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The fallacy of "Keep Colts offense off the field"

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by shakadave, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

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    I don't agree with the theory that it's good to keep the other team's (i.e. Colts') offense off the field. According to this theory, it is bad to throw a 60-yard TD pass. Better to run for 3 yards. If your QB throws from his own 40 and you catch it at the 50 wide open, then don't run with it --- sit down!

    No matter how many drives each offense gets over the length of the game, each team gets an equal number of possessions. To "shorten" the game is just to bet that you convert a higher % of your drives than your opponent does WHEN THE # OF DRIVES IS SMALL. This is mathematically invalid unless you assume the other team really is better --- not just their offense, but (their offense over your D) vs. (your offense over their D). If the other team really is better, you should lose whether the # of possessions is large or small. You're just betting on a greater chance of a "fluke" win with fewer possessions for each side.

    If you keep the Colts offense off the field a lot, then you have very few drives yourself, so you'd better score a high % of TDs when you DO have the ball. But if you're able to do that, maybe you're not the worse team after all!
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2006
  2. Digger44

    Digger44 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    This is pure foolishness. Nobody ever claimed that a WR should fall down after a catch. Can you please cut the crap and stop making up stories no one ever posted. Great way to bend someones theory so you look good. Very typical biased journalism.


    How is it that if you keep the Colts offense off of the field that you have fewer drives? That is not a fact and does not have to work that way whatsoever. In fact turnovers and punts would give us more drives. Again, look at the other side of the coin.
     
  3. SVN

    SVN Hall of Fame Poster

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    keep the other offense off the field is a logic which every team tries to do against any team it plays...i dont know a team/gameplan/ which would say.."let s keep the cleveland offense on the field or lets keep the colts offense on the field"...
    unless maybe you played the 06' raiders..
    this is such a cliched logic by the analysts which means nothing...
    keeping the opposition offense of the field IS the game of football...just doesnt happen as people wish which is why its sports.
     
  4. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

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    a) Thanks for the civil tone.
    b) Of course nobody ever claimed a WR should fall down. I didn't say they did. But it's consistent with the theory of trying to minimize the time the other team's offense is on the field.
    c) I don't really consider myself a journalist.

    I'm making an assumption here. Whenever we hear the "keep opponent's offense off" strategy, it's always implied that we're talking about having long drives ourself, keeping our offense out there a long time. (People don't just mean "stop the other team to get their offense off the field --- that's obvious. The theory is mentioned when WE have the ball.) Longer drives for our offense mean fewer total drives.
     
  5. CheerforTom

    CheerforTom Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    But what's wrong with having fewer total drives that result in points? If they're longer, they're more likely to do so, are they not?

    In any case, I think the whole "keep the offence off the field" applied specially to Manning in this game. The guy's just been a nuclear bomb this year. I don't think that would've been the case against just anybody. It wouldn't surprise me if it was a part of the game plan to try to minimize Manning's chances, regardless of what that did to us.
     
  6. Digger44

    Digger44 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    a) When you post material like Keegs you deserve a civil tone.
    b) A WR falling down is only consistant with pure foolishness. That is so ridiculous that I cannot even believe you try to make an argument for that. Please give me a break.
    c) Nobody here considers you are journalist. It is an expression. I am sorry you didn't understand that.


    The assumption is highly flawed. It certainly is not implied that we must have long, slow drives. It implies that you take advantage of the defenses weakness and score. It just so happens that Indi's weakness is the running game. You try to point out that 60 yards is better that 3 yards, but the Colts gave up about 150 yards rushing in the total game. With 33 carries that averages out to be 4.5 yards a run. That is excellent. All you had to do is watch the 4th quarter of the Colts/Broncs game to understand that a ground game doesn't have to mean a slow drive. Our RBs are excellent and can slow down the game or speed it up as needed.
     
  7. sieglo

    sieglo In the Starting Line-Up

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    Shakadave's argument is that if Manning scores on X% of his possessions, it doesn't matter whether we keep him off the field or not with a powerful running game. Either way, we will need to score on X+Y% of our possessions in order to beat him. Both teams basically get the same number of possessions in a game.

