.)
   1223. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5606620)
Not saying I don't believe you - I don't really have any idea - but do you have a link showing the clock and Diggs in the same frame? I'm surprised he had that much time.

The NFL.com link shows that. He caught the pass with 5 seconds on the clock and hit the end zone at 0:00.

EDIT: coke to PASTE
   1224. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 15, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5606623)
If you look at the play, you'll see Diggs glancing over his shoulder at the 25 yard line, and you can tell at that point that no Saint was anywhere near him. So he wasn't taking any risks by going full speed ahead towards the end zone. His biggest risk was stepping out of bounds before he fully got his bearing, which would've then required a field goal attempt with no guarantees.
   1225. bunyon Posted: January 15, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5606624)
Thanks for the links. I didn't catch the clock but, yes, he could easily have stepped out at the 15 with plenty of time. As others have said, having the presence of mind to do that, if necessary, would have been tough.
   1226. bunyon Posted: January 15, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5606626)
1224: Good point. I was thinking the opposite safety had a shot if he'd broken when the ball was thrown. But Diggs was coasting.
   1227. McCoy Posted: January 15, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5606631)
I thought there was less time on the clock as he made his turn and does look like at one point he’s checking to make sure he’s good all the way. I still say that there is no way 48 could have had a reasonable chance at stopping Diggs.
   1228. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 15, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5606633)
More importantly, with the clock the way it was, the New Orleans defenders have to know before the play starts that if they have the choice of going for a swat or interception or simply making a tackle in bounds to take the tackle in bounds. Williams had position to simply wait for Diggs to catch the ball and immediately bear hug him the moment he touched it. Instead he dove.

And actually, with 10 seconds on the clock the smart play, and I said it in this thread before the play happened, would have been for the Saints defenders to hold every Vikings receiver. Committing five holding penalties on one play is the same as committing one holding penalty on a play- a five yard penalty and automatic first down. The first down would have been irrelevant and the five yards a very small price to pay for the time that comes off the clock. Afterwards, it would have forced a hail Mary pass on the next play.
   1229. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 15, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5606636)
actually, with 10 seconds on the clock the smart play, and I said it in this thread before the play happened, would have been for the Saints defenders to hold every Vikings receiver. Committing five holding penalties on one play is the same as committing one holding penalty on a play- a five yard penalty and automatic first down. The first down would have been irrelevant and the five yards a very small price to pay for the time that comes off the clock. Afterwards, it would have forced a hail Mary pass on the next play.


Quite possibly right, and it would certainly provoke a rule change in the offseason--probably that on a defensive penalty inside the two minute warning the clock gets reset to where it was before the play, or something like.
   1230. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 15, 2018 at 12:40 PM (#5606640)
As others have said, having the presence of mind to do that, if necessary, would have been tough.


It can happen, Desean Jackson stayed out of the end zone long enough for the clock to run out on his punt return against the Giants in 2010.

   1231. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 15, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5606642)
Quite possibly right, and it would certainly provoke a rule change in the offseason--probably that on a defensive penalty inside the two minute warning the clock gets reset to where it was before the play, or something like.


They should do that anyway.
   1232. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5606645)

They should do that anyway.


That rule change can get in line after they discard the "gotta kick the extra point even if it can't affect the outcome" idiocy.

   1233. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 15, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5606648)
actually, with 10 seconds on the clock the smart play, and I said it in this thread before the play happened, would have been for the Saints defenders to hold every Vikings receiver. Committing five holding penalties on one play is the same as committing one holding penalty on a play- a five yard penalty and automatic first down. The first down would have been irrelevant and the five yards a very small price to pay for the time that comes off the clock. Afterwards, it would have forced a hail Mary pass on the next play.


Quite possibly right, and it would certainly provoke a rule change in the offseason--probably that on a defensive penalty inside the two minute warning the clock gets reset to where it was before the play, or something like.

Which would be like my long held belief that Hack-a-Shaq fouls in the final two minutes should be penalized by free throws AND return of possession to the team that gets fouled.
   1234. bunyon Posted: January 15, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5606652)
I've always wondered why multiple penalties can't be tallied. If the defense commits five holds, it seems to me the penalty should be 25 yards. Same for the offense.
   1235. Greg K Posted: January 15, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5606656)
Football seems like it has an awful lot of gaming the rules built into play.

