The Blog

Belichick Made the Right Call

The announcers were unanimous in saying the Patriots were crazy to go for it on 4th down. I hate to say it, but I think Belichick's move might have made sense.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Bill Belichick is one of my least favorite people in sports. I love the Colts and do not like the Patriots. The announcers were unanimous in saying the Patriots were crazy to go for it on 4th down in the Colts-Patriots game. I hate to say it, but I think Belichick's move might have made sense.

Looking back at the last two years passing plays on 4th down and less than two yards to go have succeeded around 45% of the time. With Brady this chance is probably higher than 45%. Let SHORT= chance Colts score TD from the Pats 30 and LONG = chance Colts score TD after a punt. Assume that if Patriots get a first down Colts cannot win. Then Patriots should go for it if 0.45 + 0.55*(1-SHORT) > (1-LONG).

The following table computes the Pats' chance of winning if they go for it, minus Pats chance of winning if they punt based on different values of SHORT and LONG. A positive number means Patriots should have gone for it. Note that if Colts have a greater than 50% chance of scoring a TD after the punt, then Belichick made the right move. With Peyton Manning at the helm I would say the Colts had at least a 50% chance of scoring a TD from, say, 70 yards.

2009-11-16-Screenshot20091116at3.26.58PM.png

Before You Go

Popular in the Community