I’m not opposed or even resistant to football analytics. They are a useful tool. They should not be an unchallenged dictator.
This is not second-guessing. This is not “Friday morning quarterbacking.” I was screaming at the tv the first time Chargers Coach Brandon Staley went for it on fourth down. For the rest of the game, I toned it down to just quietly shaking my head.
I understand that Staley wants to play aggressively. I understand that he wants that to be part of his team’s identity. I also understand his team was playing the Chiefs, and he felt understandable pressure not to answer touchdowns with field goals.
I get all that. Here’s what else I get. Seven may be greater than three, but three is greater than zero. (Does Lockhart Elementary School rock, or what?)
Baseball is pure analytics, and that’s cool. But managing a football game requires the seat of your pants as much as it does your cerebrum and stat charts.
Here’s kind of my standard on stuff like that. If you elevate your chances of losing by going for it and failing to a greater degree than you elevate your chances of winning if you go for it and get it, then don’t do it!
“Can I win the game right here? Can I maybe lose the game right here?” If the answer to the first question is no, and the answer to the second question is yes…IT’S A BAD IDEER!
It’s all “cost/benefit.”
A lot of that has to do with what stage a game is in. Staley started going for it WAY too early last night, and then got WAY too stubborn and “dug in” after that.
One more thing. Staley and his staff might want to spend a little less time on analytics, and a little more time figuring out how to cover the other team’s tight end.