All three early winners trailed at halftime. Which got me to thinking.
I wonder what the typical “comeback rate” is for each of the four major sports. Has anybody ever tried to calculate that?
In football and basketball, there are three different scoring denominations (technically four, if you count the XP in football). So I’m not sure how you would create the “comeback metric” for lack of a better word.
My first thought was to make it based on the multiple of the highest scoring denomination possible. So, a three-goal lead in hockey, or three run lead in baseball, would equate to a 3 TD lead in football.
But that would be stupid. Being down 21 in an NFL game, at ANY point in the game, is almost always a death sentence.
So maybe we could reverse engineer this so called “comeback metric.”
I am pretty sure we (and by “we” I mean, somebody with waayyy more time than me!) could calculate exactly the number of times since the NFL merger teams that trailed by 21 points came back to win the game. We could even break it down by decade, to see if the “mortality rate” of 21-0 has declined as the “passing era” in the NFL gained pre-eminance.
So once we get the verifiable "mortality rate” of being down by 21 in the NFL, we can then use that number (my guess: 6%) and find the similar scoring position of “nearly fatal” in other sports.
So what is the 6% of teams come back and win when trailing by (calculate number) in baseball? Hockey? Basketball?
Oh sure, I hear you snickering. “How in the f*** Czaban, could anyone find all the times a team in basketball came back from being 20 points or more down?
I don’t know. But I think it’s be a neat, cool, perhaps useful statistic to dig out. In other words, at what point are you basically “dead” as a team in a game?
Which brings me to the other most amazingly stupid thing that still persists in the NFL.
Wasted 2nd half timeouts, and clock management.
I won’t belabor what I have written and talked about for years and years now, but you people saw what Andy Reid did on Saturday afternoon.
I am pretty sure I have never, ever, seen a team have the 2 minute warning to get their shit together, and THEN burn a timeout - ANY timeout, much less their FINAL timeout - with the clocked stopped reading 2:00.
Watch this league long enough, you’ll see everything.
It was 4th and 11! Taking a 5 yard penalty makes it 4th and 16. There is no material down-and-distance, available-plays-to-call difference! Alex Smith hit a streaking Dwayne Bowe about 30 yards down the right sideline, and ONE foot too far wide on the boundary to end the game.
Timeouts in the 2nd half are coupons for :40 of game play. I simply don’t believe using one to avoid a delay of game penalty, or because (gasp!) a wide receiver is lined up wrong, is ever worth :40 of game time.
Even when you are rolling, and expect to win going away, as I am sure the Chiefs did.
I felt truly awful for Alex Smith after this game. He lost his #1 running back on the first drive of the game. His backup left later in the 4th. The Chiefs lost two big pieces in Flowers and Houston in the 2nd half.
They had a 38-10 lead, and that corpulent idiot with the mustache and the pithy post-game quip of “the time is yours” couldn’t noodle out a way to win that game.
I did love how the networks held a long shot of Reid waddling off the field. Slowly and alone. I wish somebody could have run up and slapped a “Kick Me, I’m Stupid” sign on his back.
With ONE timeout in your pocket, you force the Colts to run TWO honest running plays (where things CAN happen) and agonize over a pass/run choice on 3rd down, and if that’s unsuccessful a PUNT.
In other words, there would have been plenty of tight assholes in blue still left on the sidelines.
And the play calling, my god. Really? This game is what makes me say I could be an “average” play caller in the NFL if given a fully immersive year of training.
So here is a quiz. You are up 38-10 with 13:39 left to play in the game. Do you…
A. Run the ball at least 2x as many times as you pass?
B. Be Andy Reid?
The first series after this mark, really ignited the Colts. It went like this…
First down sack.
Disastrous SACK-FUMBLE by lethal predator Robert Mathis.
The following possessions went as follows for dunce cap Reid and the Chiefs.
But hey, even after this much STUPID, you are STILL up by 10. That’s when the Colts go 12 plays 90 yards for TD, and all of a sudden it’s 41-38.
Yada, yada, yada, and then Andy Reid uses his last timeout coming out of the 2 minute warning.