Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bill Belichick Made the Right Decision

I wrote last year about football coaches punting too much. Most football fans think that those of us who advocate eschewing punting are crazy (or maybe just stupid). They see New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick's decision to go for first down on 4th-and-two at his own 29 with two minutes to go in last Sunday's last-minute loss to the Indianapolis Colts is further evidence that teams should always punt in situations like this. However, that is incorrect thinking. Belichick did the right thing. See here, here, here, or here.

Money quote (from Bill Barnwell), and the lesson we should take from all after-the-fact analyses:
"The important factor that the cacophony of responses seems to be missing is that you can't judge Belichick's decision by the fact that it didn't work. As we've mentioned more than once in these pages, you cannot judge decisions by their outcome. You have to consider the process that goes into them, and then decide whether they're right or wrong at the moment they're made."
If the goal was to win the game, Belichick made the right decision regardless of the outcome.

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