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4th and 4: Hauschka 53 Yard attempt decision - simple analytics


IgotBILLStopay
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4 minutes ago, dave mcbride said:

If Al Edwards made the block he was supposed to make, Thomas would have gotten to the 15 yard line. He whiffed, and the rest is history.

 

oh well, coulda shoulda didn't

 

100% outcoached and outhustled that day

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, The Jokeman said:

Josh probably wanted to go to Brown on the sideline to save clock, no excuse though. We lost and it's over onto Miami. 

I could understand that. That being said, they still had a time out. A 35 yard kick seems a lot more friendly.

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9 hours ago, IgotBILLStopay said:

If you dont have any faith in converting a 4 yard play, why kick a field goal and try to win with that offense in OT?

The lower your faith in converting a 4th down - the lower will be your probability of winning in OT even if a FG is successful, no?

 

Getting 10 yds on 4 plays is easier than making a 4 yd fourth down conversation, therefore if you tie it up you have a better chance of scoring on the next series than one shot and your done if you dont make it.

 

 

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15 hours ago, IgotBILLStopay said:

 

All I did was google 4th down and distance success percentage. I guess google still goes to the Minitab blog:)


 

Which is really part of the problem with these.  
 

That was percentages based on the the big ten - a huge difference from pros.

 

These percentage based decisions also are based upon league averages.  If the Bills are a below league average team on 4th down and >1 yard then the numbers would have to be revised to fit their current situation.  For example if the league average conversion rate is 50%, but the Bills only convert 4th and >1 yard 10% of the time - using the 50% gives a huge boost to the probability that is inaccurate for the team in question.

 

I get that you have to use league averages to have enough numbers to make the math work, but teams also have to look at their own make-up to know if they are better worse or at the average.  Just a quick search shows that this year the Bills convert less than 27% of 4th down attempts and of the 3 made - all were 1 yard or less.  That tells me that for this team you would need to revise the initial % chance to convert way to less than 27% - closer to 0-10%.  What does your win probability look like if you switch 46% probability of converting to a more accurate Bills rate of 10%?  
 

Using the Bills percentage means the FG attempt would have a higher win probability than the attempt at 4th down.
 

 

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5 hours ago, Rochesterfan said:


 

Which is really part of the problem with these.  
 

That was percentages based on the the big ten - a huge difference from pros.

 

These percentage based decisions also are based upon league averages.  If the Bills are a below league average team on 4th down and >1 yard then the numbers would have to be revised to fit their current situation.  For example if the league average conversion rate is 50%, but the Bills only convert 4th and >1 yard 10% of the time - using the 50% gives a huge boost to the probability that is inaccurate for the team in question.

 

I get that you have to use league averages to have enough numbers to make the math work, but teams also have to look at their own make-up to know if they are better worse or at the average.  Just a quick search shows that this year the Bills convert less than 27% of 4th down attempts and of the 3 made - all were 1 yard or less.  That tells me that for this team you would need to revise the initial % chance to convert way to less than 27% - closer to 0-10%.  What does your win probability look like if you switch 46% probability of converting to a more accurate Bills rate of 10%?  
 

Using the Bills percentage means the FG attempt would have a higher win probability than the attempt at 4th down.
 

 

Thanks for the post. You are right in assessing the validity of the probability assumptions since they are critical to the decision. That being said,  if the probability of getting 4 yards on 1 play is just 10% (any offense at any level), you will never just have 4 downs to get 10 yards. That will be the death of football as we know it. This is just basic math. 

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21 hours ago, njodogg said:

 

No problem with the Kick on fourth but that third down play. I still can't get over how wide open Beasley was. 

 

https://twitter.com/YardsPerPass/status/1193694627225882631?s=20

Go back and look at the play...there's no chance Allen gets that pass off to the left, where Beasley is, with the edge rusher in his face.

 

Everyone needs to stop pointing to how open Beasley was on the play...if the edge rusher was at least chipped, yes, he had a play there, but the rusher broke up basically any play to the left of the QB.

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22 hours ago, DaBillsFanSince1973 said:

it's really why I'm done with Daboll.

 

done.

 

i read that post viewing your avi speaking in a voice that can only be described as a cross between mcD and popeye, and i chortled with satisfaction.

 

the only hope i have for dbol is that mcd savagely bullies him into not being ######ed.

