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RE: Punting when down in the 4th quarter

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by xmarkd400x, Oct 4, 2011.

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  1. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I'd like to talk about teams that, when down by 10+ points, punt early in the 4th quarter.

    Oakland started a drive with 8:21 remaining in the 4th quarter. At the time they were down 31-13, making it a 3 score game. They punted at the end of this drive. Oakland had two more possessions for the rest of the game.

    I feel like I see teams punt in this situation all the time. Why? How is this, at the NFL level, not seen as a giant tactical mistake? If I was an owner, I'd be in my coaches face wondering why he was not playing to win. The announcers never call it out, either. Pathetic. I think it's a 'reduce the margin of defeat' maneuver, not a 'play to win' maneuver.

    I think this element of coaching should be much more highly scrutinized than it currently is. BB is probably the only one who gets it right.
     
  2. PatsDeb

    PatsDeb PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    TMQ, is that you? LOL. I agree with you though. My husband and I were shocked the Raiders punted in that situation. They had a high probability of success to get the 1st down as the D wasn't really stopping them on short yardage outside the redzone, and they needed 3 scoring drives to catch up. Definitely thought they gave up the game right there.
     
  3. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I guess I should have added "And xmarkd400x wrote in his notebook the words, 'Game Over". (Or whatever it is that TMQ writes).

    I do read TMQ, and I do share his opinion on that. I feel like it is an under-scrutinized portion of the game.
     
  4. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I called that punt "the white flag". It's when I started relaxing about the game.
     
  5. Froob

    Froob Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I was scratching my head on that too. This one wasn't nearly as bad though as the rams punting to the giants down 2 scores so eli could knee and run the clock out :confused:
     
  6. cavtroop

    cavtroop 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Its the difference between coaches that play to win, and coaches that play not to lose. Big difference, and most coaches fall into the 'play not to lose' category. They feel that if they go for it on 4th with 8 minutes left (even if down 3 scores) and fail, that they'll get lambasted in the media, so they turtle up and punt.
     
  7. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    I don't think it's at all cut and dried. Fail to get the 1st and you put all power inthe hands of the other team, including field position. Get it and it sure doesn't give you three scores, does it? you still need to keep making 1sts and get multiple scores and defend the other team.

    If you have a kick ass defense (hypothetical) maybe you get a sack, strip, int, quick three and out etc., All putting you in better position and equally needing multiple scores.
     
  8. zoostation

    zoostation In the Starting Line-Up

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    I was shocked as well. At the very least I expected a fake punt. Very strange :confused:
     
  9. fnordcircle

    fnordcircle ( o Y o ) PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It depends on the situation and the time. You can score 14 point in roughly 30 seconds on successive plays - it happens frequently enough. A defensive score followed by a fumble on special teams returned for a TD, etc, etc.

    If you're on your side of the field and there are over 8 minutes left in the game unless you're down by 17 or more I'd say punting it is the right call most of the time.

    Obviously there are factors that weigh in. Like if the other team's offense has been running the ball down your throat and eating up tons of time off the clock and so forth. But yeah I think punting is the smart choice because if you go for it and fail you've really put your defense in a bad position and a score will likely break your team's back.
     
  10. patsfaninpittsburgh

    patsfaninpittsburgh Banned

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    If you honestly feel you can't make it, punt it.
     
  11. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I do think there is a certain element of job security coming into the decision making of certain head coaches in the league. Those that feel secure (or simply don't care what others think) will go for it on 4th down (Belichick) or open up the 2nd half of the biggest game in franchise history with an onside kick (Payton). Those that don't feel that job security go with the safe, by-the-book play (i.e., playing not to lose) in those situations.

    It's a lot easier to explain why you punted and say 'we felt we could pin them deep and get the ball back' than it is to explain why you went for it on 4th but didn't pick up the 1st down.
     
  12. Satchboogie3

    Satchboogie3 In the Starting Line-Up

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    If you're playing the Jets, you punt. If you're playing the Pats or any other high-powered offense, you go for it. Even if you manage to stop the Pats from scoring on the next drive, you're still fighting the clock. Chewing up 5 minutes is just as bad as giving up a quick score. You basically have 2 chances: Go for it and get the 1st down or punt and pray that Brady throws picks/makes costly mistakes. Since the later doesn't even happen once a season anymore, you have to go for it.
     
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