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You are visiting my site on: April 19, 2024

Coach Payton played the odds!

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In the Saints huge victory, one of the key plays of the game was the call by Coach Sean Payton to try an onside kick as the second half began.  New Orleans kicker Thomas Morstead squibbed the ball short in a surprise attempt at an onside kick and the ball was recovered by New Orleans.  The Saints turned the tide of the game, and a day later, the trick play was being touted as the gutsiest call in Super Bowl history.

But was it really that gutsy? The numbers say no. Statistically, the surprise onside kick works more often than not. Since 2000, onside kicks in the first three quarters””when they are typically unexpected””have been recovered by the kicking team almost 59% of the time. By contrast, 15% of fourth-quarter onside kicks were recovered in that same span.

In other words, it was more of a calculated risk than a gamble. A third-quarter onside kick is a pretty good gamble.  Perhaps Coach  Payton’s willingness to open himself up to ridicule in the most watched TV show in U.S. history will push more coaches to start listening to what the number crunchers have to say.By the way, the Saints are given 10/1 odds that they will win next year’s Super Bowl, which are the same odds as the New England Patriots.  Whether we in Louisiana like it or not, the Colts are a step ahead at 13/2 odds.

And hey, did you see Saints Quarterback Drew Brees on Oprah his week?  She tought someone had kissed him and pointed to his cheek.  Actually, he has a birthmark there.  Oprah messed up on this one.

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