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13 minutes ago, Ned Flanders said:

Go back and look at the play...there's no chance Allen gets that pass off to the left, where Beasley is, with the edge rusher in his face.

 

Everyone needs to stop pointing to how open Beasley was on the play...if the edge rusher was at least chipped, yes, he had a play there, but the rusher broke up basically any play to the left of the QB.

 

fans on here are noticing a man totally wide open on most of the plays that fell apart, not just this one....

 

 

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2 hours ago, IgotBILLStopay said:

Thanks for the post. You are right in assessing the validity of the probability assumptions since they are critical to the decision. That being said,  if the probability of getting 4 yards on 1 play is just 10% (any offense at any level), you will never just have 4 downs to get 10 yards. That will be the death of football as we know it. This is just basic math. 


 

it would not be the probability of getting 4 yards on any 1 play that is the question.  It is the probability of getting a first down from any yardage on a 4th down play.  The Bills have shown themselves to be adept at getting yardage (over 4 yards) at many points throughout the game, but the issue is that in critical 4th down situations - the Bills are one of the worse teams at converting on that down at any distance - be it 1 yard or 4 yards or 10 yards.

 

The Bills are converting at a 27% rate for 2019 and it was little better last year.  McDermott has not shown a fear to not go for it in these situations as he has gambled as much as anyone on the opponent’s side of the 50.  The rewards just have not been there.  It gets worse when you start to pull out 4 and 1 attempts because JA has gotten many of those via a QB sneak.  
 

The probability of getting 4 yards on 1st or 2nd down is much higher as the entire playbook is open because if you do not get the 4 yards you have additional tries.  The probability drops as you get to 3rd down because you are more limited in play choices - typically a pass and a quick short pass. The probability would drop even lower for 4th down because now you have to get the 4 yards - so it is almost always a pass and late in the game a pass to the sidelines.  Therefore you are increasing the defenses ability to know what your play is and what to attack. 
 

If you are Drew Brees and the Saints - they probability is higher you can get a first down.  If you are the Bills or the Packers or the Rams, or the Cowboys that percentage is lower and you have to factor that into the decision tree.  If you have (like the Packers) a zero percent chance on 4th down (they have not converted a 4th down in 2019) and you have a kicker you trust - that boosts the Fg% probabilities and decreases the go for it probabilities.  
 

In the end that doesn’t matter because people on both sides will come out claiming you screwed it up if you lose.  That is the joy of being a coach.

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On 11/11/2019 at 2:44 PM, billsfan714 said:

I was watching the Steelers game and Tomlin going for 4th and 1 from his own 34 with the lead and thinking no way McD makes that call.   Steelers convert, go on a 8 min drive, eating the clock    Ballsy.

Ballsy until you don't make it and you get them cut off.

Often the difference between ballsy and dumb-ass is if it worked or not.

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On 11/11/2019 at 4:36 PM, C.Biscuit97 said:

The whole last series was a cluster bad word.  It was brutal to watch.  So stupid to blame the kicker.  It’s like the SB where they just settled for the Norwood kick.  

 

Screen got blown up, singletary doesn't get out of bounds, substitute for some odd reason and just throw a back shoulder to JB anyway. Burn the timeout trying to get them to jump Offside... 

 

Not great.  Singletary really messed it up. If the screen pass got through we may have won though. Play calls are whatever.

 

Call the timeout after 2nd down once they started winding the clock. It's 3rd down, need to talk to my QB and get a good play and plan to get yards. Make sure it's a completion, get up and clock it. Gives u chances to A get closer, and B take end zone shots. We played under the assumption of the fg make, and didn't want to give the ball back with time, it's chicken-s--t

Edited by dneveu
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On 11/11/2019 at 5:38 PM, njbuff said:

Inexcusable sequence there at the end of the game.

 

Who's it on.......... HC? OC? QB?

 

Whomever it was, they ROBBED defeat from the jaws of victory with that sequence.

 

If I was the owner of the team, I want an explanation from all three I mentioned to make sure that they are better prepared for the next time it happens.

 

Teams lose games. I totally get that and can live with that, but you have a MAJOR hand in the way you lost the game, it's inexcusable.

They didn't come right out and say it at the PCs, but it sure sounded like Allen was confused and Daboll just had them huddle to make sure they got the play straight for the critical 3rd down. In retrospect, taking the TO would probably have been smarter if they were confused. Everyone kept saying that they practice this situation every week, so I guess some of it is on the coaches for not having Allen better prepared.

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