    The only good argument I can think of for the "keep Manning off the field" strategy is that by sidelining Manning and making him sit around on the bench for big chunks of time, he cools off and gets out of rhythm. I think there's some merit to this argument but I would counter by pointing out that there hasn't been a heck of a lot that's taken Manning out of rhythm so far this year.
     
  8. CTPatsFan

    CTPatsFan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    In theory, keeping the opposing O off the field keeps them from scoring, allows your D to be rested and wears down the opposing D making it easier for your O to move the ball as the game wears on. When you have a strong running game, it should be able to move the ball down the field against a (considered) weak rush D, score and take time off the clock.

    INTs, short fields after punts/ko's, unsuccessful gimick plays and play-continuing penalties throw a wrench into the works. This was a self-inflicted loss and I think that is what is so frustrating for many of us. Not the end of the world, just frustrating.

    There are always exceptions to the theory, but most of the time they hold true. I'm excited about the state of our running game and was disappointed that it wasn't the focus of the gameplan (and still yielded 150 yards).
     
  9. the taildragger

    the taildragger Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Here's what I don't get...on paper at least, the clear mismatch is their soft defense against our offense. Perhaps not as much in the Antowain Smith era, but certainly the past few years anyway. Problem for the Colts is obviously they aren't built to play a ball possession style game, even though it makes more sense for THEM to keep US off the field, and limit the # of possessions we get.

    I'm not saying we should run less or more (Maroney is obviously a great weapon, but that team isn't giving up 5.4 a rush WITH Bob Sanders...and Tom is still our best weapon and...it's all complimentary -- you can't just run against any team in this league -- you have to mix it up if you want an effective ground game or passing game -- just ask Peyton who gets 99% of his big plays off play-action, or Edge who got most of his production from the virtual vacuum created by their passing attack). I would've like to have seen less draws and K-faulk and more power 2-TE running...that wham stuff was great early on...so I guess you could criticize maybe HOW we ran more than HOW OFTEN.

    I always blame/credit the execution of the players FIRST, and then I criticize/credit the gameplan only if the players are executing as well as they can. We just weren't sharp Sun night, and that starts with Tom and trickles down to the receivers (though it has more often trickled UP to him this season)...there isn't much margin for error in this league, especially against THE elite team, and certainly we don't have the ability to sling it in the vicinity of our receivers and hope they make circus catches (Watson is almost becoming a disappointment -- he's got to be able to make those catches in coverage deep down the field -- or at least prevent a pick from happening -- or we won't be throwing it down there much more).

    Sometimes you just make a horrible throw (that first pick from Tom gets my vote for worst throw of his ENTIRE career -- at least the one he flung in Miami in '04 was in a late desperate situation where we needed to make a play -- good news is most QBs throw up ducks like that on a regular basis). Sometimes the ball is a little high (and sometimes you have to keep it high because there's a tackle right in front of you -- so I'm not putting it all on Tommy either), but we have to find a way to tighten it up a little bit and we've got plenty of time to work it out. The difference between Tom and Peyton will always be the fact that one guy is asked to thread the needle all the time...the other guy gets paranoid defenses playing 10 yards off his receivers and crapping their pants.

    Though we can expect incremental progress in the passing game, I continue to believe it will remain a work in progress throughout the season...it will be better in January than it is now, and perhaps more than adequate to get it done, but certainly not as good as it could be next season.

    Call me crazy, but I think Denver is, right now, the best team in the league (yes, I know they can't beat Indy).

    But if what we saw Sunday night is clearly the best team in the league -- i.e. that which stands in our way -- then count me among the optimists -- you could argue that the path this year is set up better than ever.

    Last year we just got smacked down, at least we now control our own destiny. We've proven when we show up with the right mindset (not too tight -- Denver last January -- or perhaps too c0cky -- Sun night) we can blow teams off the board...even on the road.

    Being under the radar is a lot bigger than most pundits think (don't tell me the disrespect doesn't get our guys playing with more fire)...look what happened to Pittsburgh this year...that bullseye is for real.

    the battle may be lost, but the war is not.

    Hasta la dome baby.

    p.s. BONUS RANT: I'm so sick of hearing the pundits exonerate Manning for playing on a bad team...the Marino comparisons are ridiculous...Marino was infrequently incompetent, he didn't have a legacy of failure like Manning...you can't play on the winningest team in the league over your career and be 3-6 in the postseason.

