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Riverboat Rivera - ESPN article (by David Newton)


Best Answer beastson, 13 October 2013 - 11:29 PM

When Rivera brought that blitz when the game was clearly over was a sign of learning. That's how you play, to win. Not to NOT lose 

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#16 fieryprophet

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:04 AM

Nope, the statistics say teams should almost always go for fourth and short in opponents territory. Here's economist Paul Romer: http://elsa.berkeley...B_CORRECTED.pdf
There are also good pieces out there by Brian Burke, Football Outsiders and others explaining this.

 

I've never really bought their arguments, because the samples sizes are very small and that particular situation isn't as extensively gameplanned for as it would be if teams started going for it more often. With the decline of offensive line play around the league most running plays are boom and bust and either get stuffed or go for a big gain, meaning it's harder than ever to generate only the one or tw yards necessary to convert.



#17 Saxist Fed

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    halt the tomfoolery

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:05 AM

Oh it's getting outta control haha, apparently we're on a Rivera-boat Gambling Cruise

 

http://profootballta...-gambler-route/



#18 teeray

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:34 AM

Nope, the statistics say teams should almost always go for fourth and short in opponents territory. Here's economist Paul Romer: http://elsa.berkeley...B_CORRECTED.pdf
There are also good pieces out there by Brian Burke, Football Outsiders and others explaining this.


I have seen this study before and talked to some coaches about it. And almost all of them say there is a reason they are statisticians and economists and not coaches

#19 Raleighcat83

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:06 PM

I have seen this study before and talked to some coaches about it. And almost all of them say there is a reason they are statisticians and economists and not coaches


That's not an argument. That's "I'm right and they're wrong because I'm the authority and what they say doesn't count." Coaches have many important skills, like designing and calling plays, motivating players, making roster and lineup decisions, massaging egos, managing practice and weight traing sessions, etc. They almost certainly do all of those things better than a statistician would. But there's no particular reason to believe that on this one narrow issue of fourth down conversions every single one of the quantitative studies is wrong and coaches' gut feelings are right.

#20 Raleighcat83

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:11 PM

I've never really bought their arguments, because the samples sizes are very small and that particular situation isn't as extensively gameplanned for as it would be if teams started going for it more often. With the decline of offensive line play around the league most running plays are boom and bust and either get stuffed or go for a big gain, meaning it's harder than ever to generate only the one or tw yards necessary to convert.


The sample sizes are plenty large enough to infer statistical significance, there are numerous studies, and the odds of getting a yard on 4th and short are basically the same as the odds of getting a yard on third and short, which is quite common and is obviously game planned against. There is no real controversy here among people who have studied this. I know of no credible study that has come to the conclusion that's it's a good idea to punt on 4th and short on the opponents side of the field regardless of the score and time. There are dozens of good studies that show why coaches should go for it.

#21 Vampire the buffet slayer

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:19 PM

That's not an argument. That's "I'm right and they're wrong because I'm the authority and what they say doesn't count." Coaches have many important skills, like designing and calling plays, motivating players, making roster and lineup decisions, massaging egos, managing practice and weight traing sessions, etc. They almost certainly do all of those things better than a statistician would. But there's no particular reason to believe that on this one narrow issue of fourth down conversions every single one of the quantitative studies is wrong and coaches' gut feelings are right.


The sample sizes are plenty large enough to infer statistical significance, there are numerous studies, and the odds of getting a yard on 4th and short are basically the same as the odds of getting a yard on third and short, which is quite common and is obviously game planned against. There is no real controversy here among people who have studied this. I know of no credible study that has come to the conclusion that's it's a good idea to punt on 4th and short on the opponents side of the field regardless of the score and time. There are dozens of good studies that show why coaches should go for it.





Slow down.


Facts and sh!t do go over well here.


More emotion, less logic.

#22 teeray

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:37 PM

Do those studies weight for time and score, human psychology, and momentum?

The game of football is more than sheer analytics.

I don't have a strong feeling one way or the other on gambling on fourth down. But I do like for a coach to have a philosophy and stick with it.

Because at the end of the day no matter what you choose will lose some games from being ultra aggressive and you will lose some games being too conservative. Just have a core belief and stick with it and the results will eventually even out.

Since the Panthers have been unlucky as of late we feel we need to be more aggressive, but that isn't always the right call.

#23 fieryprophet

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:41 PM

The sample sizes are plenty large enough to infer statistical significance, there are numerous studies, and the odds of getting a yard on 4th and short are basically the same as the odds of getting a yard on third and short, which is quite common and is obviously game planned against. There is no real controversy here among people who have studied this. I know of no credible study that has come to the conclusion that's it's a good idea to punt on 4th and short on the opponents side of the field regardless of the score and time. There are dozens of good studies that show why coaches should go for it.

