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Does it ever make sense to punt down two scores 7 mins left?

BH28 : 10/11/2019 12:09 pm
I don't think it does in today's NFL.

If you are punting with 7 minutes left, that means you will need to get the ball back twice to score. According to football outsiders, the average drive time is 2 minutes 45 seconds so far this year.

Depending on when you use your timeouts, the opponent will be able to kill 2 minutes 45 seconds on one of their two drives without a first down, which basically leaves about 3 minutes to score two touchdowns on presumably long fields.

Conversely, you could try an onside kick to eliminate a possession. However, with the new kick-off rules, the chances of recovering an onside kick are lower than ever.

If the NFL was seriously considering replacing the onside kick with a 4th and 15 scenario, IMO going for it on fourth down even on your own side of the field instead of punting has a higher percentage of conversion than recovering an onside kick.

It eliminates the need for that extra possession presumably with no timeouts to go and score a low probability touchdown. Yeah if you don't make it the game is pretty much over, but I think the odds of converting a 4th and X to keep a drive alive to cut the score to one is a lot better than trying to get two scoring drives together in the last two minutes.

I know the winning % stuff they show on Sunday Night Football is not an exact science, but it would be interesting to see the winning percentage of the following decision: successful 4th down, failed fourth down, punt. I would bet that the failed fourth down and punt would be similar percentages meaning that you really dont gain anything by not going for it.


Thoughts?
So youíre saying Shurmur  
Jimmy Googs : 10/11/2019 12:13 pm : link
lacks common sense?
Does an Eli Penny screen play  
Coach Red Beaulieu : 10/11/2019 12:14 pm : link
Make sense? Or resigning a backup mentor? Or Stupar?
Put it this way  
TyreeHelmet : 10/11/2019 12:17 pm : link
If you were on the other team, what would want them to do? Try to pick up 2 yards or punt the ball?

They werenít winning anyway but Shurmur is gutless.
I found it alarming  
Metnut : 10/11/2019 12:18 pm : link
and it showed a serious lack of judgment from our coach.
Shurmur left 3 FGs on the field against Vikings  
Vanzetti : 10/11/2019 12:18 pm : link
One he punted rather than let his topflight kicker try a FG.

Then he went for it on 4th with two yards to go on the goaline. It's way harder to get two yards on the goaline.

The last one he had to go for it but only because he had not kicked the first two.

So he was super bold and aggressive against a ferocious Vikings D.

Then he punts down TDS and puts his tired D on the field.

Lack of conssitency, doing one thing one game and another the next game, is the mark of a poor coach.

It was a bad call at the time  
Rudy5757 : 10/11/2019 12:21 pm : link
hopefully they talk about it and make a better decision next time. the way our offense was going it would not have made a difference, but I would rather be aggressive and go for the win.
The funny thing is - it's pretty clearly the wrong decision  
jcn56 : 10/11/2019 12:21 pm : link
Shurmur wasn't the reason they lost the game last night. And not punting there doesn't change the probability of a loss by much.

Yet somehow, you're going to get a number of people defending him and this particular decision. It's odd.
Shurmur was waving the white flag  
bceagle05 : 10/11/2019 12:22 pm : link
and hoping the Pats would ease up and let him enjoy a respectable 28-14 loss. Iím glad they didnít let him get away with it. The guy leading us is a loser.
well here's your problem  
santacruzom : 10/11/2019 12:23 pm : link
Quote:
Depending on when you use your timeouts, the opponent will be able to kill 2 minutes 45 seconds on one of their two drives without a first down, which basically leaves about 3 minutes to score two touchdowns on presumably long fields.


Based on how he uses them, it's apparent that Shurmur believes teams are allotted ten timeouts per half.
There's really no defensing it anymore.  
mittenedman : 10/11/2019 12:25 pm : link
Shurmur is not a good game manager which is very tough to overcome as a Head Coach.
the issue for me  
Lines of Scrimmage : 10/11/2019 12:26 pm : link
was that the defense was just on the field for a long time and had already made some big 4th down stops.

It killed any momentum and probably demoralized the D to have to go right back out on the field.

To expect the D to get a three and out was not a very high probability imo.

Truthfully I felt as though he was just playing to keep the score more respectable.
Shurmur's offensive plan was crap  
Torrag : 10/11/2019 12:34 pm : link
Our defense is out there huge minutes and the nitwit goes hurry up. Huh? How about let's use the clock to gain some time of possession and give the D a breather. Offensive genius at work? I think not.

