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..4th-Down attempts - our coach is ranked


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The NFL is about to set a record for most fourth-down attempts in a season.

Again.

Coaches are on pace to dial up 838 fourth-down tries in 2021, up from 780 the year prior. (Even if this were still a 16-game season, they'd be on track for a 788 attempts.) It will mark the fourth consecutive year a new high has been established.Not only are coaches going for it more on fourth down, they're getting better at making those calls that give them the best chance to win. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the number of fourth-down errors has plummeted each of the past four seasons, reaching a new low of 951 leaguewide in 2020 and on pace for even fewer this season.The increased application of analytics has changed the game on fourth down. Coaches across the league are being guided by game-management specialists who communicate the probabilities of an upcoming fourth-down try in real time.

NFL Fourth-Down Trends

YEAR ATT 4TH-DOWN ERRORS
* On pace
2012 481 1,246
2013 527 1,250
2014 490 1,192
2015 526 1,171
2016 540 1,121
2017 555 1,150
2018 611 1,028
2019 687 1,003
2020 780 951
2021 838* 924*

The most famous example came in Super Bowl LII between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. Before Eagles coach Doug Pederson had his sideline conversation with quarterback Nick Foles, leading to the decision to run the "Philly Special" late in the first half, Pederson spoke with Ryan Paganetti, the Dartmouth grad responsible for feeding Pederson math-based recommendations when it came to, among other things, going for it on fourth down.Anticipating such a situation, Paganetti clicked into Pederson's headset prior to the Eagles' third-and-goal play against the Patriots and told him: If we get to fourth down, the light is green.

And the rest is history.

League sources estimate 28 of 32 head coaches have game-management specialists, with about 10 of those being members of the team's analytics department. The trend of teams being more aggressive on fourth down is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. The practice is becoming more widely accepted and is likely to be commonplace before long.

Is your team ahead of the curve? Here's a look at how each head coach stacks up. -- Tim McManus

How we rank: To come up with our coaches ranking, we looked at all fourth-down calls made under the current head coach with his current team. (For example, for Mike McCarthy, we would only include fourth-down calls made with the Cowboys, not the Packers.) The timeframe was limited to 2017-21, when analytics were firmly established across the league. We relied on three metrics from the ESPN Analytics team:

  1. Total win probability sacrificed through fourth-down errors

  2. Difference in expected fourth-down conversion rates vs. actual rates

  3. Non-obvious fourth-down error rate

These metrics are shown as per-season averages and measure whether the coach's decision agreed with our analytics model (accounting for two-thirds of the final ranking) as well as success in running fourth-down plays (one-third). All 32 coaches were sorted on those metrics and then those rankings were used to create the final order.

 - -  4. Robert Saleh, New York Jets

Years covered: 2021
Win probability sacrificed on fourth-down errors: 18.4% (Rank: 6)
Difference in expected vs. actual fourth-down conversions: 1.3% (Rank: 12)
Non-obvious fourth-down error rate: 18.8% (Rank: 1)

Most notable fourth-down call: In Week 1, the Jets trailed the Panthers 3-0 in the second quarter and faced a fourth-and-1 at the Panthers' 42. The Jets ran inside and running back Tevin Coleman was stopped for a 1-yard loss. Saleh, in his first game, showed an aggressive side -- but it backfired and set a tone for the season. On the ensuing play, the Panthers scored on a 57-yard touchdown pass to take control of the game. The Jets have been reeling pretty much ever since. -- Rich Cimini

 - -   https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/32706688/how-good-your-nfl-coach-fourth-calls-rank-all-32

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5 minutes ago, Xtina said:

No kidding. It’s a complete non sequined and not even really the case 

4 minutes ago, Xtina said:

Non sequitur. Effeminate auto correct snd I don’t have editing on my posts 🧐

To be fair, there were no sequins in Cimini's comment, so it was still a perfectly valid statement.

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16 minutes ago, Barry McCockinner said:

The Jets have been reeling pretty much ever since. How dramatic. As if to imply that one call sabotaged the entire season. He's such an ass.

Saleh should tell Rich he knows where to find him.

Bobby is still learning, or so I have been told.

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1 hour ago, Barry McCockinner said:

"The Jets have been reeling pretty much ever since." How dramatic. As if to imply that one call sabotaged the entire season. He's such an ass.

Saleh should tell Rich he knows where to find him.

As though, with Anderson's lead over the coverage, he wouldn't have gone 20 more yards if the same pass play had happened after punting instead of going for it on 4th & 1. So what if that was an 80-yard TD instead of 57; or what if the punt had shanked; or what if the punt was returned 80+ yards?

I'm far from a huge Saleh fan thus far, but it seems more likely that such aha significance would've been more than doubly stated - after a resulting 80-yard TD - about Saleh poorly setting the "tone for the season" by punting like a wimp instead of going for it on an early-season 4th & 1 on the opponent's side of the field. It's a down & distance that has been long known to carry a >50% success rate; nothing has a 100% success rate, though, and it very often won't work as hoped.

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Very much appreciate the fourth down decisions, quite different from the other former DC’s who were hyper conservative in those situations. Think it’s great for morale overall to show you trust your guys enough to make the right analytics decision, they’ve generally gone pretty well that example notwithstanding, definitely more fun as a fan, and the aggressive tendencies there should have even more returns when the offense is better.

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3 hours ago, derp said:

Very much appreciate the fourth down decisions, quite different from the other former DC’s who were hyper conservative in those situations. Think it’s great for morale overall to show you trust your guys enough to make the right analytics decision, they’ve generally gone pretty well that example notwithstanding, definitely more fun as a fan, and the aggressive tendencies there should have even more returns when the offense is better.

Remember when Bowles punted from like our own 40 with 3 minutes in the game down 2 scores? Of course, if Darnold was my QB I'd consider punting on 3rd down.

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6 hours ago, docdhc said:

Nice snarky comment by Cimini to end the article. 

It's bad enough when Cimini is snarky on a topic that already makes the Jets look bad.  This was an article where Saleh was ranked top-5 in the NFL in something and Cimini still chose a negative example.  But, since his goal is to attract attention (good or bad): mission accomplished.

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1 hour ago, jgb said:

Remember when Bowles punted from like our own 40 with 3 minutes in the game down 2 scores? Of course, if Darnold was my QB I'd consider punting on 3rd down.

Only reason not to punt on second down is to give the defense 40 seconds more rest.

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Just now, derp said:

Only reason not to punt on second down is to give the defense 40 seconds more rest.

I do think at that point Bowles was more concerned with keeping his defensive stats intact for his next DC job interview

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1 hour ago, jgb said:

Remember when Bowles punted from like our own 40 with 3 minutes in the game down 2 scores? Of course, if Darnold was my QB I'd consider punting on 3rd down.

I could be wrong, but I thought he did that a couple of years before Darnold (against Pittsburgh, with Fitz at QB). 

It's also possible he did it more than once. haha

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1 minute ago, Hal N of Provo said:

They would be crazy not to check the pulse of fans here.  
 

Who reads all the articles and watches the YouTube videos? Fans who care.  

Exactly. Which is why people questioning the fandom of others posting here is pretty funny. It would be like the crew of the International Space Station arguing which are "real" astronauts.

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