I watched my annual football game. Indianapolis vs New England. Pretty much I only enjoy watching excellent football like some sort of sports snob.
The interesting part post-game was that I've been a big fan of the "don't punt" theory (this may be because I never punted in console football games growing up as well and it seemed to work out more often than not there). So when Belichick sent back out the offense on 4th and short with 2 minutes left with the ball in his own territory, I was quite happy. This was good football and good coaching. It turned out as poor execution; the Pats failed to convert and naturally didn't stop the Colts from scoring to win the game. The reality was that a punt wasn't worth much there, netting about 40 yards with 2 minutes left wasn't really going to stop the Colts anymore than failing on 4th down did. Getting a first down basically wins the game and the odds of converting on 4th and short are extremely good. From watching them carve up the Colts on third down all game with quick out passes to Welker, it was probably better odds for the Pats to convert than a normal team, even against a good Colts defense.
I then was subjected to a rash of analysts saying "you have to punt there". They are being highly paid to be wrong. You don't "have to". I even saw Rodney Harrison saying that not punting says "I don't trust my defense..." ignoring that it also means: "I trust my offense to get me two measly yards". I found it amusing that ESPN put up the percentages for the Pats making a 4th and 2 conversion successfully. It was over 70%. On the play, the guy had the yards and just got hit backward to prevent the first down. And yet everybody still says that this was a bad call?
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