Professor Stenard + Study = Economic Insight

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Super Bowl Sunday

Posted by Joe Stenard on February 8, 2010 at 2:05 PM

It was this games crucial play:  The ONSIDE KICK!

 

Instead of returning the ball to the Colts as expected, Coach Payton surprised everyone by trying a very risky play.  It turned out well for the Saints but it could have been humiliating and been recorded as notoriously foolhardy.  The point I focus on here is not the outcome, but the decision process.

 

Consider the risks:

use a punter who has never tried this in a NFL game and has only 10 days of practice

he doesn't know if the other team knows what he is attempting

the onside kick is successful less than 30% of the time.

the team is already a little behind - this could be much worse

 

Consider the potential benefit:

Deny possession, conserve time on the clock, better field position

 

I like that economics is a part of things I already enjoy.

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