Jones is struggling with reads so let's play faster and put him under more intense pressure? Makes no sense.

Down 14 with 7 minutes and a 4th and 2 so let's punt? Mind bogglingly stupid.

Featuring Hilliman over Penny after the rookie has already had fumbles in previous games? He should have minimized this kids exposure. Illogical at best, idiotic at worst and cost us 7 points.

I've supported Shurmur but each week my trust erodes. Gameplan, playcalling, personnel decisions, time management, situational strategies...he's failed in every area.
It's the right decision if you've quit trying to win the game  
Go Terps : 10/11/2019 12:37 pm : link
Shurmur has consistently made excuses and won a lot of moral victories since he's been here...he was hoping to add another one last night. If moral victories counted for something we'd have home field advantage in the playoffs.
FWIW, think there  
section125 : 10/11/2019 12:37 pm : link
was just under 9 minutes....
RE: Shurmur's offensive plan was crap  
Lines of Scrimmage : 10/11/2019 12:38 pm : link
In comment 14624746 Torrag said:
Quote:
Our defense is out there huge minutes and the nitwit goes hurry up. Huh? How about let's use the clock to gain some time of possession and give the D a breather. Offensive genius at work? I think not.

Jones is struggling with reads so let's play faster and put him under more intense pressure? Makes no sense.

Down 14 with 7 minutes and a 4th and 2 so let's punt? Mind bogglingly stupid.

Featuring Hilliman over Penny after the rookie has already had fumbles in previous games? He should have minimized this kids exposure. Illogical at best, idiotic at worst and cost us 7 points.

I've supported Shurmur but each week my trust erodes. Gameplan, playcalling, personnel decisions, time management, situational strategies...he's failed in every area.


Well said. I can easily see the players turning soon. Even with a very talented team I am not sure he ever wins big games.
That was not strong,  
Mad Mike : 10/11/2019 12:39 pm : link
though surely misanthropically pleasing.
'was just under 9 minutes....'  
Torrag : 10/11/2019 12:39 pm : link
Nope it was 7 minutes.
Obviously this applys to last night,  
BH28 : 10/11/2019 12:45 pm : link
but should a team ever punt down two scores with about half of the 4th quarter remaining? I think you will see a lot of coaches punt it away which IMO is an outdated way of thinking.

The only reason where I can see this not happening is a ridiculous defense where you are guaranteed to force two three and outs. A first down by the opponent on one of their last two drives basically ends the game.

Since the game is titled towards the O, I think it always makes sense to possess the ball rather than punt away and rely on your D.
...  
christian : 10/11/2019 12:48 pm : link
He must have lost his analytics sheet.
RE: Shurmur left 3 FGs on the field against Vikings  
BH28 : 10/11/2019 12:54 pm : link
In comment 14624714 Vanzetti said:
Quote:
One he punted rather than let his topflight kicker try a FG.

Then he went for it on 4th with two yards to go on the goaline. It's way harder to get two yards on the goaline.

The last one he had to go for it but only because he had not kicked the first two.

So he was super bold and aggressive against a ferocious Vikings D.

Then he punts down TDS and puts his tired D on the field.

Lack of conssitency, doing one thing one game and another the next game, is the mark of a poor coach.


I hated not trying the long FGs against the Vikings too. Every possession you have the opportunity get points I think you need to take, especially against a good D. So punting instead of trying 55+ FG is the wrong move. That is a whole new thread, haha.
7 minutes is still plenty of time to get the ball back for 2 scores  
stoneman : 10/11/2019 12:55 pm : link
its not like they were at the 50 yd line. You could argue either way. Last ditch effort at 7 minutes or try to stop them quickly which they had done several/many times in the game. It's just a captain hindsight type of decision that you can argue all day about.
I was mildly surprised at the time,  
81_Great_Dane : 10/11/2019 12:58 pm : link
but in retrospect, that move didn't make a lot of sense. D was wearing down, so it wasn't reasonable to expect a quick stop. It really wasn't a good decision.

I don't think it turned the game, but yeah, shoulda taken the chance. What was there to lose, really?
RE: 7 minutes is still plenty of time to get the ball back for 2 scores  
rsjem1979 : 10/11/2019 1:10 pm : link
In comment 14624786 stoneman said:
Quote:
its not like they were at the 50 yd line. You could argue either way. Last ditch effort at 7 minutes or try to stop them quickly which they had done several/many times in the game. It's just a captain hindsight type of decision that you can argue all day about.