    He looks like he's on a mission this year and he gets my vote for MVP, but the ring's the thing...he's on a GREAT TEAM -- They're always picked to beat EVERYONE. Yeah, the D is historically bad, BECAUSE THEY SPEND EVERYTHING ON O...they're built to outscore teams and thrive on shootouts...there are no excuses...ten million pro bowlers last year! YOU ARE NOT BEATEN BY THE BETTER TEAM WHEN YOU LOSE A GAME IN WHICH YOU ARE FAVORED BY 10-POINTS. You can't pretend it's all about your QB when you win and then fraudulently absolve the guy when they lose...if you're getting blitzed to hell, maybe it's because Dick Labeau doesn't think you can handle it -- learn to run at or dink off the blitz, DEAL WITH IT...or you will NEVER win a championship.

    And if/when he does get a ring, I can't wait to read Manning apologists tell us how it does nothing to enhance the legacy of his greatness, because the QB is only one man out of 53.

    YOU HAVE HOMEFIELD, YOU NO LONGER HAVE VANDERCHOKE, YOU HAVE THE MOST UNSTOPPABLE TEAM IN HISTORY...IN THE NAME OF ARCHIE MANNING, JUST WIN ONE FREAKING SB FOR GOD'S SAKE...you are the most talented QB of all time (no, I don't really believe that) on the most significant position in team sports...just do it!...otherwise have the dignity to spare us all from your next tidal wave of commercials.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2006
  10. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

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    YOU ARE MAKING MY POINT! As foolish as you think a WR falling down is, that's how foolish you should deem the fallacious theory that I'm campaigning against.

    But the minute you score, you bring the Colts offense back out, instead of keeping them off the field. My point is sort of what you're getting at here --- scoring is better than this overrated notion of keeping Manning off the field.
     
  11. Digger44

    Digger44 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    What are you talking about? You are making no sense whatsoever. According to this you now totally contradict what you posted previously. You said you were not claiming that anybody suggested that a WR fall down, and now you come back and say you are campaigning against it??? How can you campaign agaist something that does not exist???

    Yet again you imply that just because a person believes that a team must keep the Colts offense off the field, that means that all the WR must fall down if they catch the ball over 20 yards. Can you please get off the beer?

    I am not sure if you comprehend this or not, but there is something in football called a gameplan. There are ways to manage the clock without, as you insist, letting your WR fall down when they catch the ball. Why can't you accept this?

    For the last time, please stop your Keegs foolishness. I am sorry if you cannot comprehend that there are other ways to manage the clock other than letting your WR fall down after the catch. Football is larger than your comprehension, and mine for that matter. Go ahead and campaign all day against falling down, but wake up and realize that your theory falls far short of reality or a basic level of football comprehension.

    Keeping the Colts O off the field does not mean that our WR need to fall down. Please get off whatever it is you are on.
     
  12. Keegs

    Keegs In the Starting Line-Up

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    Please don't compare his foolishness to mine.

    Mine is in a class all by itself.

    Now get back to criticizing everyone, good day:)
     
  13. BruschiOnTap

    BruschiOnTap On the Game Day Roster

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    shakadave, I think you're over-thinking things. Yes, you give them the ball back after scoring and an equal number of possessions will be had in a game. But remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

    running wears down a defense. running opens up the passing game. running eats up the clock. Scoring is uber-important but if you have 60-second possessions every time and score quickly, your defense will get worn out early by spending too much time on the field. I can't think of ANY championship teams that didn't rely on a solid ground attack ('99 Rams put Faulk to good use). I guess if you score early and often you can just demoralize your opponent but that is too difficult to rely on in the NFL, and when you spend hte second half running the ball your opponent will be able to capitalize on your one-dimensional clock-killing strategy and possibly make a comeback. If you're going to stomp on the gas pedal, don't let up until the final gun and have a reliable defense.

    Passing puts the ball up for grabs on every play, doesn't eat the clock, wears out the OL, and can put you in a deep hole if it backfires. When teams run simple offenses they are based on a strong rushing attack to win (2003 Panthers, 2003 Bears, most Steeler teams of the last decade).

    It's like poker; folding early can be strategic, same as running on big downs early in the game. Then later on you come up in a 2 or 3 TE set on the goal-line and hello! play-action pass.

