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New Playoff OT Rules and the Patriots

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by brdmaverick, Jan 3, 2012.

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  1. brdmaverick

    brdmaverick Rookie

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    #32 Jersey

    This may be one of those 'be careful what you wish for' but I'd like to see the new overtime playoff rules come into play this season (where a TD is needed to win on the opening possession). Of course, I hope this doesn't come into play during the Patriots game, because I'd be hoping for a comfortable win.

    IF the Patriots did have to go to OT, I can't help but think that this rule would be perfect for them. With the Pats offense being THAT good and the defense being THAT bad, under the old rules the OT would clearly be decided by the coin flip. The new rules provide hope in that we would have hope that the defense could hold the opponent to a field goal.


    I would like to see this new format in action to watch each coach's strategy. If you win the coin toss, do you elect to receive the ball? This was previously a no-brainer to receive but has an added twist with the new rules.
  2. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    Teams that are most efficient in the red zone on both offense and on defense would in theory be helped by this rule change, while teams that rank lowest in red zone stats would be hurt by it.

    As for electing to kickoff or defer, that's a tough call. For example you may want to put the opponents defense right back on the field and not give them a chance to catch their breath - while at the same time giving your own defense a little extra time to recoup. On the other hand if you're the second team to have the ball in overtime then you have the advantage of knowing exactly what you need to do to win on that first possession.
  3. Big-T

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    I think a team like Baltimore would defer in this situation, you have a dominant defense who could give Flacco a short field to work with, same goes with Pittsburgh. But a team like New England would likely receive the ball because with Tom Brady leading the team there's a higher chance of winning than having to rely on the defense.
  4. PatsFanInMaine

    PatsFanInMaine Rookie

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    NFL.com news: Postseason overtime rules

    Still a no brainer to receive. If the receiving team scores a touchdown the game is over. Also if the teams remain tied after they each have had a possesion it reverts to sudden death, 1st team to score wins.
  5. PatsFaninAZ

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    There is literally no sample size to work with to know the right way to go. My instinct is that the kicking team has a significant advantage when you combine the new overtime rules with the moving up of the kickoff.

    I'm not sure I've ever really seen a discussion of those two issues together. The overtime rules were changed for the playoffs last year, and the kickoff was changed in the off season. I don't recall ever hearing any discussion of the new playoff overtime rules when they were debating the kickoff, and I think it changes everything.

    The dramatic change this year in starting position for the receiving team coupled with the burden of not being able to win on the opening possession even with a 60-yard drive and kick seems to me to make deferring far better than a 50/50 proposition.

    I would love to see the stats this year on the advantage of winning the coin flip with the new kickoff rules. My guess is that, over the long term, moving the kick to the 35 will bring the overtime rules much closer back to 50/50 than they were with the kick from the 30. That would make the new playoff rules for OTs decidedly unfair in favor of the team that gets the ball second.

    I guess perception matters more than reality though -- there is a perception that winning on the opening possession with a FG is "unfair." In my view, no matter what system is used, it should seek to render the coin flip virtually irrelevant -- that is, anything that makes OT a 50/50 proposition or as close thereto as possible is a good thing. My hunch is that there is a statistical way to do this. There is a yardline for the offensive team to start at which it would truly be close to a 50/50 proposition -- probably somewhere between the 10 and 18 yard line. I would love see a sophisticated analysis where that point is determined, and then have the coin flip be a simple choice. Say it's the 14 yard line. The winner of flip gets a choice -- either you get the ball at your own 14 or you can choose to have your opponent get it at their 14.
  6. Palm Beach Pats Fan

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    The results are in on the impact of the new kickoff rules.

    Kickoff rule change has big effect on NFL - Stats & Info Blog - ESPN

    The average start position after kickoffs went back 4.7 yards this year.

    An oddity though is that this change, one would expect, would help the defense, and offenses ruled the day this year.

    100 times out of 100 times I think you elect to receive in OT.

    Overall the rule is good to prevent the passive play-for-the-FG mentality.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  7. Seanzayyy

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    Ugh...I strongly dislike these rules. I love pure sudden death. Blaming the coin toss for the outcomes of football games is an excuse. There's a defense for a reason. You don't want them to score and win the game? Stop them.
  8. Fencer

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    I don't see why you'd defer.

    Any argument for deferring would depend on having high confidence you can stop the other team from scoring on the opening drive. Well, if you're that confident, you should also be confident that you can stop them after you've already kicked a field goal.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  9. fgssand

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    Of course it's a no brainer to take the ball and try to get the TD in OT if you win the toss.

    These Patriots certainly have a great chance to score right away with our potent offense.

    This year, this teams modus operandi has been giving up long drives, but it seems to me we either force a turn over or hold to a FG.

    I like our chances in OT.

    As a matter of fact, I am calling it right now - Patriots win superbowl in OT with a TD after giving up a FG (no, we did not defer).
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  10. brdmaverick

    brdmaverick Rookie

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    Here's an argument that may go unnoticed...

    It may be smart for a team to defer if they believe their defense can prevent the opponent from scoring a TD.

    IF the opponent scores a FG on the opening drive, then the advantage that you have is that you know you MUST score at least a FG or the game is over. Therefore, all FOUR downs are in play when you are outside of FG range. Your opponent, however, would only have had three downs to work with on the opening drive.
  11. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ Rookie

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    The Packers had the best TD percentage per drive in the NFL, at 24 percent. Most teams hover a bit above and below 20 percent.

    At those numbers, it's a no brainer to defer. The 20 percent chance of winning on the first possession does not come close to overcoming the negative of needing a TD where your opponent only needs a field goal on overtime session number 1 (i.e. the first two possessions). You also have to factor in the chances of giving up points (and thus immediately losing) while you're on offense (a pick 6 or safety). Even if those are only 3 or 4 percent probabilities of a way to end a drive, they bring the 20 percent chance down even further.

    You can increase your odds of scoring a TD on any one drive by committing to go on every fourth down. But I doubt any coach will do that. Once you get in field goal range on your first drive, it's a no brainer to go for it on 4th and anything manageable on the first possession, but again, I think most coaches will kick, which rots.

    Settling for a field goal attempt on the opening possession simply sucks. You're really screwed. You might miss, in which case your opponent gets 7 extra yards and only needs a FG to win. Even if you make it, your opponent has 4 downs every series to match or beat you.

    If you start by kicking, 20 percent of the time, you'll lose on the first possession. A small percentage of the time (let's say 3) you'll win with defense. About 7 percent of the time, you'll end the other team's drive with a turnover, which will put your win probability very high depending on field position. The other 70 percent of the time, you'll get the ball back with the advantage of needing only a field goal to tie or win.
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