I suppose baseball has some...the intentional walk. I guess technically not catching a bunted third strike that's popped up in foul territory might be one. But it seems like you might have a better chance of doubling someone off than having them advance on you. Do the new rules on sliding at 2B and home offer any opportunities to game the system?

I suppose the other side of that is the dropped third strike or the infield fly rule, which are both rules to prevent gaming the rules.
   1236. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5606660)
I guess technically not catching a bunted third strike that's popped up in foul territory might be one.


Why would someone do that?
   1237. Greg K Posted: January 15, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5606662)
Why would someone do that?

It's hard to see at the MLB level.

It happens fairly often in softball as the catcher is sometimes incapable of making the throw to a base and stop an advancing runner.
   1238. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 15, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5606665)
I've always wondered why multiple penalties can't be tallied. If the defense commits five holds, it seems to me the penalty should be 25 yards. Same for the offense.

That bother's me less. It is pretty rare to get more than 2 anyway. What always annoys me, is when you get offsetting penalties, where the second penalty was contingent on the first penalty. That should result in a situation, where only the first penalty counts. If an OL holds a rusher that would have flattened the QB, allowing him an extra 3 seconds to throw the ball, and then get a PI or whatever, that should just be a hold. The end of the play would never have been able to happen but for the penalty. You are basically rewarding teams for committing penalties, and incentivizing them to do it.

If you have a choice between a 7 yard sack and loss of down, or a 10 yard penalty with a replay of down, plus a chance to get an offsetting penalty to erase the 10 yard penalty, you should basically always hold. The hold is just an example of course. It goes for other offsetting penalties too.
   1239. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5606672)
If you have a choice between a 7 yard sack and loss of down, or a 10 yard penalty with a replay of down, plus a chance to get an offsetting penalty to erase the 10 yard penalty, you should basically always hold.


While I agree with the sentiment that a hold is vastly preferable to the sack and loss of down, it's not quite that simple. You also have a chance to get an interception. The hold becomes similar to the defensive offsides penalty that doesn't stop play - it's a bit of a free play for the defense.
   1240. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 15, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5606678)
While I agree with the sentiment that a hold is vastly preferable to the sack and loss of down, it's not quite that simple. You also have a chance to get an interception. The hold becomes similar to the defensive offsides penalty that doesn't stop play - it's a bit of a free play for the defense.

Honestly, you probably reduce the chance of an interception though, by committing the hold. The "trying to avoid the sack, hit as he throws" interception is the biggest risk factor in that scenario. If you take the rusher out, and prevent such a hit, you make the play a lot safer.
   1241. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 15, 2018 at 01:52 PM (#5606683)
Here's another, more vicious way the rules could be gamed: If there's a personal foul on the defense on an extra point, the penalty is assessed on the kickoff, meaning the kicking team will kick off from the 50. You'd think they'd try an onside kick from the 50, but almost always they just kick the ball through the uprights for a touchback. And since the kickoff was moved up a couple years back, most kickoffs are touchbacks anyway--so the penalty is effectively void.

Suppose you're a big underdog in a playoff game, needing an edge. Suppose you sent one of your more expendable special teamers to get a good running start from the edge and absolutely destroy the kicker as he kicks his first extra point. He gets ejected and probably suspended, but there will be no significant penalty--the kickoff would just get moved up to the 50. If the opposing kicker isn't injured he'll at least have something to think about for the rest of the game. But he'll probably be injured. You the coach would likely receive a significant suspension, because no one would believe the guy killed the kicker on his own. But since that can't be proven in game, you wouldn't be ejected from the current game.

You'd only get away with this once. But besides the obvious terrible sportsmanship of it, where's the practical downside? Besides the fact that unless you went on to win the Super Bowl, you'd probably never coach in the NFL again. :)
   1242. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2018 at 01:52 PM (#5606684)
Honestly, you probably reduce the chance of an interception though, by committing the hold. The "trying to avoid the sack, hit as he throws" interception is the biggest risk factor in that scenario. If you take the rusher out, and prevent such a hit, you make the play a lot safer.


If you hold well.

While it can be the smart play depending on the circumstances, it doesn't change the fact that the hold does create a free play for the defense. If the only choices are hold or sack, then hold. It's rarely ever that simple, however.
   1243. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5606689)
You'd think they'd try an onside kick from the 50, but almost always they just kick the ball through the uprights for a touchback.


