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the last play: why not lateral?


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#1 wiffleballhero

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:09 PM

It obviously doesn't matter now, but at the moment I was hoping they would not try the one deep shot.

Hail Mary passes always seem hopeless (even though I can still recall the Flutie/Phalen shot). With this personnel, why not pull most of the regulars off the field and send out Edelman as the QB with other guys who can run?

Is this really a lower probability option, esp. with this group of players, than the hail Mary?

#2 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:13 PM

Other than the Stanford Band game, and some high school game that had a highlight on ESPN's Top 10, when is the last time a lateral play (or even a more simple Hook & Ladder) worked for a TD in the NFL?

We've seen a Hail Mary work in the NFL Playoffs this year.

#3 Bergs

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:15 PM

It obviously doesn't matter now, but at the moment I was hoping they would not try the one deep shot.

Hail Mary passes always seem hopeless (even though I can still recall the Flutie/Phalen shot). With this personnel, why not pull most of the regulars off the field and send out Edelman as the QB with other guys who can run?

Is this really a lower probability option, esp. with this group of players, than the hail Mary?


Yes.

#4 BigSoxFan


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:16 PM

Lateral plays are for D3 football. No chance of working in the NFL. Hail mary's can be caught, draw a PI flag, be tipped upwards, etc. We needed to get down to the 25-30 yard line with a couple chances to have a realistic chance. Would have been possible had Brady been able to connect with Branch.

#5 Fishercat


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:19 PM

I will note, it has worked in the NFL (the Saints game with the missed XP stands out, the Music City Miracle was different IMO), but I prefer the Hail Mary option. If only because there's always some potential for defensive pass interference as well, and NE with one play from the one is a nice prize as well.

#6 wiffleballhero

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:24 PM

Yes.


Really? I have never actually seen one in an NFL game, which makes me wonder if there is simply the deduction that they can't work when in fact the actual statistical 'probability' from past, specifically analogous situation would be the result of a pretty small sample size.

I'll take your word for it, but I'd be interested in actually knowing the difference.

#7 lars10

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:29 PM

Really? I have never actually seen one in an NFL game, which makes me wonder if there is simply the deduction that they can't work when in fact the actual statistical 'probability' from past, specifically analogous situation would be the result of a pretty small sample size.

I'll take your word for it, but I'd be interested in actually knowing the difference.

I think the difference is fairly obvious
1. Your opponent has 50-60 yards to tackle the ball carrier.
2. Multiple opportunities to knock the ball down (it's unlikely that one lateral will do it)
3. Multiple chances for the ball to be dropped.

vs.
1. Chance to knock the ball down
2. No chance to tackle the player since the ball is in the end zone typically.

I thought the play was great...and made me think we actually could have won after I'd given up all hope. It looked like the play was designed for Hernandez to bat the ball up in the air and for either Gronk or Woodhead to catch it...they just weren't close enough...if Gronk didn't have a bad ankle maybe he's in the middle of the scrum and gets up higher to tip it (I thought this was the difference in the game..it just didn't look like he could jump which would make sense given the injury..and that played a part in that play and the interception)

#8 stevman17

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:34 PM

It's also worth mentioning that the ball was almost caught on a tip. I think the highest probability of getting a TD there was what they did, a Hail Mary. The lateral would have been like the Our Father: it would have lasted longer, but probably would be less effective.

Edited by stevman17, 08 February 2012 - 12:35 PM.


#9 Gene Conleys Plane Ticket

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:46 PM

It's also worth mentioning that the ball was almost caught on a tip. I think the highest probability of getting a TD there was what they did, a Hail Mary. The lateral would have been like the Our Father: it would have lasted longer, but probably would be less effective.


Yeah, it's just one of the many amazing things about that game -- one of the many "luck" aspects tha came into play -- that the Hail Mary came extremely close to actually working. Gronk dives for the Hernandez tip and misses it by about a foot, maybe even less. Maybe with a healthy ankle he gets there, maybe not. It's probably just one of those random factors that made the difference between a W and an L. But it's incredible how close to winning the game the Pats were even then.

Edited by Gene Conleys Plane Ticket, 08 February 2012 - 12:47 PM.


#10 Myt1


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:49 PM

Is this really a lower probability option, esp. with this group of players, than the hail Mary?


Yes, if only because passes and catches are regularly practiced and multiple lateral plays are not. If a coach wanted to waste time putting together and practicing up a rugby play with multiple laterals, I could see them ending up with something that had a higher probability of scoring. But it probably isn't an effective use of time for an almost never used play.

#11 TheoShmeo


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:02 PM

I agree with the sentiment that a hail mary has a much higher chance of success than a lateral play and think it's noteworthy that the damned Giants scored on one in these NFL playoffs against the Packers.

I'm not saying there was interference on that particular play but if the officials actually applied the rules on hail marys, many of them would result in the ball being placed on the 1 yard line.

#12 Al Zarilla


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:16 PM

Yes, if only because passes and catches are regularly practiced and multiple lateral plays are not. If a coach wanted to waste time putting together and practicing up a rugby play with multiple laterals, I could see them ending up with something that had a higher probability of scoring. But it probably isn't an effective use of time for an almost never used play.

In THE PLAY (Cal - Stanford) in 1982, there was a rugby involvement. From Wikipedia:

It was earlier in the school year that Football Coach Joe Kapp had a conversation with Cal Rugby Coach Jack Clark about having some of the running backs come play rugby in preparation for the upcoming 1983 football season. As it was, Cal Rugby already had a number of the offensive line enlisted in their forward pack. Though none of the running backs stayed with the Rugby team to play that season, it is suspected that "THE PLAY" was the result of the football team's involvement with the Rugby Team earlier in that school year [17].

