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Question about NE-MIA end-of-half playcalling

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by GoWhalers, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. GoWhalers

    GoWhalers Rookie

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    Enjoying the win, but one thing I really didn't understand on Sunday...

    • Dolphins kick the ball off with ~40ish seconds left on the clock.
    • Kick is fairly deep in the end zone, but catchable.
    • Slater motions for Blount to kneel on the catch.
    • The offense takes the field, and kneels to run out the clock.


    I certainly understand the fact that you normally want to kneel on deep kicks because you lose starting field position on average, that you might prefer to regroup your offense in the locker room than risk injury with hail mary's, and I also understand that Blount is no burner and is pretty unlikely to take one the house.

    But still -- if you're going to kneel on the offense regardless of position, wouldn't it make sense to return a catchable kick? Aside from the absolute worst-case of a fumble turnover, doesn't this seem like the the lowest risk option for points?
  2. dales804

    dales804 On the Roster

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    You answered your own question. You don't risk the possibility of a turnover to give more points away.

    If the kickoff was "returnable" and they got a good one, I'd bet the Patriots would have tried for points. But that decision probably wasn't made until the result of the kickoff was known.
  3. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    They were going into the wind, down 17-3 after doing everything wrong.

    As much as we didn't like it, it was time to regroup and have the advantage of the wind at our backs in the 3rd quarter.

    I don't know how much different it may/may not have been if the kick were returnable, but since MIA had the advantage of the wind I doubt it would have been returnable myself. All 3 of Gost's kicks were nonreturnable in the 3rd quarter in the same situation, so I doubt there'd have been anything that could have been done.
  4. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Rookie

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    The Patriots made the right football decision all things considered.
  5. dales804

    dales804 On the Roster

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    I'm fine with it. Maybe I didn't make my post clear; since the kick wasn't returnable, Blount downed it. Because of the field position, game situation and wind they kneeled on it. If Blount was able to return the kick (say it was fielded at the 4 for whatever reason), and he got to around the 40, I bet they would have tried for points.
  6. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My only problem was the Pats not using one of their time outs after the Pats stopped the Dolphins on third down. They could have gotten the ball back with over a minute. I don't know if they would have risked it going into the wind, but it would have at least gave them the option.
  7. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Didn't a bunch of receivers head toward the field only to be pulled in favor of the kneeling personnel? It looked to me like there were thoughts about going for it, but they decided to kneel in the end. It'd be hard for Slater to know that they would just kneel if the offensive players didn't even know it yet.
  8. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    As long as Blount is the returner, there's zero chance of starting better than our 30. .001% chance of starting better than our 25.

    Best to take a knee and come back to fight another half
  9. GoWhalers

    GoWhalers Rookie

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    I still can't shake the feeling that he should have tried to run it out.

    He muffs the catch -- still a risk on a fair catch
    Ends up getting only 5-15 yards -- OK, kneel down into the half anyways
    Breaks something, ends up near midfield -- who knows what happens from there?

    It just seems overly cautious in that situation to fair catch.
  10. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Patriots won the game.

    ...hey, why didn't they throw the statue of liberty flea flicker double reverse fake run pitch back to the quarterback./..they had FORTY SECONDS MAN !!!!!! Do SOMETHING!!!!.,..
  11. doesntmatter1

    doesntmatter1 Rookie

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    I have noticed this for a long time and didn't say anything. Slater has no balls and tries to make all returners take a knee. It wouldn't matter if we had Hester. Slater also did this before they moved the ball from the 30 to the 35.

    It's not something I am going to give much thought to but maybe Slater is right to always be cautious. We'll never know.
  12. Triumph

    Triumph Rookie

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    #32 Jersey

    If Blount ran it back for a TD time would have expired.

    Seems like BB has waved the white flag on KO returns for a TD with Blount back there. Most times Blount gets back to the 20 and I wonder why NE just didnt take a knee in the EZ.
  13. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    How often do we actually bring a kick off return back to the house? Once every couple of years or so? One would have to consider the fact that Belichick likely weighed the odds and is playing the percentages.

    I did not like the decision to have Blount returning kickoffs any more than you do in the beginning, but when you factor in their lack of other options and realize that Blount currently has a much better KOR average than Julian Edelman and is within a yard of McCourty, it makes a lot more sense.

    The kickoff return game seems to have been severely affected by the newer kickoff placement rule, as Rob recently pointed out that even Blount only returns it about 1/3.2 times.

    We can't risk McCourty or Edelman to injury as they are important players who see actual reps. Boyce is inactive + a rookie. Washington and Vereen are injured. Who is remaining who is a good candidate to risk injury on the most violent play in all of sports?
  14. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Kickoff return average:

    --Edelman 21.7 ypa (longs of 32, 32, and 37 in his three years returning)

    --Blount 23.1 ypa (long of 30 in his only year returning)

    --McCourty 24.3 ypa (longs of 24 and 27 in two of his three years returning)


    Not seeing much difference here.....

    What we can realize is that McCourty brought back a kick for a TD in ONE of his three years returning, while Edelman has never brought back a kick for a TD in any of his three years returning.

    Blount has already proven to be more effective than Edelman in this regard, and pretty much the same as McCourty aside from one return for a TD vs the NYJ last season. Their longs and averages are basically the same aside from that one return.

    Of course Edelman and McCourty have approx. a dozen or so more returns than Blount, so we may see Blount's average go down another yard or so by the time he sees those dozen kicks.
  15. hwc

    hwc On the Roster

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    I would prefer that the Pats just take a knee on every kickoff in the endzone. The risk of something bad (starting at the 10), or really bad (a turnover), or even worse (an injury) far outweighs the odds off getting the ball out to the 23 yard line. Take the bird in the hand. Start the drive at the 20.
  16. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    According to one of our well respected posters Rob0729, Blount is taking a knee the majority of the time due to the kickoffs being so deep.

    I believe that he claimed last week that Blount was actually only returning 1/3.2 kickoffs on the year, although the 1/3.2 stat may have been for a shorter period of time such as the past month, etc. I imagine that he will chime in at some point tomorrow and let us know.

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