This is the foremost example of the conservative nature of football coaches. It's insane that teams aren't willing to trade 10-15 yards of field position for the chance to get the ball in the opponent's territory.
   1244. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 15, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5606695)
You'd only get away with this once. But besides the obvious terrible sportsmanship of it, where's the practical downside?


That they'll send some backup special teams player to take out your QB's ACL.
   1245. Nasty Nate Posted: January 15, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5606698)
If the only choices are hold or sack, then hold. It's rarely ever that simple, however.
Right. Even if a rusher burns their blocker, he's not automatically getting a sack.
   1246. McCoy Posted: January 15, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5606708)
Loving Aaron gleeman’s tecmo bowl version of the Diggs catch.
   1247. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 15, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5606759)
   1248. . . . . . . Posted: January 15, 2018 at 03:47 PM (#5606778)
Glad that the Giants are hiring Shurmer - we need a couple of more years of 3-13 to really acquire some great young talent.
   1249. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 15, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5606796)
I loved this - How newspapers in Minnesota celebrated — and those in New Orleans lamented — the big Vikings win

I went to USA Today's "Today's Front Pages" feature and saw that coverage earlier today, but I'm glad you found a more efficient way of linking them here. Loved that totally understandable "EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE" headline in the Times-Picayune.
   1250. bunyon Posted: January 15, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5606818)
I finally figured out where the WPA for the NFL lives. Here it is for the Vikings/Saints game.

As usuall, I forget how to link things so you'll have to copy/paste:

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201801140min.htm
   1251. bunyon Posted: January 15, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5606826)
Perhaps I'm not reading it right, but it looks to me like kicking the FG lowered NO's WPA significantly. They were at 97% to win with the ball on the 33. When they kick the FG they fall to around 67% before slowly climbing up to 99.9% just before the last play. The Vikings high water mark was 99.6% WPA in the 3rd quarter.
   1252. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 15, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5606828)
As usual, I forget how to link things so you'll have to copy/paste:

1. Just type out the name of your link: Vikings-Saints playoff game (The <b> tab is optional)

2. Open another window to that Pro-Football-Reference page and copy the URL

3. Go back to your BTF page and highlight the name of your link

4. Click on the <a> tab and a box will appear

5. Paste the PFB-Reference URL into the space provided and click "OK". The highlighted name will then appear.

6. Click "OK" again, et voilà.

Vikings-Saints playoff game
   1253. DavidFoss Posted: January 15, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5606832)
Perhaps I'm not reading it right, but it looks to me like kicking the FG lowered NO's WPA significantly. They were at 97% to win with the ball on the 33. When they kick the FG they fall to around 67% before slowly climbing up to 99.9% just before the last play. The Vikings high water mark was 99.6% WPA in the 3rd quarter.

I noticed that too. The 4th quarter scoring plays had the opposite direction which seemed to correct itself on the next play. A bit confusing.
   1254. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 15, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5606835)
Had a defender started closing in from Diggs' left he could have simply stepped out of bounds at any point during that run and ensured an easy field goal to win.

That's a theoretical, though; in reality, as soon as Diggs turned and looked upfield he saw that no one was there and he was going to score the touchdown.


Aside from Williams's screwup, was there any obvious defect in the coverage or in the way the Saints played it, either before the snap (their plan) or after?

It seems that if Williams doesn't mess up AND hit his own defender with friendly fire they've got Diggs either tackled or at worst out of bounds -- or maybe Diggs takes off and doesn't step out and they manage to tackle him.

Was it right that only two defenders were anywhere near the play?
   1255. bunyon Posted: January 15, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5606836)
Yes, thanks. That's about the 10th time someone has shown me how over the years. I just don't post enough links for it to stick. I think it's clear at this point, I'm not going to.

The WPA table definitely makes the point many here made that the Saints needed to take more time off. And the Vikings before that.
   1256. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 15, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5606839)
If you hold well.

While it can be the smart play depending on the circumstances, it doesn't change the fact that the hold does create a free play for the defense. If the only choices are hold or sack, then hold. It's rarely ever that simple, however.

