From: Altadena, CA
ORIGINAL: Tom Sykes
ORIGINAL: Tom Sykes
After going back to find my source, its even worse than I quoted above:
"The Vikings rank 28th in field goal percentage (80.9%) under Zimmer. Including the playoffs, Zimmer-coached teams are 15 of 23 (65%) on field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime when they are tied or losing by 1-3 points. That ranks 30th. It’s even worse in the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime when the Vikings are tied or losing by 1-3 points. In those situations, they’re 4 of 10, which is the worst mark in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats and Information."
More from the blog ...
"Because the Vikings found themselves in a position where they needed a game-winner to beat Arizona, Joseph’s miss will often be remembered as the reason why they lost this game.
But there were other factors. Facing a fourth-and-one at their own 34 with 1:54 left in the first half, the Vikings had a 63.5 chance to get a first down, according to ESPN’s Win Probability. According to those metrics, if you have a 56 percent chance or better to convert, you go for it. The Vikings punted, and Kyler Murray hit Rondale Moore for a 77-yard TD on the next play. In fact, three of the five worst coaching decisions made in Week 2 -- including the top two -- were Zimmer decisions to punt, according to EdjSports, which tracks coaching decisions using a win expectancy model.
Factors also included scoring just three points in the second half -- after a terrific first half -- and the defense yielding 474 yards.
But none of those things is as magnified as the emotion behind a game-deciding missed field goal."
Its all good. We're going to smash Seattle this week. Gawd I love coffee.
Here is a nutshell problem with analytics, which are very useful in context, but can be very dangerous out of context.
First, the Vikings' outcomes on field goals in previous years are completely irrelevant to the next FG they attempt, unless their blocking scheme is both the same as previously and somehow integral. Everything else is different except the uniforms.
Second, regarding the bolded, that is untrue. A hypothetical team playing in a hypothetical season had a 63.5% chance to make the first down. If that hypothetical team playing in a hypothetical game has a 56% chance of making it, they should theoretically go for it. The 2021 Vikings playing in this specific game with this specific OL had a completely different probability, and the best data was the previous play:
(2:00 - 2nd) D.Cook up the middle to MIN 34 for no gain (C.Peters, J.Hicks). MIN-D.Cook was injured during the play.
Further, the specific group of personnel that would block the next play has a specific history in short yardage situations and, spoiler alert, it's not good. In fact, particularly with regard to Bradbury and Cleveland, their ability to push forward has been abysmal. Maybe if you go behind Udoh you're better off, but he was blocking on that last play as well.
It also makes a difference in the calculus where you are on the field. Fail and you're giving up a field goal at a minimum.
I think the Vikings should go for it on fourth down more than they do, and in general they should embrace more risk, such as "passing" when it's not expected. But this kind of BS from the analytics department is idiocy, not just in sports, but in the entire rest of our lives from the grocery store to the doctor's office to Wall Street and beyond. Killing us, literally.
I completely agree that stats are almost always skewed ... no situation is exactly the same / there is no way to duplicate every variable ...
That's why PFF is a joke ... they have no knowledge of the playcall or individual assignments and they are going to rate performance?
However, I think you go too far dismissing our previous kicker history as non-influential or irrelevant to the current kicker situation. The consistency of poor performance is an ongoing trend ... Yes different players and situations but I would flip it that around to common factors that are influencing performance over 7 years.
By pointing to Cook getting dinged and field position, I think you are minimizing the need this past Sunday for taking a greater risk – that you end up saying we need to do. Waiting for the perfect situation to take a risk ... is just another way of saying risk averse ... the result of which are lower returns.
Who knows. Maybe Joseph busts through against the Seahawks and has a Daniel Carlson-Paul on the road to Damascus-like turnaround ... we all desperately hope so ... but if the trend continues with Joseph ...
I am going to put my money on Zimmer's ball peen hammer approach to human psychology as a definite common factor. Marked on my analytics spreadsheet under column 'Distractions' / on row marked 'the glowering red face on the sideline'.
Yeah, in thinking about it, I believe it's possible that Zimmer has already gotten into his head, though he came through last week in the clutch from 50+. I would still argue that all risk is not created equal, and just like last week when virtually everyone roasted the Cincy coach for going for it in what seemed to be a game-turning lapse in judgment, going for it there in that situation at that place on the field with that clock makes less than zero sense to me.