Sunday, one of a biggest coaches in NFL story done a preference so confusing, we all insincere it was a mistake. At a start of overtime opposite a Jets, Bill Belichick motionless a Patriots should flog a round off rather than accept it. The Jets quick scored a touchdown, a diversion ended, a Patriots lost.
At first, many insincere Patriots captain Matthew Slater had massively unsuccessful during a silver toss, brainfarting by revelation a refs a Patriots didn’t wish a round when in fact, they did. Why would a group ever wish to give divided possession with a NFL’s mutated remarkable genocide overtime rules? The jokes about Slater’s approaching recover flew tough and quick on amicable media. It’s value observant that Slater is headed to a fifth true Pro Bowl this year, and not even meant Bill Belichick would cut him for misspeaking, though that’s besides a point.
The Patriots’ silver toss difficulty to start overtime on Sunday
But after a game, Belichick, Slater and many Patriots players reliable he hadn’t done that mistake. Many, including us, came to a finish that Belichick had wanted to flog to a side of a margin with improved wind, given he has chosen a breeze in overtime before and it worked.
But in a Monday press conference, Belichick suggested that he didn’t even caring about a wind. In fact, he wanted to flog off so much, that he privately feared a luck that if his group picked a side of a field, a Jets would select to flog themselves:
“Honestly, it didn’t unequivocally make any difference, there was roughly no breeze in a game. That wasn’t a large consideration,” he said. “What we didn’t wish to do was urge a thought and have them select to flog off. So we chose to flog off, and we don’t know accurately what happened out there during midfield, though we apparently didn’t have a choice of goals.”
The thought that Belichick was perplexing to actively forestall a Jets from selecting to flog is baffling. Only 12 times in NFL history has a manager besides Belichick selected not to accept to start overtime, all of these were in bad continue games where selecting a instruction was some-more critical than selecting possession. But even in these games, a initial group with a choice to benefit possession had still selected a ball.
The usually difference is a 1962 AFL Championship game, where captain Abner Hayes incidentally pronounced a group wanted to “kick to a clock,” that was interpreted as “kick,” incidentally permitting a other group to select direction.
So distant as we can tell, Belichick is now a initial manager in NFL story whose No. 1 priority in a overtime silver toss was to give a other group a ball. The usually other time a group has selected “kick” above “receive” and “direction” was an collision from before a Super Bowl existed.
It seems impossibly stupid. Not even a many unhandy coaches in joining story have been reticent adequate to consider it’s a bad thought to start a remarkable genocide duration on defense. Normally, we’d vessel this preference though meditative about it. But Belichick has been right in a face of ordinarily supposed football meditative over and over again in a past, so we had to take a closer look.
If we trust intelligent math people, a numbers quick find error with Belichick’s logic. Brian Burke of ESPN says his win luck indication projects a group that receives a round initial in overtime to win 53.8 percent of a time, roughly 7 percent improved than a kicking team.
But maybe we usually trust results, so let’s demeanour during those. Since a NFL instituted mutated overtime rules, there have been 73 overtime games, including postseason and Monday Night Football. Three have been ties. In a other 70, a group that receives a round initial has won 38 of those, or 54.2 percent. Burke’s indication seems flattering good.
Here’s what happens on a initial possession of overtime, and how mostly a group who perceived a round initial wins in any scenario.
(For win commission purposes, a tie depends as half a win and half a loss. We’re including dual turnovers on downs in “turnovers,” any of those was a loss.)
The initial reason Belichick’s preference doesn’t seem intelligent turns out to be a reason Belichick’s preference doesn’t seem smart. The hostile group scores a touchdown on a unequivocally initial possession of overtime 17.8 percent of a time, and 100 percent of a time that happens, they win a game. They could be doing even better: NFL teams measure touchdowns on 21.2 percent of possessions, per Football Outsiders. About a fifth of a time we flog off in overtime, you’re going to remove before we hold a ball.
But even if we keep a group out of a finish zone, things aren’t great. The 2012 alteration to a NFL’s overtime rules authorised a second group to get a round after an overtime-opening margin goal, though it hasn’t effected that many games. Teams that flog margin goals to start overtime still win 85 percent of a time.
Four times, an opening margin thought has been matched, though usually once did a relating group go on to win, with dual ties in these games. No group has ever one-upped a group by scoring a second possession touchdown after a initial possession margin goal. You would consider a group with a event to compare would measure some-more often, given they know they have to go for it on fourth down, though so far, it hasn’t worked out that way.
Belichick did explain his thinking, and to be honest, there is some proof to it:
The bottom line is margin position — good margin position, we don’t have to take it as far; we get a stop, need a margin thought [to win]
The mutated overtime manners concede a initial group to measure a touchdown to win, though a manners concede a second group to measure a margin thought to win. You don’t have to go as distant to measure a margin thought as we do to measure a touchdown. If we do get a round for that second possession, we have a flattering good possibility during winning. To illustrate Belichick’s logic, a draft display on that possession a game-winning measure in overtime is made:
The game-winning measure happens usually about as mostly on a second possession of overtime as it does on a initial possession of overtime. It’s fundamentally a toss-up.
Teams that force turnovers on a initial possession of overtime are roughly guaranteed to win, as they’re already in field-goal operation many of a time. And a kickoff followed by a three-and-out and a punt leaves a kicking group usually wanting 30 or so yards to get into range.
But it’s not so many easier to measure a margin thought on a second possession that it overrides a fact a other group gets a dang round first. And if we can’t measure on that second possession, we’re behind to block one.
It’s not usually some-more expected that a group will measure on a initial possession than on a second possession. It’s also some-more expected that a group will measure on a third possession than on a fourth possession. And if a diversion does extend to a fifth possession, it’s unequivocally doubtful that it’s going to extend to a sixth possession before a time expires.
I do consider there is some clarity to selecting a side of a margin in games where continue is a factor. Two teams have opted to do this given a overtime manners altered – Belichick in 2013, and Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer this year — and both have won. we wouldn’t be astounded to see coaches set their special teamers adult for a game-winning margin thought some-more frequently with a new, some-more kindly overtime manners than they had in a old, pristine remarkable genocide format.
But this is still a mutated remarkable genocide overtime. There is no volume of logic that will overrule a apparent advantage that comes with removing a round first.
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SB Nation presents: What Bill Belichick is unequivocally meditative during his press conferences