Well if you hold poorly, and they take the sack, then you still haven't lost anything. But yeah, I am obviously simplifying. The main point is that committing a foul should not give you a decent opportunity to create a non-play by extending the play to the point that there is an offsetting penalty.
   1257. McCoy Posted: January 15, 2018 at 04:51 PM (#5606844)
As I mentioned earlier the play forced the saints CB to cover two receivers Not optimal and would likely lead to a completion and a get out of bounds and you don’t want th Vikings catching the ball where they did. Keenum didn’t throw the ball precisely where it needed to go but kind of like the Jeter play not doing it perfectly right led to an amazing play.
   1258. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 15, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5606853)
Perhaps I'm not reading it right, but it looks to me like kicking the FG lowered NO's WPA significantly. They were at 97% to win with the ball on the 33. When they kick the FG they fall to around 67% before slowly climbing up to 99.9% just before the last play. The Vikings high water mark was 99.6% WPA in the 3rd quarter.

That just looks highly suspicious to me. 17-0 in the 3rd quarter has a 250/1 chance of winning? That seems insanely high. Especially when it goes to 3/1 at 17-7 at the start of the fourth. By my math that would mean there is a 1.6% for NO scoring an unanswered TD in that time... I know it is a bit more complicated than that, but that just seems nuts.
   1259. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 15, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5606857)
Yes, thanks. That's about the 10th time someone has shown me how over the years. I just don't post enough links for it to stick. I think it's clear at this point, I'm not going to.

That's okay, I realize that younger people often suffer from memory lapses.
   1260. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 15, 2018 at 05:18 PM (#5606874)
If you look at the play, you'll see Diggs glancing over his shoulder at the 25 yard line, and you can tell at that point that no Saint was anywhere near him. So he wasn't taking any risks by going full speed ahead towards the end zone. His biggest risk was stepping out of bounds before he fully got his bearing, which would've then required a field goal attempt with no guarantees.


His biggest risk once he realized the coverage was blown was celebrating prematurely, which I never understand. Although I guess there are scant few times when this has actually cost the team. (I can recall one time where the player was indeed caught from behind but I can't recall who it was. Leon Lett?)

Still, though, with the season riding on it, why not just wait and celebrate 10 yards later.

   1261. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 15, 2018 at 05:22 PM (#5606880)
I guess technically not catching a bunted third strike that's popped up in foul territory might be one.

Why would someone do that?


If the catcher knows that a runner will advance to the next base safely because someone is in his throwing lane :-)
   1262. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2018 at 05:23 PM (#5606881)
His biggest risk once he realized the coverage was blown was celebrating prematurely, which I never understand. Although I guess there are scant few times when this has actually cost the team. (I can recall one time where the player was indeed caught from behind but I can't recall who it was. Leon Lett?)


Leon Lett was caught from behind, though it was about as meaningful to that game's outcome as the final extra point try yesterday. More common seems to be players releasing the ball before they reach the goal line.

   1263. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 15, 2018 at 05:24 PM (#5606882)
I've always wondered why multiple penalties can't be tallied. If the defense commits five holds, it seems to me the penalty should be 25 yards. Same for the offense.


I don't know why head coaches on defense take 2nd and 20 rather than 3rd and 10 (or whatever) after the offense commits a penalty. Seems to me that the extra down -- and chance at a large gain or a TD -- is worth more to the offense than the negative yards.
   1264. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5606885)
If the catcher knows that a runner will advance to the next base safely because someone is in his throwing lane :-)


Excellent point.

As it relates to the original question, there are often benefits to letting the the bunt popped-up in fair territory to hit the ground, so that would qualify as an example.
   1265. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 15, 2018 at 05:38 PM (#5606896)

I don't know why head coaches on defense take 2nd and 20 rather than 3rd and 10 (or whatever) after the offense commits a penalty. Seems to me that the extra down -- and chance at a large gain or a TD -- is worth more to the offense than the negative yards.


Depends who you're playing. Against the Saints I probably decline the penalty and put them in 3rd and 10. Against the Jaguars I take the penalty, because they're extremely unlikely to get a first down either way and I likely will gain ten yards of field position.
   1266. . . . . . . Posted: January 15, 2018 at 06:45 PM (#5606924)
Yep. Football tactics are highly context dependent because the value of a down varies so much from moment to moment depending on the relative strengths of the two teams and time and score. Way more intricate than baseball tactics.
   1267. dave h Posted: January 15, 2018 at 08:30 PM (#5606989)
Taking the penalty only hurts you if the offense gets less than 10 yards on the next down but then more than 10 yards on 4th down. It's possible, but generally less likely. If teams would go for it on 4th, they'd screw with the defense's decision-making on penalties even more.
   1268. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: January 15, 2018 at 09:16 PM (#5606999)
As I mentioned earlier the play forced the saints CB to cover two receivers Not optimal and would likely lead to a completion and a get out of bounds and you don’t want th Vikings catching the ball where they did. Keenum didn’t throw the ball precisely where it needed to go but kind of like the Jeter play not doing it perfectly right led to an amazing play.

