Second and short.

Discussion of technique and strategy.

Second and short.

by harviej » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:02 am

Second and inches. This is the play that drives me nuts. about 95% of the time the offense falls over the hike for a first down. Now they have a first down but they are only inches ahead of where they were on 2nd and short.
It seems to me this is a free play. If you air it out just once, you can open uup your game. The defence that chooses to blitz when they see your quarterback drop back for a pass is open to a big run. The chance of a big gain goes up when you throw agianst a corner that is cheating on the run.
Why don't teams use it more?
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RE: Second and short.

by jordan02 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:37 am

i think the teams are just more focused on getting across that marker and getting a new set of downs
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RE: Second and short.

by Sportsmen » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:24 am

I agree Harvey. I remember it was "Bombs Away" on 2nd and inches.

Most Coaches are too conservative.
Last edited by Sportsmen on Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Second and short.

by bulldog57 » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:37 pm

why not take a risk on 2nd and short and then go for it on 3rd and inch ?
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RE: Second and short.

by FootbalYouBet » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:27 pm

because sometimes things can go bad, fumble, penalty, etc. Unless you are behind and need to gamble, take the sure thing.
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Re: Second and short.

by blueandgold2k » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:05 pm

It comes down to the coaches tendency. I would probably shy towards airing it out if you only got a few inches to go, 3rd and inches is practically a gimme. BUT, when 2nd and Inches comes up, the coach is also thinking...what if it's picked....what if there's a sack....what if we get tackled for a loss....a fumble....penalty...etc. As the saying goes, 3 things can happen when you throw the football, only one of them is good.

I think it also depends on where you are on the field. If you're on your own 25, then maybe it'd be an idea to go long and try to get a gain that takes you closer to mid-field, I mean if you get 1st down on your 26 and then go 3 and out...you're punting. But it's a lot harder of a decision if you're in a close game and you're inside field goal range, that's when wrong decisions can take points off the board.
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Re: Second and short.

by Chappy2 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:04 pm

There are definitely things that can go wrong if you Go-4-it on 2nd and inches, but I think teams have too start taking that risk a bit more often now. It used to be common too see teams take a shot downfield on 2nd and inches but you NEVER see that anymore.
It'a a good play too throw in now and then, it'll keep the d'backs from crashing the line too hard if they have to watch out for someone slipping outside for a quick hitter, and just keeps them guessing. Nowadays they just completely crash down because no teams are trying anything and short yardage plays. That's why MacPherson has such a high yardage too because he slides down the line instead of just going under center, and D's are just so used to plugging up the middle that he can find some room too run if he get's the outside.
I think there's plenty of times that teams should have gone big(ger) on short yardage, not only is it more exciting but many times it's the smarter play call...(unless you FUK-it-up that is...LOL)
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Re: Second and short.

by Paolo X » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:52 pm

This was a helpful old discussion for this new fan. Geez I like the old way in the CFL of taking the free play on 2nd and short as if one had new set of FOUR downs counting the 2nd down, excluding the easily converted 3rd down, and then a whole new set of 3 downs.

Of course no doubt the score, field position, weather, playoff status, et cetera would factor into such decisions, but with clear skies and great football weather in summer or autumn often earlier in the season I don't get it for CFL play as opposed to American football play where a whole lot more can go wrong on even any down and inches given the defence lines up on the point of the ball not one yard away as is the case there.

Truly I explain to most Americans new to the Canadian game that the Canadian game realistically is like starting out the American game on every down at 2nd and 9 instead of at 1st and 10, for that last yard or less on 3rd down is so easy up there compared to here.

This sort of trend not to use the 2nd and short down, when otherwise a team has no disadvantage to do so, would make CFL ball look way too much like some of the NFL, which of course defeats the purpose for sake of a new fan like me looking for more exciting yet sound football overall unlike most NCAA college football any more.
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Re: Second and short.

by Avro Arrow » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:52 pm

In the American game, they added one extra down for the offence and as a result, the defence was allowed to line up on the goal line. In the Canadian game, the offence has one less down and so the defence lines up a yard off of the ball. As a result, a 2nd-and-inches is generally impossible to defend against if the offence elects to use a QB sneak. It's just part of the Canadian dynamic and always has been. I find that it's one of the things that makes "our league" really ours, kinda like the rouge. If you're a coach who has an owner, GM and a city breathing down your neck, you go for the sure thing because if you don't and you fail, people will be calling you a moron and saying "You had a sure thing and you messed it up! What kind of coach are you?". I think in that situation, most people would just take the fresh set of downs, I know I would.
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Re: Second and short.

by Paolo X » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:31 pm

Jacque Clymie (forgive spelling if so) of TSN is chiming in on this matter now at halftime of the Riders-Bombers game 5 September. The open question remains why don't teams go for it more on 2nd and about a yard or less?
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Re: Second and short.

by CatsFaninOttawa » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:01 am

Avro Arrow wrote:...a 2nd-and-inches is generally impossible to defend against if the offence elects to use a QB sneak.

So doesn't that also mean 3rd and inches is also a gimme? So why not go for the bomb on 2nd and inches? One of three things will happen.
  • Completion for huge gain;
  • Incompletion, so now 3rd and inches, QB sneak, first down;
  • Interception way down field.
So the worst that can happen is an interception. A deep interception. Yes, you've turned over the ball, and maybe given up momentum (if you had it to start with), but you're not giving up field position.

The riskier play on 2nd and inches is the short dump over the middle or out to the flat. An interception there, and you've given up the ball and field position.

Also, why is it riskier to throw deep on 2nd and inches vs. 1st and 10? On 1st and 10, both the incompletion and the interception are bad; on 2nd and inches, the incompletion doesn't hurt at all.

Unless you have absolutely no faith in your o-line and your QB to convert on third down. In which case, why would you think you're going to make it on second down either?
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