When Should a Defense Allow a Touchdown?
In a late and close football game, when should a defense with their backs up against the goal line permit an offense to score a touchdown instead of attempting to force a field-goal attempt? (Think Super Bowls XXXII and XLVI.)
In the final entry of his multipart comprehensive and “counterintuitive” evaluation of the question, Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats reminds us what a coach must take into account
when the team on defense would get the ball back
the probability of failure on the FG attempt
the probability of responding to a made FG with a score
the probability of responding to an allowed TD with a TD
Burke’s earlier posts may be found here, here, here, and here.