Colts played percentages in eschewing onside kick

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Sometimes good decisions don’t work out. That was the case for Indianapolis in Week Four.

The Colts scored with 1:10 remaining Sunday to close within seven points of the Raiders. That was as close as they got.

With three timeouts remaining, Indianapolis chose to forgo the onside kick. The Colts never saw the ball again.

Josh Jacobs gained 7 yards on first down and 5 on second, allowing the Raiders to close the game out in victory formation.

Colts coach Frank Reich explained that the kickoff team has little chance to recover an onside kick because of a recent rule change eliminating an overload on one side of the kicking formation. Reich cited a 7 percent success rate since the rule change.

“The charts that are out there on this thing are kind of varied,” Reich said, via Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan. “When that situation came up in the game, my first instinct was to kick it deep with all three timeouts. That was my gut instinct. The charts and the decisions, it was kind of borderline, but probably more towards kick it [deep]. Then I had discussed it with some of the guys that are on the staff what I was thinking, what the charts were showing. There was kind of universal agreement and the guys know that in those conversations I’m looking for honest opinions at that point. They know I’m not afraid to the call, whatever it’s got to be. We had a consensus. It was what I felt was the right thing to do, given the fact that we needed a touchdown and the time we were going to have. But I certainly understand [the questioning]. It really was one of those things that’s not that far off either way. That was just the decision I went with.”

5 responses to “Colts played percentages in eschewing onside kick

  1. The rule change is unacceptable if a team can’t reasonably expect to have a chance at getting the ball back on an onside kick.

  2. The kickoff rule changes are ridiculous. Supposedly for safety, yet no data has ever been released (or evidently researched by sports journalists) to prove that the changes were necessary or that they would make any difference. It’s all just posturing/PR to make it look like the league actually cares about player health beyond the financial commodity that they represent. It’s hurt the game; fewer kick returns and impossible onsides kicks. This league is a mess.

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