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NFL Sunday critical field goals -- OT (answers)

Posted By: Chuck Bower
Date: Tuesday, 24 January 2012, at 6:07 p.m.

In Response To: NFL Sunday critical field goals -- OT (answers) (Daniel Murphy)

...So it's not all about guessing right, right?

They don't guess, although in many cases they would do better if they did just that! Seriously, I think the best playcalls on early downs would be best chosen randomly (but from a well thought-out list of plays and associated weights). Even on 4th and GO that should be the case.

There are many situations in football where poker is a better analogy than backgammon. You are definitely better off if the opposing team doesn't know what play you are going to call. This also applies to the defense -- you don't want the offense to know what your players' assignments/responsibilities/intentions are.

Many coaches actually do understand this latter point, but even some (most?) of the enlightened ones don't apply it to the full extent they should. I.e. they take advantage of their opponents' predictability but fail to minimize their own.

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