Originally Posted by RedsBaron
The Saints successful onside kick was obviously the game's key play and a gutsy call by coach Sean Payton. What I didn't know until reading the sports page in today's Wall Street Journal is that the surprise onside kick works nearly 60% of the time.
While NFL teams have only been successful in recovering onside kicks in the fourth quarter 14.7% of the time (61 for 416) since 2000, during that same time period onside kicks in the first through third quarters, when it is more of a surprise, have succeeded 58.6% of the time (65 for 111).
Seems to me like a more obscure stat. Over the course of 9 years it has only happened 111 times. The surprise element is what makes it successful, but if more teams start to do it the surprise will begin to fade. To me it is similar to a suicide squeeze situation. If you do it every time a runner is on 3b or half the time a runner is on 3b your success rate is likely to diminish. If you do it every once in a while you have the element of surprise on your side.
What I think Payton had to weight was the score percentages of giving Manning the ball on their 40 vs the Colts 20.