Chip Kelly, Two Point Conversions, and Failing Unconventionally

September 28, 2013 Strategy

“Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for the reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.” – John M. Keynes. Last Thursday night, Chip Kelly was widely criticized for an unconventional decision that turned out to be unsuccessful. Trailing 10-0 in the first quarter against the Chiefs, Michael Vick threw a 22-yard touchdown pass […]

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Chuck Pagano Went For 1 Up 12 With Under Five Minutes Remaining

September 27, 2013 Coaches

I can’t believe I’m writing this article. Everyone loves Chuck Pagano, but he made a pretty embarrassing blunder at the end of the Colts upset win in San Francisco on Sunday. The Colts led 13-7 when Andrew Luck scrambled for a six yard touchdown on 3rd-and-3 with just over four minutes left in the fourth […]

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John Harbaugh outcoaches Jim Harbaugh, wins Super Bowl

February 5, 2013 Coaches

“He’s the best coach in football right now.” That was what John Harbaugh said about his little brother after the game. It’s hard to argue: I’ve said a few times that I think Jim Harbaugh is the best coach in the league, too. (Although I gave my mythical COTY vote to Pete Carroll.) It was […]

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Reviewing the Divisional Round of the Playoffs

January 14, 2013 Review

The Best Weekend of the Year lived up to its reputation this weekend, as the divisional round of the playoffs gave us three outstanding games. Here is my reaction, with a disproportionate amount of time spent on the Denver-Baltimore game, because, well, if you saw it, you’d understand. Baltimore 38, Denver 35 One of the […]

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A good shorthand to remember whether or not to go for 2

November 12, 2012 Coaches

Falcons head coach Mike Smith made a couple of interesting decisions in the 4th quarter of Atlanta’s loss to the Saints on Sunday. And by interesting, I mean conservative. The first strategic blunder came when his team scored a touchdown with 13 minutes remaining, to cut the lead to 28-23 pending the point after. Smith’s […]

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Should Mike Mularkey have gone for 2 against the Packers?

October 30, 2012 Coaches

The Jacksonville Jaguars faced an uphill battle on Sunday: they were 15-point underdogs against the Packers in Lambeau Field. Trailing 14-6 in the final seconds of the first half, Blaine Gabbert threw a one-yard touchdown pass to tackle Guy Whimper. At that point, Mike Mularkey decided to go for two in an attempt to tie […]

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Chan Gailey – wisely? – went for 1 up 5 against Tennessee

October 24, 2012 Uncategorized

In Buffalo’s loss to Tennessee on Sunday, Chan Gailey faced an interesting decision. Buffalo trailed 28-27 in the final seconds of the third quarter when Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Steve Johnson for a 27-yard touchdown. Now up 33-28, Gailey chose to kick the extra point, and ultimately saw his team lose, 35-34. Why did Gailey choose […]

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Up by 1, after scoring a late touchdown, should teams go for two?

October 16, 2012 Statistics

I’m always interested in creative ways to maximize your team’s chances of winning. A few weeks ago, I wrote that when trailing by 14 or 15 points, teams should go for two if they score a touchdown. A different scenario came up during the Ravens-Cowboys game, as Baltimore was up 24-23 with just under five […]

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Trailing by 15 in the middle of the 4th quarter, teams are foolish to not go for 2 after touchdowns

September 14, 2012 Strategy

Let’s start with the obvious: your odds of winning when trailing by 15 in the 4th quarter are really, really low. From 1994, the first season the two-point attempt was introduced to the NFL, to 2011, 68 teams have entered the 4th quarter trailing by exactly 15 points. Only one of those teams won. Over […]

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