Here's a look at the Patriots previous three possessions:

11 plays, 75 yards, 4:02 (TD)
16 plays, 60 yards, 9:25 (missed FG)
9 plays, 48 yards, 5:32 (downs)

Punting with 7 minutes left down 2 scores is indefensible. It's not hindsight, it's a real time game management mistake.
RE: 7 minutes is still plenty of time to get the ball back for 2 scores  
BH28 : 10/11/2019 1:17 pm : link
In comment 14624786 stoneman said:
Quote:
its not like they were at the 50 yd line. You could argue either way. Last ditch effort at 7 minutes or try to stop them quickly which they had done several/many times in the game. It's just a captain hindsight type of decision that you can argue all day about.


Not really. You are looking at getting the ball back with less than minute and no timeouts to score. Or potentially trying an onside kick. If you are going to go the onside kick route, IMO you are better off going for it on 4th down as it has a higher chance of success.
There is no way its a captain hindsight decision, gassed defense  
Zeke's Alibi : 10/11/2019 1:21 pm : link
punting into the wind. Its indefensible, incredibly cowardly move. Best case scenario was already gamed out here. 7 minutes left down two tds you need to go for it there and I'm sure the analytics bear that out overwhelmingly.
it was clear to me shurmur had conceded the game  
japanhead : 10/11/2019 1:41 pm : link
at that point, and a lot of the playcalling (i.e., running hiliman into the middle of the OL repeatedly) was to protect jones. of course, putting him in a hurry up situation seems to take away from that idea. so, basically, and as he showed in multiple games last year, shurmur has no clear idea what he's doing in-game, and has a tendency to do the wrong things.

just a terrible coach
RE: RE: 7 minutes is still plenty of time to get the ball back for 2 scores  
stoneman : 10/11/2019 2:03 pm : link
In comment 14624824 BH28 said:
Quote:
In comment 14624786 stoneman said:


Quote:


its not like they were at the 50 yd line. You could argue either way. Last ditch effort at 7 minutes or try to stop them quickly which they had done several/many times in the game. It's just a captain hindsight type of decision that you can argue all day about.



Not really. You are looking at getting the ball back with less than minute and no timeouts to score. Or potentially trying an onside kick. If you are going to go the onside kick route, IMO you are better off going for it on 4th down as it has a higher chance of success.


I hear you, but 7 min is alot of time left to automatically dismiss his decision as wrong. I don't like any decision that counts on an onside kick, so yea, my chart would have gone for it, but there are valid reasons to punt.
"Does it ever make sense to punt down two scores 7 mins left?"  
Burtman : 10/11/2019 2:11 pm : link
Let me first say that I would have gone for it last night. To me it made more sense to keep moving forward instead of giving New England the ball back and the ability to run out the clock.

Having said that the original question was does it EVER make sense. The answer to that is yes. Had this been 1986 with the Giants defense then you absolutely punt it because the chances were whatever offense we faced the Giants D would stop them. In fact, I would have bet the other offense would end up with less than 5 yards after 3 plays.

But this isn't 1986 and I didn't see LT, Carson, Banks, Martin, Marshall or any other guys out there of that quality. So... you know... he should have gone for it.
It made sense in 1997 for Dennis Green.  
Big Blue Blogger : 10/11/2019 4:11 pm : link
Of course, the Vikings were giving the ball back to Danny Kanell, not Tom Brady.
Ugh. - ( New Window )
For a coach that has shown some agressiveness  
.McL. : 10/11/2019 4:25 pm : link
for going for it on 4th down, that was a real head scratcher. Either he forgot how much time was left, or as Terps said he quit. Neither is a good look.
RE: The funny thing is - it's pretty clearly the wrong decision  
LS : 10/11/2019 5:12 pm : link
In comment 14624720 jcn56 said:
Quote:
Shurmur wasn't the reason they lost the game last night. And not punting there doesn't change the probability of a loss by much.

Yet somehow, you're going to get a number of people defending him and this particular decision. It's odd.

It's also odd people are calling him gutless and a loser. But people are odd.
RE: There is no way its a captain hindsight decision, gassed defense  
Eman11 : 10/11/2019 5:24 pm : link
In comment 14624836 Zeke's Alibi said:
Quote:
punting into the wind. Its indefensible, incredibly cowardly move. Best case scenario was already gamed out here. 7 minutes left down two tds you need to go for it there and I'm sure the analytics bear that out overwhelmingly.