No doubt the smoothness with which Cal pulled off the play with all the laterals was because of the cross pollination with the rugby team. BB is a big lacrosse guy. Oh well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfebpLfAt8g

Edited by Al Zarilla, 08 February 2012 - 01:27 PM.


#13 patinorange


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:16 PM



Here's the greatest hook and ladder plays ever. Miami / San Diego playoffs 1982.
It's actually the only one I ever remember working. What a football game,

#14 Ed Hillel


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:57 PM

The Pats ended up 5 on 3 in the endzone on a perfect hail mary pass. I don't think they could have envisioned a better scenario than the one that played out.

I have no idea what the Giants were thinking on that play. Where were the other 4 DBs?

#15 Al Zarilla


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:00 PM

The Pats ended up 5 on 3 in the endzone on a perfect hail mary pass. I don't think they could have envisioned a better scenario than the one that played out.

Another reason to pull out what hair I have left.

#16 cromulence

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:05 PM

The Pats ended up 5 on 3 in the endzone on a perfect hail mary pass. I don't think they could have envisioned a better scenario than the one that played out.

I have no idea what the Giants were thinking on that play. Where were the other 4 DBs?


No idea what you're talking about. As the ball is about to come down, there are 5 Giants in the end zone and 2 Patriots (Hernandez and Branch), with Welker and Gronk also just about to cross the goal line presumably to get a deflection (with a sixth Giants DB a few yards behind them).

#17 Super Nomario


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:21 PM

No idea what you're talking about. As the ball is about to come down, there are 5 Giants in the end zone and 2 Patriots (Hernandez and Branch), with Welker and Gronk also just about to cross the goal line presumably to get a deflection (with a sixth Giants DB a few yards behind them).

God love any of you who can actually re-watch this stuff. I haven't intentionally watched a single highlight from Super Bowl XLII, the AFCCG vs Indy, or the Jets game last year and I don't plan on watching any of this either.

#18 EddieYost


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:24 PM

God love any of you who can actually re-watch this stuff. I haven't intentionally watched a single highlight from Super Bowl XLII, the AFCCG vs Indy, or the Jets game last year and I don't plan on watching any of this either.


Ditto. I avoid it like the plague.

#19 Saints Rest

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:27 PM

Woodhead was in the backfield blocking.
The Pats had 4 guys down there. What confused me was why Ocho wasn't in there instead of Branch. Seems like height would be more useful than chemistry with Brady or route running ability.
I also don't understand why Woodhead was the 6th blocker -- seems like Solder would have been a better choice.
Hell, Solder downfield as the tallest guy on the field might have been smarter.

Solder, Gronk, Hernandez and Ocho as the 4 downfield.
Bring in Cannon as the 6th blocker to give the necessary extra time for SOlder to get downfield.

#20 Garshaparra

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:33 PM

Lateral plays are for D3 football. No chance of working in the NFL.

Other than the Stanford Band game, and some high school game that had a highlight on ESPN's Top 10, when is the last time a lateral play (or even a more simple Hook & Ladder) worked for a TD in the NFL?

We've seen a Hail Mary work in the NFL Playoffs this year.

How about 12 years ago? http://en.wikipedia....ic_City_Miracle

I definitely agree the Hail Mary was the right play, no question, but crazy laterals can work too.

#21 BoredViewer

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:47 PM

Hail Mary all the way. We even got the right kind of bounce...

#22 Remagellan

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:57 PM

How about 12 years ago? http://en.wikipedia....ic_City_Miracle

I definitely agree the Hail Mary was the right play, no question, but crazy laterals can work too.


Ironically, the end of the Titans' playoff run that year shows the danger of throwing short of the end zone on the last play.

#23 PaulinMyrBch


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:18 PM

The Hail Mary actually set up good, you can tell they practiced it. Hernandez was the jump ball tip guy and Gronk and Welk were lurking a few yards away to play the tip. Only problem is Hernandez didn't actually tip it up, it just hit people and fell pretty directly to the ground. That's why it failed. I have to think on a good ankle Gronk is the tip ball jumper and Hernandez is a cleanup guy. But yes Hail Mary all the way, was really close to a completion.

#24 SoxFanInCali


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:14 PM

Why are people comparing kickoff return plays (Music City Miracle and Cal-Stanford) to this situation?

#25 Al Zarilla


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:41 PM

Why are people comparing kickoff return plays (Music City Miracle and Cal-Stanford) to this situation?

Just to show that lateral plays can get the job done and the most famous successful lateral play of all time was on a kickoff? Once somebody has the ball in the open field, does it matter whether he got it from a kickoff or a pass?

#26 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:54 PM

Just to show that lateral plays can get the job done and the most famous successful lateral play of all time was on a kickoff? Once somebody has the ball in the open field, does it matter whether he got it from a kickoff or a pass?

Yes, because on a kickoff, teams are going in opposite directions and it's easier to get past the other guys. On a pass, half the defense is retreating along with the receivers.

Can you come up with a non-kickoff lateral play that has worked in the NFL?

#27 Al Zarilla


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:00 PM

Yes, because on a kickoff, teams are going in opposite directions and it's easier to get past the other guys. On a pass, half the defense is retreating along with the receivers.

Can you come up with a non-kickoff lateral play that has worked in the NFL?

The hook and ladder play cited somewhere else here in the famous Miami - San Diego playoff game in the 80s. Just one lateral though.

#28 EddieYost


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:35 PM

<br /><br /> the hook and lateral was a cool play.

Edited by EddieYost, 08 February 2012 - 08:36 PM.





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