24 Nov 2004
The latest strategic analysis from our friend William Krasker looks at Mike Tice's decision to go for two with the score 19-13 and further discusses his theory on intentionally committing a penalty in the final two minutes. There's also the usual slate of fourth down choices, and although I'm usually in agreement with William that going for it is better, I disagree with the first situation here: Green Bay kicking a field goal on 4th-and-1 from the Houston 21-yard line. Yes, using generic NFL numbers the probability of a win if greater if you take the risk of going for it. But Green Bay was down by three with eight minutes left -- you have kick the tying FG there, especially with a kicker who is nearly automatic from that distance (in a dome no less). I think if you take the risk of going for it against a team with a strong offense, and blow it, you are fairly screwed. Houston can dictate the pace and strategy from there on. Tie the game with eight minutes left, and neither team dictates pace and strategy. I don't think the Texans -- with a poor ground game -- are going to run a drive that takes all the time off the clock and scores without letting Green Bay have the ball back.
This year's update to the playoff drive stats show that the football gods may have been on Peyton Manning's side this time. Also: Cam Newton and Alex Smith enter the mix, and why we should be comparing Andrew Luck to Dan Marino.