the defensive playcall worked as designed. the weak side receiver was double covered, one LB guarded against crossing routes, the other covered the RB, one corner took the sideline away from the short bunch receiver, another corner took the sideline away from the intermediate bunch receiver, and the deep safety was responsible for making a play on the deep bunch receiver.

the playcall may not have been perfect, but it failed because of a poor tackle, not a schematic flaw.
   1269. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 15, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5607007)
Taking the penalty only hurts you if the offense gets less than 10 yards on the next down but then more than 10 yards on 4th down. It's possible, but generally less likely. If teams would go for it on 4th, they'd screw with the defense's decision-making on penalties even more.

I take it you mean 'more than 10 yards on 3rd down'.

Regardless, both 2nd and 20, and 3rd and 10 are pretty obvious passing downs. Though they will probably change play calling a bit. You have a very high chance of an incompletion (probably not going for a screen or a checkdown if you can avoid it). The difficulty between making a 10 yard and a 20 yard play is actually not a huge increase. So against a high-powered offense, you are probably giving them 2 chances to get a big play, instead of just one.
   1270. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 15, 2018 at 09:49 PM (#5607013)

the defensive playcall worked as designed. the weak side receiver was double covered, one LB guarded against crossing routes, the other covered the RB, one corner took the sideline away from the short bunch receiver, another corner took the sideline away from the intermediate bunch receiver, and the deep safety was responsible for making a play on the deep bunch receiver.

the playcall may not have been perfect, but it failed because of a poor tackle, not a schematic flaw.


It should not be forgotten that, while the defensive play failed catastrophically by way of giving up a game losing touchdown, before that it had already "failed" in that Minnesota completed the pass and would have a shot at a 50 yard field goal to win. And that happened not because of any particular defensive failing, but because they called a good play, Diggs ran a great route, and Keenum delivered a magnificent throw.

Then Williams botched the tackle, took out his teammate and we got a play that will never be forgotten so long as football is played.
   1271. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 15, 2018 at 10:07 PM (#5607020)
Then Williams botched the tackle, took out his teammate and we got a play that will never be forgotten so long as football is played.


:)

This conversation makes me so happy.
   1272. Howie Menckel Posted: January 15, 2018 at 10:25 PM (#5607036)

careful, Mouse

per my post 1177, Vikings fans have a good claim to top 5 "tormented" status among their NFL brethren. even reaching the Super Bowl would cost them several places

;)
   1273. McCoy Posted: January 16, 2018 at 06:47 AM (#5607081)
Yes, you can say the play worked as designed but the play created a 2 on 1 matchup that an intermediary pass was able to exploit and a intermediary pass was what the Vikings needed to get into FG range. This regardless of whether of whether or not the play was well executed it was a bad call in this instance.
   1274. dave h Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:53 AM (#5607089)
The difficulty between making a 10 yard and a 20 yard play is actually not a huge increase.


Do you have a cite for that? In the scenario where the offense gets less than 10 yards on 3rd (which is all that matters) then they'd have 3rd and >10, which is very low percentage.

I think 20+ years plays, especially in long yardage situations, are actually very rare.
   1275. McCoy Posted: January 16, 2018 at 09:01 AM (#5607116)
I think getting 10+ yards in a 3rd and 10 is also pretty rare. It might be something like 8% to 2% and in the grand scheme of things that difference is pretty trivial.
   1276. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 16, 2018 at 02:37 PM (#5607449)
Lines for this weekend's games?
   1277. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 16, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5607454)
Jaguars +9 at Patriots (over/under 46.5) and Vikings -3 at Eagles (over/under 38).
   1278. Nasty Nate Posted: January 16, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5607462)
BTW, here is where I look at lines on my work computer - http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/odds/
   1279. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5607470)
If this were the Super Bowl there would be a fun prop bet on James White's receiving yards (or do they do that for normal playoff games, too?). This is an obvious prediction, but surely Brady will be going to the running backs a lot, given Jacksonville's pass rush.
   1280. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 16, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5607505)
If you actually go to a sports book in a Vegas casino you can find endless prop bets on just about any game. Usually not at online books, though.