What was even more infuriating for me was this was in direct contrast to him calling the TO with 2:30 ish left and the Pats having a 3rd down.

One move showed confidence and coaching to win and the other screamed waving the white flag and conceding the game was over.

There's no way with the D on the field so much he could've expected them to make a stop or two there. I think if was more punt it away and keep the score more respectable, where if he didn't get the 4th and 2, the Pats were in position make the final score worse. Turns out they scored anyway, lol
RE: It made sense in 1997 for Dennis Green.  
Zeke's Alibi : 10/11/2019 5:29 pm : link
In comment 14625133 Big Blue Blogger said:
Quote:
Of course, the Vikings were giving the ball back to Danny Kanell, not Tom Brady. Ugh. - ( New Window )


You know its near impossible to get an onside kick now and the game has changed drastically since 1997 right?
RE: Does an Eli Penny screen play  
V.I.G. : 10/11/2019 5:43 pm : link
In comment 14624709 Coach Red Beaulieu said:
Quote:
Make sense? Or resigning a backup mentor? Or Stupar?

that play was going for 20 if Zeitler doesn't whiff his block.
I hate to say this  
5BowlsSoon : 10/11/2019 5:47 pm : link
But I donít trust Shurmurís TIME MANAGEMENT ACUMEN.

Tampa game convinced me, but several times I questioned his decisions. In the Tampa game, we should have been using up some clock and instead he has Jones coming to the line and snapping the ball with 20 seconds left on the play clock. We all knew you donít want to leave them with enough time to get into FG range. But we sure did.....

Stuff like this and others.
RE: I hate to say this  
uther99 : 10/11/2019 6:38 pm : link
In comment 14625290 5BowlsSoon said:
Quote:
But I donít trust Shurmurís TIME MANAGEMENT ACUMEN.

Tampa game convinced me, but several times I questioned his decisions. In the Tampa game, we should have been using up some clock and instead he has Jones coming to the line and snapping the ball with 20 seconds left on the play clock. We all knew you donít want to leave them with enough time to get into FG range. But we sure did.....

Stuff like this and others.


isn't that on the QB? Shurmur sends in the play, its up to Jones to run down the playclock
RE: Shurmur was waving the white flag  
NINEster : 10/11/2019 7:19 pm : link
In comment 14624724 bceagle05 said:
Quote:
and hoping the Pats would ease up and let him enjoy a respectable 28-14 loss. Iím glad they didnít let him get away with it. The guy leading us is a loser.


I remember something similar in a Niner game that year Jim Tomsula coached. Against Seattle, down 16 with probably 5 minutes to play and punting.

I forgave it as avoiding a bigger defeat, but still. That's probably worse than a QB who never throws the ball downfield.
remember Belichek going for it on 4th down from his own 27  
gtt350 : 10/11/2019 7:52 pm : link
and it might have been the 2nd qtr.
If it  
jtfuoco : 10/12/2019 2:47 am : link
Was 4th and 10 then maybe I can see the reason to punt but when you only need 2 yards no real offensive minded coach puts out the punting team
Contrast how the Pats managed the end of the first half  
Go Terps : 10/12/2019 3:29 am : link
with how we managed the end of the Tampa game.

The Pats team high percentage passes and even ran the ball to keep the clock moving so that we wouldn't get the ball back with any real time. In Tampa we should have lost because this moron called higher risk passes at the Tampa 12 yard line with a minute left in the game.

If Shurmur is the coach next season we are guaranteed a sub .500 record even if all out draft picks and FAs pan out.
Makes about as much sense  
Bubba : 10/12/2019 6:37 am : link
as calling time out before the 2 minute warning.
He may have disqualified himself with that Punt!!!  
Rafflee : 10/12/2019 10:27 am : link
!
RE: RE: It made sense in 1997 for Dennis Green.  
Big Blue Blogger : 10/12/2019 10:56 am : link
Zeke's Alibi
Quote:
You know its near impossible to get an onside kick now and the game has changed drastically since 1997 right?
Uh huh. If you really want to catalog the differences, Green punted with four minutes left, not seven (albeit on a longer-yardage fourth down). My point was simply that the key factor is your confidence that you can stop the opposing offense and score quickly. Shurmur had little reason to believe either of those things. I think he was basically conceding, but the reality is that he had no good options.
The defense was responsible  
mako J : 10/12/2019 11:08 am : link
For scoring as many points as the offense...there's a slight argument as to which side of the ball was your strength on the field at the time.

