The Electric Commentary

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Quick Football Notes

1. I thought that the officiating was terrible in almost every game, especially the Colts/Ravens game. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the refs cost the Ravens the game, (The Ravens did plenty of work in that vein.) but the quick whistle on Ed Reed's pick, as well as the bogus holding penalty on Ogden cost them big time.

2. What is more classless?

a. To mock an opponents "sack dance" after defeating that opponent.

b. To have a "sack dance."

The Chargers should just be glad that the Pats didn't combine Merriman's "sack dance" with mock steroid injections.

3. Martyball is dead. By the way, if it's late in a game and you are up by 1 point, and you score a TD to go up by 7, you should always go for a two point conversion, because the cost of missing it is very low, and the reward for making it is very great. No coaches ever do this.

4. Rex Grossman plays terribly against good defenses, but thanks to the Colts and the Saints, there aren't that many good defenses left in the playoffs. The Pats present the only big threat (unless the Colts really have pulled off one of the greatest defensive turn-arounds of all time), and they're not even a great defense.

5. I'm sure that you've heard this by now, but Favre cancelled his country club memberships.

6. Tom Brady's "winnerness" had nothing at all to do with the Patriots' win. In fact, Brady didn't even play very well and was basically bailed out by Marty and by an incredible San Diego fumble. I'm sick of hearing about how Tom Brady just finds ways to win games. Sometimes you just get lucky.

7. Like, for instance, Peyton Manning. He played horribly in the Colts' win over the Ravens. Is he now just "finding ways to win games?"

Update: Ahren points out, correctly, that I am wrong about #3. It is in fact smarter to just kick the PAT and make the opponent try to convert the low-percentage 2-point conversion. William Krasker's dynamic programming model agrees as well.


  • i've thought a lot about #3 in my life (way more than a person should), and i think (but am not positive) that you're wrong about it.

    the chance of converting a 2 point conversion in the nfl is something like 43%, if i recall correctly. i'm not sure exactly what it is for extra points, but it's basically 100% (or at least, easily more than double the 2 point conversion %, which is what matters)

    if you go for 2, there is a 57% chance that you will fail, and your opponent will only need 1 score to tie you.

    if you go for 1, then you are up 8 and the other team has to go for the two point conversion, meaning they will tie you in one posession only 43% of the time.

    of course, it's more complicated than that, but either way, your worst case scenario is a tie and your best case is that your opponent needs two scores to overtake you. kicking the extra point is pretty clearly the best option on a simple level.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:10 PM  

  • moreover, being up 9 and having your opponent score is no more valuable than being up 8, having them score and miss their conversion. either way, they are now down by 2.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:12 PM  

  • Mmm. You got me playing with numbers all afternoon and you appear to be correct.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 11:57 PM  

  • I was going to comment on no. 3, but Ahren has pretty much nailed it.

    By Blogger Nye!, at 8:29 AM  

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