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Smith Genius Onside Kick - Nfl Should Pay Attention


Genius
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With 2:11 left in the game, 3 timeouts, and down by one score, the Falcons decide to go for an onside kick. Generally in this situation, many coaches would have kicked the ball through the endzone, and try to hold the opponent to a 3 and out. After all, you have 3 timeouts in your back pocket plus the 2 minute warning.

You know the first 2 Packers plays will be run plays and the 3rd will likely end up in bounds. Thus best case scenario is that you burn 2 timeouts with one left in the pocket. As the Packers are up, no matter where they start with the ball on the field outside of their field goal range, if they are able to move the ball 10+ yards, the game is pretty much over. Granted, the Falcons do get a little bit of a buffer if the Falcons get more field position. For example, if the Packers get a 1st down on their first run play, you don't want them to be in field goal range as you still have 3 timeouts left.

However, the Smith thought of this and that's why our onside kick went that far down the field.

By going for the onside in situation where many coaches would have kicked the ball through the endzone, Smith essentially increased the % chance of the Falcons winning. The Packers win no matter where they get the ball on the field if they manage to move it 10+ yards. So why not move the odds in the Falcons favor by going for the onside.

This begs the question: If it makes sense to go for the onside down by 6 with 3 timeouts, does it make sense to go for the onside down by 1 with 3 timeouts?

Edited by Genius
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I don't think there is a coach in the NFL that would have kicked deep with the defense the Falcons were running out there last night.

To be fair, Falcons did hold Packers to a field goal after first onside kick which was a surprise to me. Edited by Genius
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To be fair, Falcons did hold Packers to a field goal after first onside kick which was a surprise to me.

It's true.

The main point is this. Whether the Falcons kicked it deep or went for the onside kick and missed, the Falcons needed a 3 and out either way.

For that reason, might as well go ahead and kick the onside kick and give yourself two chances.

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To be fair, Falcons did hold Packers to a field goal after first onside kick which was a surprise to me.

It's true.

The main point is this. Whether the Falcons kicked it deep or went for the onside kick and missed, the Falcons needed a 3 and out either way.

For that reason, might as well go ahead and kick the onside kick and give yourself two chances.

That's what I was thinking but if I remember correctly, many coaches would have kicked it deep. The only plus in kicking it deep is starting field position assuming the defense does stop the opposing offense. But I guess Smith was thinking that's less important than just trying to get the ball back.
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This begs the question: If it makes sense to go for the onside down by 6 with 3 timeouts, does it make sense to go for the onside down by 1 with 3 timeouts?

Falcons defense vs Rodgers? I said it makes sense to onside every time no matter when. You have about as good of a chance of getting the ball back as you would kicking deep. You actually might give your offense more time to score on the chance that you actually hold them to a FG.

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I didn't like the design of the first onside kick. They should have came out in normal kickoff formation and then dribbled it.

I like the dribble. I think the Falcons were successful with the dribble before. But you are right, formation sucked.
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Was trying to explain this to my friends last night. They thought he jacked up the kick when you could clearly tell he did it on purpose.

I still don't understand the benefit of not kicking it off except for the fact that you 1) burn a little more time that way and 2) open yourself up for a possible return. Other than that why not kick it deep for the possible benefit of much better field position?

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There isn't a coach in this league with our defense and going against Rodgers that would have kicked it deep. The onside kick gave us a chance though it was terrible. Kicking it deep would have been conceding the game to them.

We couldn't stop them. They were running the ball, throwing it, and Rodgers was running it too. Those chains were going to move until the clock hit zero.

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