clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fourth Down Decision Making

New, 3 comments

I've got a lot of work to get to yet--it was about halfway through this exercise when I realized there were so many ways in which to split the data that steam started coming out of my ears.  Decision percentages based on yards to go in each quarter; decision percentages based on yards to go and score margin; decision percentages based on yards to go, time and score, etc. etc. etc.  None of that addresses field position and whoops I've gone cross-eyed.

So here's a rough look at how the coaches handled fourth downs in 2009, broken down into general categories. More to come on this if it doesn't kill me.

Situation FG% Punt% Go%
1Q 11.8 76.5 11.6
2Q 27.3 59.1 13.6
3Q 11.8 82.4 5.9
4Q 4.2 37.5 58.3
1 Score 11.8 68.6 19.6
2 Scores 30 60 10
3+ Scores 10.5 42.1 47.4
1-5 yds 7.7 61.5 30.8
6-10 yds 11.1 70.4 18.5
11+yds 22.2 51.9 25.9

FG% = FGAs/4th downs in each situation. Same deal with the other columns.
1Q/2Q/etc = decision percentages broken down by quarter.
Score categories: If State had a 4th down while up or down one score, that fell into the 1 Score category, etc. Still need to separate out the situations where we're up a score, down a score...
Yardage categories: decision percentages based on the number of yards needed for a first down.