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Punt vs. Pass with PFM - Thought Excercise

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  • Punt vs. Pass with PFM - Thought Excercise

    Been here 11 years, never started a thread before. If you don't like it. Suck it.

    I was at last year's playoff game where we lost and last week's playoff game where we won. The end of those two games obviously went quite differently with a 7 point lead. That got me to thinking about what I would do in John Fox's place in a similar situation.

    Here's the scenario:

    7 point lead in the last minutes of a playoff game. Broncos have the ball on their own 30-ish yard line. Tom Brady and the Patriots are on the other side of the field. They have 1 time out remaining and maybe the 2:00 warning depending on your answer.

    It is third down and 7.

    How much time would have to be left on the clock for you to call a run instead of a pass? Last year there was less than 2 minutes (I think). The Broncos ran, punted and lost. This year there was more than 4 minutes (I think) and the Broncos passed, got it and won.

    So, with PFM on the field and Tom Brady waiting to come back on for a final drive, what would clock have to read in order for you to call for a run?

  • #2
    On our 30 you have to run and punt with a 7 point lead for sure. Probably with any lead or tie you should punt there. Any clock reading. Trust your D.

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    • #3
      Is the question would you run or pass or go for it on 4th down? what?

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      • #4
        Maybe the 2 minute warning? That's a pretty big difference. Anyway here's what I would consider:

        1) How has the pass offense been doing?

        2) How has the run offense been doing?

        3) How has the pass defense been doing?

        If the answer is good to #1 I roll the dice with a pass downfield. If the answer to #1 is not so good and #2 is good I seriously consider running a draw or a screen. If the answer to #3 is bad I go for it through the air regardless because my only truly good chance of finishing the game is to convert.

        If you don't convert however you must punt. There is no choice.

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        • #5
          Nice hypothetical. If we're talking 7 yards or so and it's 3rd, I'd assume that the defense will flood the short routes and cheat the safeties to play the run. So, I'd call a play action with a hitch and go and a deep crossing route. Hopefully, the safeties and linebackers will bite on either the play action or the hitch and the receivers get behind the safeties.

          As another poster mentioned, it really does depend on how the offense / defense has been going. But taking the reckless option sometimes works because the other side isn't prepared for it.

          Nice Q to kill the last few minutes of this work day though.

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          • #6
            2+ Minutes = pass probably a play action.

            -2 Minutes = play action or run (depends on the strength of each that particular day). They'll take their timeout after a completion or run, so you don't really want to stop the clock with an incomplete and essentially give them two clock stops.

            - 1 Minute = run, unless they are set to stop your run call, then audible to OJ.
            Last edited by Irish Stout; 01-15-2014, 03:57 PM.

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            • #7
              I think he made the right call both times. The only way Baltimore was going to win was a freak play, or many passes to the sideline (Dang Moore). With around 4 minutes, the clock wasn't a factor if we didn't get it. 3 minutes is plenty of time to score. Low risk, high reward to do a pass play.

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              • #8
                As much as i wanted to blame him for running on 3rd and 7 in the baltimore game, I still remember screaming for him to run it to take the extra 40 seconds off the clock. I wouldve done the same frigging thing at the time. We had overwhelming odds to run, take 40 seconds off the clock, and punt. Think if anyone bumped the game thread, I might've even screamed for them to not even run, but kneel down.

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                • #9
                  with one time out, from own 30 and up 7? I pass every time...the time out makes it a no brainer...

                  remove the time out and I pass up to the 2 minute warning

                  put the ball where it was against the Ravens w/ no TO and post 2 min warning, and I pass for the first to win the game outright...I'd have run on anything 4 yards and in.

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                  • #10
                    You PASS. They're banking on the run. They will keep their safeties up and probably play tight coverage instead of a zone. This is the PERFECT time to try and hit something over the top. You WANT to control the outcome of the game. You don't want to punt and give the ball back. No sir. I'm from the school of you try and get the first down. Don't be a b**** and play it safe. You gotta have some balls in the league and be a fighter. Have a backbone, try and get that 3rd down conversion and wrap the game up. You have PFM as your QB. They're not going to blitz, are you kidding me? They'll play the run and keep the backers around the 1st down marker. Manning would have 5 seconds to sit back in a nice and steady pocket.

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                    • #11
                      Here is my thought process:

                      4 minutes left (7 point lead), put on the field a flexible formation, say 1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR. Run on first down from a heavy formation skewed to one side. On 2nd down you line up more naturally, and then give Manning a run and a pass with a short and a medium option and let him make the call at the line, if the defense is in the box you pass if they spread out you run. On 3rd and less than 3 you run, on 3rd and 3 or more you pass.