Jacksonville's defense is weakest against tight ends. Either Gronkowski is going to destroy them, or they're going to sell out on covering Gronkowski and then, yes, the running backs will have a big day.
   1281. MHS Posted: January 16, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5607516)
It should not be forgotten that, while the defensive play failed catastrophically by way of giving up a game losing touchdown, before that it had already "failed" in that Minnesota completed the pass and would have a shot at a 50 yard field goal to win. And that happened not because of any particular defensive failing, but because they called a good play, Diggs ran a great route, and Keenum delivered a magnificent throw.


That isn't my interpretation. From my perspective, competent safety play would have tackled him in bounds, and the clock would have expired. The Vikings, executed but if the Saints made the play that every team in D1 and up is coached to make the game is over. It doesn't really matter at this point, but let's be accurate at least.
   1282. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 16, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5607545)
Edit: I wrote a long post arguing my point, but after rewatching the replay yet again, I have to concede that MHS is correct. The safety, Williams, came at Diggs from along the sideline, not from the hashes as I'd thought. He could have and should have simply pulled up and wrapped Diggs up while he was still in the air. Diggs might have managed to break free, but (a) probably not, with the corner about to arrive to assist, and (b) even if Diggs did break free it would only have been to fight his way out of bounds and the Vikings would still have needed a 50 yard field goal to win.

I had previously thought Williams made a bad but essentially rational decision, to try to take Diggs' legs out from under him to ensure he went down in bounds. But given Williams' angle of approach that can't be so. Williams tried to take Diggs' legs out just for an exclamation-point highlight to end the game with, when he could and should have just wrapped him up and tackled him.
   1283. zenbitz Posted: January 16, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5607546)
I don't know why head coaches on defense take 2nd and 20 rather than 3rd and 10 (or whatever) after the offense commits a penalty. Seems to me that the extra down -- and chance at a large gain or a TD -- is worth more to the offense than the negative yards.


Actually not sure where the math is on this. 10 yards with no end effects is ~1 point. League average passing is ~6 N/YA. So modulo any context, it's marginally better to take the yards. They punt at 4th-and-8 instead of 4th-and-4, so +0.4 points to take the yards. My first thought was that if the offense is going for it on 4th no matter what then you should take the down, but upon reflection it could go either way. Obviously it's easier to convert a 4th-and-4 than a 4th-and-8, but you probably have to take into account the whole distribution of outcomes.

It may be that this analysis is only valid for a fraction of game situations, but there is a chunk of field position where the 10 yards drops them out of FG range. Also if you are in a situation where you are giving up more than 6-7 NY/A it's going to become closer.

Offhand I don't know the % on getting a first from 2nd-20 vs. 3rd-10, but probably they are lower in the first case.
   1284. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5607548)
My read was also that he was getting out of bounds, minus absolutely perfect timing as well as a perfect wrap-up tackle.
   1285. zenbitz Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5607551)
I am done with making picks but I do hope to see a Bortles-Foles Super Bowl.
   1286. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5607556)
I am done with making picks but I do hope to see a Bortles-Foles Super Bowl.

It would be fun to add two additional mediocre (at best!) quarterbacks to the list of Super Bowl participants for future arguments.
   1287. McCoy Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5607557)
I’d say he was at least two yards from the sideline. He made his leap at about 4 yards from the sideline and his momentum was on a diagonal path to the sideline. I think Williams could have definitely popped him and not have Diggs go out of bounds because of that.
   1288. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5607569)
I’d say he was at least two yards from the sideline. He made his leap at about 4 yards from the sideline and his momentum was on a diagonal path to the sideline. I think Williams could have definitely popped him and not have Diggs go out of bounds because of that.

Yeah you're right- I just rewatched it, and I'd amend my earlier post from it needing to be an absolutely perfect play to just needing to be a really good play. The timing was key- if he gets there right on time and goes into his legs then Diggs almost certainly goes down in bounds with 3-4 seconds on the clock, thus game over.
   1289. Nasty Nate Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5607572)
The timing was key- if he gets there right on time and goes into his legs then Diggs almost certainly goes down in bounds with 3-4 seconds on the clock, thus game over.
Game over ... unless Diggs would have the awareness to let go of the ball while on the ground to get an incompletion.
   1290. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:52 PM (#5607592)

It would be fun to add two additional mediocre (at best!) quarterbacks to the list of Super Bowl participants for future arguments.


