Polian thinks Belichick made the right call on the infamous 4th and 2 play. But according to him, "All of the statistical analysis that’s done over the course of a season means nothing."
As one of the guys who authored that analysis, I find it ironic that the rest of his comments were laced with pseudo-statistical mumbo-jumbo:
"It was fourth-and-2, and if we get the ball back, there’s a pretty strong likelihood based on what we had done up to that point that we were going to have a good chance to win the game. And they had been very successful in the Tom Brady era going for it on fourth down, and their most successful play with Tom Brady was a quarterback sneak."
Polian added, “Was it the right call? In my opinion, it was 100 percent the right call. He knew his team. He knew the tactics involved. He gave the ball to Faulk, which was the second-most-effective guy in short yardage. So it was the right decision from a football standpoint.
Polian comes to his purely non-statistical conclusion that Belichick made the right call based on the following concepts:
-pretty strong likelihood
-going to have a good chance
-they had been very successful
Let me get this straight. All of the statistical analysis is 'meaningless,' but vague, intuitive estimates of mitigating circumstances un-anchored to any overall baseline probability of success means it was 100 percent the right call? Got it.
Sean Payton doesn't seem to think it's meaningless. I bet Polian wishes Jim Caldwell read this meaningless article from last October.
In case there is a coach or GM who actually wants to know what 'pretty strong likelihood,' 'good chance,' or 'very successful' actually mean from a 'football standpoint', I know a guy.