Science | Sports

February 11, 2008

Why NFL Coaches Keep Making The Wrong Calls

Play callers—including, ahem, Tom Coughlin—routinely hurt their teams this year with stupid decisions. Gelf talks to the guys who quantified these errors about why they keep happening.

David Goldenberg

Editor's note: To see the detailed stats compiled by ZEUS, go here.

After the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII by a mere three points, sportswriters everywhere began to look back on one particular play that might have cost the team their perfect season. After an impressive opening drive in the third quarter, the Patriots, then leading 7-3, stalled at the Giants' 31-yard line. Instead of sending in Stephen Gotkowski to kick a field goal, though, Coach Bill Belichick left his offense on the field to try to convert on 4th and 13. Tom Brady's pass fell harmlessly to the ground, and Belichick's reputation as strategic genius took a hit.

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Article by David Goldenberg

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