                      Less than 2 minutes left (7 point lead) put out a formation with 3 WRs, quickpass on 1st down, they are going to be expecting screen in that situation but a quick pass with a lot of players in the box is basically a run play. On 2nd and long I run. On 3rd I run, regardless if situation except if I need between 3 and 5 yards, then I run a pass and try to hit a hook or outroute.

                      The logic is, if the drive starts with 4 minutes to go, there will be at least 2 stoppages so an incomplete pass is less of a problem anyway. In that situation you are trying to do two things, gain yards and downs. Yards are important as you would prefer to kick a FG over a punt and even if you punt you want to pin them back. Downs are important to run out the clock but that is a secondary concern.

                      If the drive is inside the 2 minute warning, things change, here your primary objective is to keep the clock running. If they have 1 timeout remaining you can take 5 seconds off the clock on 1st down, leaving something like 1:50. Then you take about 40 seconds off the clock by running on 2nd down. That leaves 1:10 when you snap 3rd down, another 40 seconds and you are down to 30 seconds by the time you punt. That leaves about 25 seconds for the other offense after the punt time stoppage. On 3rd and medium, the defense is going to stack the box heavily and be aggressive to try to get the stop, this means a very simple WR screen with just a WR and OG blocking is going to be difficult to defend, on a long 3rd down they will be aware of this and be more conservative so you just run to keep the clock moving.

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                      • #12
                        Here's the question that I have: what is the condition of Peyton Manning's arm. I defy anyone with the guts to watch that game again last year to watch the last 5 minutes of the 4th quarter and into overtime with this question in mind and tell me there wasn't something wrong.

                        I don't even know how to answer the question, to be honest. It's easy on a message board to say "I play to win - I pass the ball." But without knowing the details - such as the status of PFM's arm, who can really guess? Here's what I really think: with a 7 point lead, I believe in my defense, because it's gotten the team to this point. I've got the odds on my side. If this was black jack, I'd be a jackass if I asked to be hit. So I stay and let the dealer bust, knowing the odds are in my favor. I play it safe and run. What time is on the clock? I don't think it matters because I'm killing time on two downs and letting my defense handle things.

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                        • #13
                          Good points. In the Baltimore game we had a lead in part because Holiday took two back to the house. I remember sitting there when Flacco put up that bomb to Jacoby Jones and yelling "Ball game!" because I saw Rahim camped out underneath it down the field. He looked like a damn punt returner waiting for a kick.

                          Last week when Rivers was making Jammer his own personal Whale's Vagina, I was thinking we were in serious trouble on 3rd and 17 and on 3rd and 7. Foxy did the right thing there by keeping Rivers away from his new boy toy.

                          Taco makes a good point about how PFM is looking. He was pretty good in the playoff game against Bmore in regulation, but in overtime he looked like ass. It was freaking cold that day though. It will be in the 50's this week.

                          Personally, if it were Tom Brady on the other side of the field, I wouldn't give him any more than 1 minute to work with if he needed a touchdown. If he needed a field goal, I'd probably pass on 3rd and 7 even if there was less than a minute remaining. That guy has made a career out of scoring in less than a minute in the last moments of a game.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Taco John View Post
                            Here's the question that I have: what is the condition of Peyton Manning's arm. I defy anyone with the guts to watch that game again last year to watch the last 5 minutes of the 4th quarter and into overtime with this question in mind and tell me there wasn't something wrong.

                            I don't even know how to answer the question, to be honest. It's easy on a message board to say "I play to win - I pass the ball." But without knowing the details - such as the status of PFM's arm, who can really guess? Here's what I really think: with a 7 point lead, I believe in my defense, because it's gotten the team to this point. I've got the odds on my side. If this was black jack, I'd be a jackass if I asked to be hit. So I stay and let the dealer bust, knowing the odds are in my favor. I play it safe and run. What time is on the clock? I don't think it matters because I'm killing time on two downs and letting my defense handle things.
                            Taco, I think you're right. Although I don't think there was anything "wrong" with his arm… I think he was just exhausted. Long season after just coming back from a season off. He wasn't taking Wednesdays off last year and was always trying to get in as many throws as he could in practices. He wasn't as conditioned as he is this year.

                            Look at some of those pics of him this year (2013) at training camp compared to last year (2012) early season pics. The dude definitely bulked up in his upper body and gained back some stamina. Its clear that his arm is in much better condition this season considering he broke all the damn records.

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