    Indy's defense will be bloodied to a pulp come playoff time, giving up 5.2 yards per rush (or whatever the number is now) like starting pitchers on teams with bad relief staffs... I can't wait!
     
  14. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    In reading this, I can't help but think of what Coach Belicheck would say if he ever heard your approach to controling the ball and winning the Time of Posession battle.

    Do we really need to explain to fans on this board that this is not a game plan that one utilizes when they are DOWN by a few TDs?

    The idea is to build a lead and then hold it by controlling the ball. Quite simply, a team's offense can't score if they aren't on the field. While winning TOP is easier said than done, it can result in games where we hold the ball for more than 40 min a game.

    As far as the Colts game, given the skills of their Defense and our Defense, this could have been a tailor made game to both run AND pass, build a lead, and then keep Manning off the field.

    I think it would have been possible if not for some questionable playcalling later in the game.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2006
  15. Digger44

    Digger44 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Joe don't even bother. The dude shows no football comprehension. He will just come back and say you want the WR's to fall down after catches. That seems to be his answer for everything. A least Keegs understands, and chooses to be stupid.
     
  16. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

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    Thanks for understanding, Sieglo! I was afraid I was going to have to keep talking to Digger, who simply doesn't have the marbles for this discussion.
     
  17. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

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    You're right on, SixPat. With a lead, the strategy makes sense. My beef was with the "keep the Colts offense off the field" strategy as a gameplan coming in --- even to use on our first possession.

    And to BruschiOnTap, you're right. Running the ball has all sorts of advantages, including wearing down the defense as you mention in your wise post. I'm all for running the ball, but more for the reasons you state, not for the primary purpose of "keeping Manning off the field."
     
  18. Digger44

    Digger44 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    This is nothing even close to what you claimed. As far as me not having the marbles, am I the one who developed the WR fall down Theory? Ummmmm, nope. That is your lack of football understanding.

    For the life of me I cannot understand why you insist that keeping the offense off of the feild means that we do not want to score points or win the game. Again, you are the one with visions of grandure that have nothing to do with football. Thank you so much ShakaKeegs.
     
  19. BruschiOnTap

    BruschiOnTap On the Game Day Roster

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    Hmm, I see your point all of a sudden. What you're saying is, if it's a big-play offense that can/will score anyway, they will have equal opportunities to put points on the board and there's really no such thing as 'keeping them off of the field'.

    Every extra possession you give them by going 3-out, however, is another *opportunity* to make a quick score. Long possesions, even ones resulting in field goals or deep punts, keep an offense on the sideline. besides tiring out a defense, it makes for more one-dimensional play-calling by said offense as coordinators and players get more and more anxious to keep control of the game. But that's more of a theory than the simple and obvious fact that it tires out a defense (which in turn makes for longer late-game possessions). Bottom line is that every minute Brady spends under center is a minute that Manning doesn't; The clock is more reliable even than Manning's offense (unless he scores on EVERY possession), so even if we DON'T score on every possession, the more minutes we eat up, the less window for opportunity the opponent has (and I trust our D in a close game where possessions count, far more than I trust Indy's!)

    Possession football ain't fun to watch, but it wins a lot more championships than over-agressive gameplans. I see what you're saying but there are too many factors favoring a possession offense (hence the success and current prevalence of the 'West Coast' system)
     
  20. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I think I know the point you were trying to make, but the way in which you attempted to make it made no sense

    Yes - each team has the same number of possessions.

    Yes, based on that, the team that makes the most of its possessions in terms of scoring will will win the game (in general, noting that the Defense can force turnovers and score as well)

    But here's where all things STOP being equal when you enter a game with playcalling intent on winning TOP.

    It makes strategic sense to limit the number of possessions of an offense like the Colts.

    Furthermore it makes strategic sense to keep their defense on the field longer to tire them out.

    When you are talking about a team that is so heavilly weighed to a talented offense and less talented defense like the Colts, you accept the fact that their offense will be more efficient than the Patriots in putting points on the board.

    That's OK because the Patriots have better balance on offense and defense. By taking offensive possessions away from the Colts, you are minimizing the advantage they have on offense, and you are maximizing the efficiency of YOUR offense by tiring an already mediocre defense.
     

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