 

By numerous, you mean one modern NFL-specific one (Brian Burke's EPA study), and by odds, you mean none, as 3rd and one is simply not the same as 4th and one. Look at the defensive coverages used by NFL teams on a 3rd and one vs. a 4th and one: on third down they're just as likely to play 2 deep safeties as to bring one in the box, while on 4th downs they'll often utilize goal-line style packages with a single high safety. The Vikings put nine in the box on our first 4th down attempt.

 

Again, I'm not saying that the right idea isn't to go for it on 4th down, but the implication of Burke's study had more to do with the expectation of points scored vs. actual points scored, and required him to attempt to normalize that estimate across multiple eras of football, and with zero insight related to the quality of the teams or schemes involved. Let's say you're a team wanting to run for it on 4th and one vs. the '85 Chicago Bears or the 2012 New Orleans Saints. Are the probabilities of success the same against both teams? Hell no. Do the probabilities tell you otherwise? Nope. These theories that dictate that going for it on 4th down is the only right choice are based in a fantasy world where NFL teams don't dedicate hundreds of manhours each week trying to negate as many advantages for the other team as possible.

 

So, while I like that Rivera is willing to be more intutive in his 4th down decision-making, I'm not going to act like that is something we should be doing every single time the opportunity presents itself, as it will negate one of the advantages of the 4th down call in the first place: the element of surprise (which is again not accounted for in any way by those studies, which is a massive blind spot in their conclusions.)



#24 fieryprophet

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:44 PM

Do those studies weight for time and score, human psychology, and momentum?

The game of football is more than sheer analytics.

I don't have a strong feeling one way or the other on gambling on fourth down. But I do like for a coach to have a philosophy and stick with it.

Because at the end of the day no matter what you choose will lose some games from being ultra aggressive and you will lose some games being too conservative. Just have a core belief and stick with it and the results will eventually even out.

Since the Panthers have been unlucky as of late we feel we need to be more aggressive, but that isn't always the right call.

 

They don't, and you're right. It's a high-variance sport with a large risk of catastrophe on every play, so simply playing the odds, no matter how favorable or unfavorable, is going to bite you in the ass just as often as save your hide.



#25 Panthro

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:54 PM

Full Tilt Rivera



#26 iamhubby1

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:56 AM

I think Rivera finally trusts his Offense to get him that yard. As long as he keeps that trust, he will probably keep calling aggressively. Rivera has learned that with this O, being aggressive is not automatically a bad call.

Going to be interesting to see how he wields his new found power. I like aggressive as much as the next guy. Hopefully Rivera's new found trust in the O will influence his thought process in regards to other areas.

Maybe Rivera has finally gone from being an "Err on the side of caution.", to "Throw caution to the wind." type of coach? The latter scares me, in that exciting kinda way, I tell ya what.

But you gotta love it. Criticized for his play calling on 4th down. Get 2 in the same drive. Another demon cast to the side. Keep casting out those demons boys. When finally do cast out all the demons, even we won't be able to stop us.

#27 Raleighcat83

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 06:18 PM

Brian Burke is not the only guy who has done a modern study, Football Oitsiders and Cold Hard Football Facts have also done extensive work on this, as has Nate Silver, and of course Paul Romer. And sure, defenses may play closer to the line on 4th down, although I think you're probably overstating the extent of that, but that will also leave them vulnerable to long runs if an offense goes for it on 4th down. After all, it's not as if defenses are employing a suboptimal strategy on 3rd down and then switching to an objectively better one on 4th, they're doing the best they can on every play. My guess is that offensises are more likely to take shots downfeild on 3rd down and they mostly just run up the middle (mostly, not always of course) on 4th. If thats the case its reasonable to expect that defenses adapt to hat by playing the run more aggressively. If they load the box totally, you throw. And sure, football is more than analysis. Football is lots of things! It's more than just throwing, more than just catching, more than just blocking or tackling or using timeouts well or using challenges well or making good 4th down decisions, it's all of those things and more. But to just continue to make objectively suboptimal decisions over and over because *handwave* momentum! tradition! trusting the defense! stat nerds don't understand football! *handwave* is pretty stupid. I think that's why you see the game slowly changing, why more and more NFL and major college teams are being aggressive in these situations, and where, for the first time, we're starting to see mainstream media criticism of the timid coaching decisions that don't work as well as the aggressive ones.


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