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My Dinner With Andre

An Alternative to the 'Let Them Score' Tactic

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If you're on Twitter, you will see scores of people imploring that Mike McCarthy and last night Chip Kelly let the other team score so to get the ball back and not allow the opponent to bleed the clock en route to making a chip-shot field goal with no time left. Coaches still aren't doing this (understandably I guess) although the opposing team could always just take a knee at the 1-yard line rendering it moot.

One alternative I thought of that I don't believe has ever been mentioned (literally by anyone) is to do an onside kick after you score. That way either 1) you'll recover the onside kick and will have scored a huge momentum swing by securing two consecutive possessions, if not having basically won the game by virtue of the clock or 2) you give the opponent a short field so that they literally cannot bleed 5 minutes--SF burned 5:06 worth of game time in its final drive; NO 4:54--off the clock; they'll have to score one way or another which would give you the ball back with some time left.

So in a nutshell it centers on using onside kicks to create more possessions.

Thoughts?

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Way too risky. Maybe Belichick could pull that off with a 32nd ranked defense, but it never makes sense. If you kick the ball off for touchback, the team still has to go 40 yards just to get in range, 50 or more to get in comfortable range.

You just have to hope your defense can make a stop. If you onside, you could easily run 3 plays and have to punt anyway, not enough to gain.

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This is a good discussion though. As a Cowboys fan I saw way too many times this year Romo put up a score in the 4th quarter to take the led only for defense to blow it. Jokingly threw out doing onside kicks after seeing it happen multiple times. It's just tough to basically tell your defense, "hey, you guys are so bad, let the other team score quickly" even though it gives the best chance in certain circumstances. If I was a head coach with an awful defense, I would just blitz the heck out of the team and hope for a fumble or bad throw. Would tell the players go strictly for the ball, hold the players up and try to strip or get them out of bounds.

Someday a forward thinking coach will come up with a solution to this I'm guessing, and then soon another forward thinking coach will find a way to beat that. Meanwhile, traditional coaches will just build a respectable defense and make a stop.

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That's my strategy when I play madden. If I don't recover, engage 8 everytime

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So basically say "My team sucks, so score quickly instead of slowly so we can get another chance"?

No, you kick off because, like Indy did, you hope to keep them from field goal range. You make them go 50 yards instead of 20. And if a team is dominating you that bad, they can still run the clock way down and just bring it to the 5 instead of the 20. So it's like an extra point.

There is no logic in kicking it onside and giving them a shorter field.

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Fair points. I don't look at it as "my defense sux so I'm going to let them score" though. They're not really trying to "score" per se. They're trying to bleed the clock so they can kick what amounts to an extra point with :01 left. If they need a touchdown of course you wouldn't do an onside kick.

Really it speaks to why the OT rules were changed. Teams didn't have to "try to score". They just had to get into position to kick a field goal.

"Don't let them kick a field goal" is a lot tougher task imo them "don't let them score a td"...for any defense let alone a mediocre one.

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Fair points. I don't look at it as "my defense sux so I'm going to let them score" though. They're not really trying to "score" per se. They're trying to bleed the clock so they can kick what amounts to an extra point with :01 left. If they need a touchdown of course you wouldn't do an onside kick.

Really it speaks to why the OT rules were changed. Teams didn't have to "try to score". They just had to get into position to kick a field goal.

"Don't let them kick a field goal" is a lot tougher task imo them "don't let them score a td"...for any defense let alone a mediocre one.

The defense has to step up and not allow a 50+ yard drive that eats up 6 min.

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I'm looking for the fantasy football forum.

I'm pretty sure it's ok to talk real sports in this forum too.

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I would take this approach, its very maddening but hey its playing aggressive and packs couldn't stop kaep all day.

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I'm looking for the fantasy football forum.

I'm pretty sure it's ok to talk real sports in this forum too.

Has a tangible effect on fantasy (see Brian Westbrook 2007).

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This strategy only applies for horrendous defenses. Its hard to say any playoff team has a horrendous defense (Packers are bad but still competent).

My example earlier was for Cowboys (3rd worst defense in NFL history). For a team like them I would try something unique, especially when its a good offense

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I would take this approach, its very maddening but hey its playing aggressive and packs couldn't stop kaep all day.

If GB does the onside try and fails, then SF scores and GB has time to make the last play and win ... it's a theory ... but, the odds are better if you make 'em start at the 20 and at some point your D will make a play, or they will make a mistake.

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If you're on Twitter, you will see scores of people imploring that Mike McCarthy and last night Chip Kelly let the other team score so to get the ball back and not allow the opponent to bleed the clock en route to making a chip-shot field goal with no time left. Coaches still aren't doing this (understandably I guess) although the opposing team could always just take a knee at the 1-yard line rendering it moot.

One alternative I thought of that I don't believe has ever been mentioned (literally by anyone) is to do an onside kick after you score. That way either 1) you'll recover the onside kick and will have scored a huge momentum swing by securing two consecutive possessions, if not having basically won the game by virtue of the clock or 2) you give the opponent a short field so that they literally cannot bleed 5 minutes--SF burned 5:06 worth of game time in its final drive; NO 4:54--off the clock; they'll have to score one way or another which would give you the ball back with some time left.

So in a nutshell it centers on using onside kicks to create more possessions.

