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"Fourth and Goal: The John Fox Story"

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I know we have about 10 NFL threads, but this is causing such a stink in Chicago, and I think it's bigger than just one game, that I thought it would be fun to bat it around a little.

    With 10 minutes left in yesterday's Bears-Broncos game in Chicago, the Bears had a 4th and goal at the Denver 4, trailing 17-9.

    Fox elects to go for it, and Cutler's pass lands incomplete. As it played out, I said it was not only the right call, but the one that most NFL coaches now make. You need a touchdown at some point, and there is a good chance you won't have another chance this good. Keep in mind this is a Bears offense with Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffrey both out.

    Anyway, the Bears do score a late touchdown, then fail on the conversion with 24 seconds to play.

    Should Fox have taken the points earlier? Or am I right that SOP in the NFL now is to go for it in that situation?
  2. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    With 3 minutes left, you go for it. With 10, kick. In the natural order of things, with your defense playing well, you have multiple possessions left.
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Agree with Gee. You have to factor in the way the game is going. And that was not a game where the Broncos were going to come down and score a touchdown to put it out of reach.
  4. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Not to contradict my own analysis, but in fairness to Fox, he's on the sidelines with the fatigued, half-punchy guys he's coaching. He may have looked at his defense and said, these guys may be gassed, I better take my shot when I can. In the event, they weren't gassed or anything close, but that may have been the decision-making process, not just a coach's bad reading of the time-scoreboard continuum.
  5. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    I don't have a problem with him going for it. You haven't scored a TD in 50 minutes against a very good defense and you're four yards away. Thinking you'll get a better chance than that is wishing and hoping.

    The better question is why this doesn't fit in the NFL week 11 thread. Even the Steeler fans are wondering how this warrants its own thread. ;)
  6. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Agree with Gee as well. It's one of the things Football Outsiders and other sites have harped on for years, about coaches being risk-averse usually. With 3 minutes left, it's more likely that you get a TD you need from fourth-and-goal, vs. the combination of getting the FG, stopping Denver on D or getting a TO, and then producing a TD from whatever field position you get. (Their other bugaboo, and one TMQ would always complain about - Coaches who kick FGs on fourth-and-5 or shorter in the fourth, down 14, instead of going for it.)
  7. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    What I'm most curious about is whether coaches usually go for it now in that situation, and whether that signals a shift from prior generations of coaches. In Chicago, the masses, including the media, seem to be arguing from the premise that Fox went against the book there. I don't know that he did.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Because I think it's bigger than one decision in one game in one week of the schedule. It's more about how coaches generally think through this situation.
  9. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    As Gee noted, with that much time left, the book definitely says kick.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    In general, anything John Fox does regarding time management can be assumed to be incorrect. This is the guy that cost his team a Super Bowl by going for two with almost the entire fourth quarter remaining.
  11. Stoney

    Stoney Well-Known Member

    I'd have gone for it, too. As Dick said, you've got to get a touchdown anyways, and you're at the 4 yard line. The odds of getting that needed TD on a 1 play for 4 yards situation were better than on an ensuing possession with a full field in front of them and the clock running down.

    The call took balls, as the easy thing to do there was simply kick it, and It didn't work out--which, of course, means the second-guessing crowd get to wack off attacking Fox today--but doesn't mean it was the wrong call.
    JC likes this.
  12. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Its what, a 45-55 type of "wrong call"?

    I would think the actual two point conversion play call would be under a lot more scrutiny. What the hell was that?

    Why did Cutler haltingly take a step forward before handing off? That was weird.
    I Should Coco likes this.
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