The Eagles aren't in the playoffs due to Foles, though, so using him in future arguments is about as valid as using Jeff Hostetler.
   1291. dave h Posted: January 16, 2018 at 05:23 PM (#5607622)
The safety doesn't even have to get Diggs down on bounds. He just has to push him backwards out of bounds. As long as his momentum is stopped in bounds, the clock runs. And of course, all the DBs should be taking angles so that they are coming from the sideline to make the tackle.
   1292. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 16, 2018 at 05:27 PM (#5607626)
I submitted this article early this morning, but so far Jim hasn't gotten around to posting it, so I'll try it here.

What Is Baseball’s Equivalent of the Vikings’ Miraculous Victory?
For fabulous finishes in sports history, it’s hard to top Stefon Diggs’s 61-yard touchdown catch on Sunday, as time expired, to lift the Minnesota Vikings over the New Orleans Saints and into the N.F.C. championship game. As my colleague Ben Shpigel noted, it happened on the site of the old Metrodome in Minneapolis, where the Twins won the final two games of the 1991 World Series in extra innings.

Ben would know; he’s a former baseball writer. And as much as I love watching the N.F.L., I try to relate everything to my favorite sport. So when the question of a baseball equivalent to Diggs’s catch arose on Twitter, I tried to think of a precise match....


Well, those two 1991 games certainly weren't precise equivalents, but is there one at all? I think the author hits on it, but what other games come to mind?

I thought of that Rockies-Diamondbacks playoff game in 2007, but that doesn't really work, since the Rockies never got down to their last out.
   1293. Nasty Nate Posted: January 16, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5607634)
The safety doesn't even have to get Diggs down on bounds. He just has to push him backwards out of bounds. As long as his momentum is stopped in bounds, the clock runs.
If the process of pushing him backwards doesn't last at least a second or two, they will stop the clock in that situation.

   1294. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5607635)
Well, those two 1991 games certainly weren't precise equivalents, but is there one at all? I think the author hits on it, but what other games come to mind?


One year later. NLCS Game 7.
   1295. dave h Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:38 PM (#5607701)
bounds, the clock runs.
If the process of pushing him backwards doesn't last at least a second or two, they will stop the clock in that situation.


No, it's not just whether he is down because of forward progress. If he's going backwards when he goes out if bounds the clock runs. I understand that you'd prefer the tackle in bounds so it's not left to the ref, but they routinely make that call.
   1296. zenbitz Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:54 PM (#5607708)
Don't they only call forward progress when they blow the whistle?

Let's say there's no tackler involved at all. If you run forward to the 40 y.l., then run back 2 yards and out of bounds, they mark it out of bounds at the 38 (not the 40) and stop the clock.
If there is a tackle being made -- I don't know what the rules SAY -- but they usually only call forward progress if someone is wrapped up and not moving forward for at least a couple of ticks. It can't really be ruled forward progress (and down "in bounds") unless they actually blow the whistle then, right?

I mean...no I am remembering that strange QB "forward progress" non-fumble -- but generally you can't hear the whistle on the broadcast anyway.
   1297. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:59 PM (#5607711)
The rule is that if you move backwards of your own volition and then are tackled or go out of bounds*, the ball's spotted where you went down or out, but if you're pushed backward by opponents, the ball's spotted at your point of farthest progress.

* If not for this part of the rule Barry Sanders would probably have an extra 1,000 career rushing yards.
   1298. Vailsoxfan Posted: January 16, 2018 at 08:11 PM (#5607721)
I thought of 86 mets/sox series as a comp. Out of nowhere play to win it. But the Mets still had to win more going forward. Of course it didn't totally eliminate the Sox, although they were dead men walking. Are the Eagles dead men walking with Foles?
   1299. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 16, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5607722)
Well, those two 1991 games certainly weren't precise equivalents, but is there one at all? I think the author hits on it, but what other games come to mind?

One year later. NLCS Game 7.


Bingo, and that's the game that Kepner picked. Down to the last out where it was score or wait till next year. The only difference was that if Bonds had made a better thrown the game could've continued, whereas there wasn't any way for the Vikes-Saints to wind up tied. But no other baseball game stacks up quite as evenly as the one you name.
   1300. dave h Posted: January 16, 2018 at 08:19 PM (#5607723)
Yes, the ball is spotted at its most forward progress, and if that spot was inbounds, then the clock runs. The point of this is just that the difficulty of getting Diggs down with the clock running is even easier. The DB should be between Diggs and both the sideline and the end line. A natural wrap up tackle will then pretty much always leave the clock running.
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