Thoughts?

sorry but this is a pretty stupid idea.

if you cant stop the the other team from driving down the field and bleeding the clock the first time, what makes you think you can do it the second time?

think about this for a second. using your logic, you would basically allow the other team to score as quickly and as often as possible. which is pretty much the exact opposite of how to win.

"you give the opponent a short field so that they literally cannot bleed 5 minutes"

not sure how you dont see the the fault with this reasoning. if you just stop them on the first series this isnt even an issue.

and more importantly, what makes you think the Packers couldve driven down the field after "allowing the other team to score" anyway? not like they were a juggernaut offense all day - they only got into FG ~4 times all game.

also maybe you dont quite understand the term "literally"?

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What you are forgetting is the near pick that Kaep threw with about four minutes left. If the CB makes that play (and I suspect he would have 8-10 times) then we're talking about a completely different ending with GB simply running out the clock and kicking their own field goal to win it. I too was yelling at the TV telling McCarthy to "Let them score" but I suspect that at some point years ago the NFL stepped in behind the scenes and simply said the optics around that kind of activity are horrible so just don't do it."

Last thing the NFL wants are teams simply letting others score when you factor in the millions of people betting on these games. It may not be illegal but it suggests in a very small way, manipulating the rules/score in a way that is offside with the spirit of the game.

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Green Bay did this in Super Bowl XXXII. With the score tied, 24-24, they allowed Terrell Davis to score a touchdown with less than two minutes left. Holgren admitted to it after the game. The thought was they didn't want Denver to run the clock out after they got a first and goal. They wanted to ball back in Favre's hands with some time on the clock. Even though GB drove into Denver's side of the field, it ultimately didn't work because they were forced to try for a touchdown to tie the game.

In the end, the best strategy is to get stops and to hold onto your timeouts. Think how disasterous that timeout by Kaep to start the 2nd half of yesterday's game could have been, if GB had made the pick and SF need more time. Kaep was laughing about it at the time but it was a stupid timeout because he had forgotten his armband with plays on it.

I understand what you are getting at but there are too many variables to make it a viable strategy in most situations. For example, say you score and still need the ball back to tie or win. The opposing team will suspect a potential on-side kick. If you are already ahead, why would you shorten the field?

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I'd love to just see the kicking game eliminated all together in football. Teams start at the 20 and can only score if they get in the end zone. Then, instead of an extra point you run a play from the two for a two point conversion.

Ok, maybe banning field goals is harsh. But something should be done about extra points. When a play has a 99.9 percent success rate, why bother having it in the game? Eliminate the extra point, make everyone go for two, and I doubt we see these pesky ties that keep springing up every couple of seasons.

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I'd love to just see the kicking game eliminated all together in football. Teams start at the 20 and can only score if they get in the end zone. Then, instead of an extra point you run a play from the two for a two point conversion.

Ok, maybe banning field goals is harsh. But something should be done about extra points. When a play has a 99.9 percent success rate, why bother having it in the game? Eliminate the extra point, make everyone go for two, and I doubt we see these pesky ties that keep springing up every couple of seasons.

No, the decision whether to go for 1pt conversion or 2 is a nice one.

But you're right about the fact it's a 99.9 percent success play, but

1) You can fake it

2) Even if you have no problem with eliminating the fake play, we could simply give automaticaly the extra-point to the team, wihtuout kicking, and the head coach will have to decide between keeping the extra-point or fold it to go for 2.

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Its all relative when making decisions as a coach. Bottoms line is you better win. If you win you're a genius, if you lose ur an a**. Period. Belichick giving the ball to Peyton in OT would've been the dumbest move had they lost. Even the owner was questioning him. Yet when they kicked the game winning FG, he's a genius.

As for possessions and time I think we seen how much possessions and time mean last night. Had FSU not scored on that KO return, Auburn may be the NC right now. If FSU had to drive the ball to score the go ahead TD and burn clock. Then Auburn would've been driving for the game winning TD.

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Its all relative when making decisions as a coach. Bottoms line is you better win. If you win you're a genius, if you lose ur an a**. Period. Belichick giving the ball to Peyton in OT would've been the dumbest move had they lost. Even the owner was questioning him. Yet when they kicked the game winning FG, he's a genius.

As for possessions and time I think we seen how much possessions and time mean last night. Had FSU not scored on that KO return, Auburn may be the NC right now. If FSU had to drive the ball to score the go ahead TD and burn clock. Then Auburn would've been driving for the game winning TD.

Not just about winning the current game, also the past. Remember Belichick went for that 4th and 2 against the Colts a 3-4 years ago and no one really could bash him because its Belichick. Almost any other coach would have been bashed and any non-Suer Bowl winning coach would probably be on the hot seat the rest of the season.

As for the BCS game, Auburn scored too fast. But they were playing solidly on defense so its not their fault. The game was still in their hands. They let up a 50+ yard pass that should have been 10 yards and in bounds, and still FSU scored with under 15 seconds left. They needed to just play decent defense to win that game.

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When you kick an onside kick, you're essentially just handing the other team points. One should not be attempted unless there is literally no other option

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You would have to have absolutely zero confidence in your defense, and that might cause the coach to start losing the locker room.

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The letting them score tactic is just like the foul/free throw tactic seen at the end of virtually every basketball game. Its just extending the game giving you a chance to play offense again. You can't win most times without playing offense. Any game where you lead by less than three points or trail by one you should let the other team score the TD. If you don't you have virtually no shot at winning. Pro kickers don't miss mostly chip shot field goals. The success rate has to be over 90-95%.

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