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Pizza Box Football» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Short Yardage Analysis rss

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DAVID MERCER
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When you've absolutely got to make a small number of yards -- do or die -- here's my opinion.

1 yd - Offense should always run. Even in their worst case, where the defense puts up a goal-line defense, the run play is better at picking up a single yard than a short pass. The turnover rate is lower for a run, too, if you're thinking of kicking a field goal if you don't make it. As defense, use goal-line defense if available, otherwise defend against the run. They've got less of a chance of making 1 yard against your run defense even with a pass than if they had tried to run, so all the better if they try to pass.

2 yds - This is pure rock-paper-scissors between the run and short pass. As offense, if a pass defense (SP or LP) is expected, the run performs better, but the short pass performs better against all other defenses (including the goal-line defense). As defense, your choices should be either run (or goal-line, if available), or short pass. Either way, the offense has a better than even chance of making the two yards.

3 yds - A slightly less pure version of rock-paper-scissors, where the short pass begins to take a slight advantage. Short pass offense will perform better than a run against all defenses except the short pass defense, where the run slightly outperforms. On the other hand, a short pass has a much greater chance of a turnover. At the end of the game, where missing the first down or the touchdown may as well be a turnover, elect for the short pass; on the other hand, when a turnover is devastating (e.g., down by one or two at the end of the game and you need a field goal), run and then kick the field goal if you miss. Most of the game, though, this choice is going to be rock-paper-scissors like the 2-yd case.

4-5 yds - Offense should always try the short pass, because it outperforms all other offenses against all defenses. Knowing this, as defense, you should put up a short pass defense with the knowledge that they have less than a 50% chance of making it regardless of the offense they choose.
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Matthew M
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I take it this (very nice, btw) analysis only incorporates the basic game. Any plans to incorporate the advanced rules?

-MMM
 
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Chaddyboy
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I found that an awesome stategy was to roll 6's whenever possible.
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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I try to roll 18s. A six will get your butt kicked
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DAVID MERCER
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Octavian wrote:
Any plans to incorporate the advanced rules?


Well, I haven't played by the advanced rule-set yet, so it wasn't a priority, but I'll get around to it, and when I do, I shall post it here.

One flaw in my analysis is the weighing of turnovers. For instance, I say 4-5 yds should always choose short pass, but if I have 3rd and 4 on my own ten, I might choose a run and then boot the ball when I miss the first down rather than risk a turnover so deep in my own territory, since even if I put the ball in the air, I still have a worse than even chance of making the first down, so why risk the turnover? Of course, this logic taken to the extreme, would result in my taking a kneel-down or just punting it on 3rd down.

(Kicking on third down might be preposterous, but my wife kicked a 3rd down field goal last weekend against me after we had both turned the ball over in the red zone. On third down, she had an easy FG and just said she was going to kick it rather than risk another turnover. She won 3-0 [one half of backyard brawl].)
 
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DAVID MERCER
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dmercer wrote:
Octavian wrote:
Any plans to incorporate the advanced rules?

...when I do, I shall post it here.


My analysis of short yardage strategy with the advanced rules is taking quite a bit longer than I expected. Even the 1-yard situation requires some pretty hairy analysis. Run is not always the best offense...
 
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