There's no doubt there would be people bitching either way. Had they went and failed, and NE scored on a short field after taking a few minutes off the clock, we'd all still be reading about it.

Fans love to call this coach a loser and demand a firing 21 games into a rebuild. After a game against the Goats with a 16+ pointspread with your JV skill guys and a rookie QB.

Losers are in perpetual new coaching tenures. Keep drafting well. Keep coaching these schemes that are proven in this league. Give this group time.

Flame away you impatient bastids

RE: If it  
mrvax : 10/12/2019 1:58 pm : link
In comment 14625525 jtfuoco said:
Quote:
Was 4th and 10 then maybe I can see the reason to punt but when you only need 2 yards no real offensive minded coach puts out the punting team


It seems to me to be a bad decision and I have not heard a single good argument for punting in this situation. Last year Shurmur made a lot of questionable calls and he is continuing this year.

I hope DG and Shurmur are not best buddies.
RE: If it  
BH28 : 10/12/2019 2:06 pm : link
In comment 14625525 jtfuoco said:
Quote:
Was 4th and 10 then maybe I can see the reason to punt but when you only need 2 yards no real offensive minded coach puts out the punting team


I think you still go for it on fourth and 10....the premise being it's still a higher percentage than recovering an onsides kick or trying to score with less than a minute and no timeouts
IMO 7 min left, a lot of things have to go right  
ChaChing : 10/12/2019 2:29 pm : link
for there to be 3 possessions left in the game, averaging 2-2:30min. Punting gives the other team the better chance to get the ball 2x. You now need 4 possessions to get it back 2x in 7min. A 3-&-out and a TO while they go conservative (save onside kicks which now have no chance). Not a good bet even if you've got Chi's D

So IMO no matter the distance on 4th down, you need to score THIS drive in a 2 possession game to have any chance (as unlikely as it is at 4th & long). Even w/ the old onside rules I don't think this would change much. It's surely desperation, but really the best last shot
Shurmur is exactly what his record says he is  
arniefez : 10/12/2019 2:50 pm : link
a head coach who wins less than 33% of the time. An owner would have to be gutless, an idiot, a loser or all of the above to allow him to coach a 3rd year after these 2 unless there is a dramatic turn around in the way he runs the games in the next 10 games. Anyone think all of sudden he's going to turn in Sean Payton or Sean McVay or Frank Reich or Doug Pederson? Shurmur has been totally exposed the last two weeks.
If you are at the 50 and think you can pin them inside the 5  
Giantimistic : 10/12/2019 3:43 pm : link
And have more than 7 yards to go and can stop the offense.

I was bothered most by the fact that it was a kick into the wind. That was the worst part of the decision.
RE: Put it this way  
Fritz : 10/13/2019 1:07 pm : link
In comment 14624711 TyreeHelmet said:
Quote:
If you were on the other team, what would want them to do? Try to pick up 2 yards or punt the ball?

They werenít winning anyway but Shurmur is gutless.


The way I looked at it the only way they had any chance to win was to go for it and make it. They had to score on that possession to have any real chance. If they go for it and donít get it the gameís over and by punting it away Shurmur was basically waving the white flag and forfeiting the game.
PFT essentially accused him  
santacruzom : 10/13/2019 3:32 pm : link
Of being concerned about the final margin of loss instead of being concerned about the game. It sure does look that way.
I don't think the op is even up for debate  
IIT : 10/13/2019 10:05 pm : link
No, it doesn't make sense. Not in the conventional sense of trying to win a football game

The question we should be asking is why did Shurmur defy logic and convention in that situation? Was he trying to temper the margin of defeat? Did he have some other reason to give up on trying to win? Or is he simply an imbecile that has no business coaching an NFL team?

The fact that his decision in New England legitimately raises the last of those questions alarms me.

I'm still giving him the benefit of the doubt for now, but another howler like that and I'm reaching for the torch and pitchfork.
Especially when it's 4th and fucking 2  
Leg of Theismann : 10/13/2019 10:33 pm : link
I mean aren't the chances of picking up 2 yards like greater than 50%? I still have no idea what the fuck he's thinking on certain calls/plays. It literally boggles my mind. Hindsight is 20/20 but in some of these situations that saying doesn't apply--it's just outright insanity.
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