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Would Bills Have Been Better Off with a Punt Instead of a Safety at End of Game?


st pete gogolak
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From the weirdly interesting Wiki page on safeties - how “strategic safeties” may be used (and to me, how they can sap the energy from a game):

“In American football, intentionally conceded safeties are an uncommon strategy. Teams have utilized elective safeties to gain field position for a punt when pinned deep in their own territory[12][13] and, when ahead near the end of a game, to run down the clock so as to deny the other team a chance to force a turnover or return a punt.[14][15][16][17]Teams have also taken intentional safeties by kicking a loose ball out the back of their end zone, with the intent of preventing the defense from scoring a touchdown.[18][19]”

 

 

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Count me in in the take a Safety on purpose crowd.

 

The score was 21-17. Nothing good was going to happen (for Miami) punting from the 1 yard line. There is a reason most coaches will do three runs into a cloud of dust for even 5 yards when pinned within the 5 yard line. Have seen plenty of well respected coaches just snap the ball out of the endzone there for the Safety.

 

Miami was quite lucky the punt was not recovered for a TD.

 

It was a healthy debate where I was watching with good points on both sides.

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13 minutes ago, Ed_Formerly_of_Roch said:

I was actually somewhat surprised Miami attempted to punt.  I expected them on 4th down to take an intentional safety for the reasons mentioned.  But the other side is it changed from needing a FG to a TD.

As a corollary to that, instead of risking that pass which could have been intercepted the dolphins should have just ran it again on 4th down.  To your point, they get a safety even if they dont it it out of the end zone, at least they would have not stopped  clock.

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4 minutes ago, RocCityRoller said:

Count me in in the take a Safety on purpose crowd.

 

The score was 21-17. Nothing good was going to happen (for Miami) punting from the 1 yard line. There is a reason most coaches will do three runs into a cloud of dust for even 5 yards when pinned within the 5 yard line. Have seen plenty of well respected coaches just snap the ball out of the endzone there for the Safety.

 

Miami was quite lucky the punt was not recovered for a TD.

 

It was a healthy debate where I was watching with good points on both sides.

I haven’t seen the stats geeks opine on this yet, but here’s what MIami had to consider:

- safety + free kick = Bills take over at about the 30, needing about 30 yards for a 50/50 chance at a FG, or about 40 yards for a 70/30 chance. 
- punt from their own end zone (without full snap distance) = reasonable chance at a block, which could mean a safety (if did) or a Bills TD if recovered in the end zone. Otherwise, Bills probably take ove at Miami’s 40 or so, needing 40 yards for a TD. 

This was a really close call. Now that I think about it, I have to guess that the unintentional safety led to a higher Miami win percentage than a punt. Since most safeties are boring plays (Announcer: “and there’s a flag on the field … if that’s intentional grounding and the QB was in his own end zone,

it’s a safety!!), I’d prefer to incentivize the more exciting alternatives. 

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8 minutes ago, RoyBatty is alive said:

As a corollary to that, instead of risking that pass which could have been intercepted the dolphins should have just ran it again on 4th down.  To your point, they get a safety even if they dont it it out of the end zone, at least they would have not stopped  clock.

 

You talking about the 3rd down pass?  Clock stops on change of possession so would have been about the same time ran off after 4th down.

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2 minutes ago, Ed_Formerly_of_Roch said:

 

You talking about the 3rd down pass?  Clock stops on change of possession so would have been about the same time ran off after 4th down.

Yes meant on the 3rd down, definitely should have run it on 3rd.  The actual time to  punt on 4th down was maybe what 7 seconds.  

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23 minutes ago, RoyBatty is alive said:

As a corollary to that, instead of risking that pass which could have been intercepted the dolphins should have just ran it again on 4th down.  To your point, they get a safety even if they dont it it out of the end zone, at least they would have not stopped  clock.

 

I didn't get that play call at all. Either they get a safety which wouldn't have been the worst thing in the world, or they end up having to punt(or take a safety) but still run 40 seconds off the clock.

Edited by Big Turk
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Having analyzed this scenario thoroughly, I can conclusively say “maybe.”

 

Despite everything they were up against the Bills had this game in their hands and lost it.  I’m not losing sleep over it, and I look forward to the next matchup.

 

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3 hours ago, Rc2catch said:

It only takes one play.. one missed coverage assignment. 
They did plenty to win the game. 
They did plenty to lose the game. 
Allen threw 5-6 balls that probably should have been intercepted. He could have just as easily been picked trying to force one in the end zone to win the game. 
 

Milano dropped a sure pick-6.

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2 hours ago, eball said:

Having analyzed this scenario thoroughly, I can conclusively say “maybe.”

 

Despite everything they were up against the Bills had this game in their hands and lost it.  I’m not losing sleep over it, and I look forward to the next matchup.

 

Si... Did you check then the Stat Sheet.  Teams don't lose many games like that.  If McD isn't lose with his TO's in the 3rd quarter.  They attempt a long FG to win. 

1 minute ago, GolfandBills said:

Definitely want the safety there then only need 3 to win.  The punter just hit a really good one and backed us up

This.  AND if that ball stays in..  It's a possible TD for Bills right there.

 

The Miami coach is an idiot.  He burned his TOs early too. Dolphins got lucky.

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3 hours ago, The Frankish Reich said:

Why not? We change rules all the time when the existing rule promotes gamesmanship that allows one side (offense or defense) a better chance to win by avoiding actual competitive plays on the field. This is why the NFL is still the king of American sports. 
Nobody’s blaming the loss on the rules. In fact, Miami obviously (and correctly) rejected the strategy of “take the safety.” I’m just saying that there are some games in which that is sound strategy. And boring strategy for the fans who want a real competitive ending to a close game. You can equate this to a rule change that disincentivizes endless end of game fouling in the NBA - that too is sometimes an effective strategy that kills the chance for an exciting finish. 

 

Rams elected to take a safety against the Falcons last week.

Edited by UKBillFan
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9 minutes ago, ExiledInIllinois said:

Si... Did you check then the Stat Sheet.  Teams don't lose many games like that.  If McD isn't lose with his TO's in the 3rd quarter.  They attempt a long FG to win. 

This.  AND if that ball stays in..  It's a possible TD for Bills right there.

 

The Miami coach is an idiot.  He burned his TOs early too. Dolphins got lucky.

It would have been so awesome if the butt punt had resulted in a TD for us right there 🙁

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3 hours ago, Big Turk said:

I think so...Bills would have needed a TD starting from around midfield or maybe even in Dolphin territory because their punter would have had to rush to get a punt off due to being backed up against their own endzone and not having the normal distance.

 

Crowder had some good returns and could have even given them getter position.

 

IMO, starting at midfield needing 7 is better than starting at your own 25 when the punter has no pressure and can boom the ball needing 3.  Allen would have had multiple shots from the endzone once they got around the 25.

Having 3 time outs left would've been even better.

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16 minutes ago, LABILLBACKER said:

Having 3 time outs left would've been even better.

 

They weren't going to have any because Miami forced the Bills to use them to get the ball back. The Bills at best would have had one if they didn't use one earlier.

 

Did you even watch the game? This is an asinine post.

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