Morning Links: Going for it on fourth down

Mike Tanier, writing for Sports On Earth, provides a comprehensive piece on the reasons more NFL coaches should go for it on fourth down, and what plays are more successful.

This piece provides some interesting perspective, given San Diego coach Mike McCoy is taking some heat for his play selection after San Diego’s unsuccessful attempt on fourth-and-1 from Oakland’s 1-yard line, spreading the formation and giving the ball to Danny Woodhead on a quick handoff.

Tanier: “The raw data tells us that 4th-and-short conversion attempts are not a high-risk gamble. A 63% success rate represents good odds, and those odds only go up when Drew Brees or Tom Brady is your quarterback or Peterson your running back. Running plays are more likely to succeed than pass plays, but the difference is not great enough to justify "NEVER EVER PASS IN THAT SITUATION" foot-stomping. If your coach passes 75% of the time on 4th-and-1, there may be a problem, but the occasional play-action rollout has a good chance of succeeding in its own right AND keeping defenses off balance for future handoffs.”

In this ESPN Insider piece, John Parolin ranks San Diego’s offensive line No. 14 in the NFL. Denver’s offensive line is ranked No. 1, followed by Cincinnati and Green Bay.

Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego reports that more than 10,000 tickets remain unsold for San Diego’s Monday night game against Indianapolis, making a blackout locally a distinct possibility. Gehlken also notes the Chargers will wear their powder blue uniforms.

Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego offers his critique of San Diego’s performance against the Raiders.

Ricky Henne, writing for the San Diego Chargers website, highlights the play of young receivers Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen.

Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus breaks down the Chargers-Raiders contest. San Diego corners Derek Cox and Richard Marshall did not fare well, along with defensive linemen Kendall Reyes and Cam Thomas. But defensive end Corey Liuget, along with Allen and Brown received praise.

ESPN’s Mike Wells writes that Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck proved he’s the best quarterback from the 2012 draft with his impressive performance in a win over Seattle. The Chargers will get an up-close look at Luck on Monday night.

ESPN’s Jeffri Chadiha believes the Kansas City Chiefs have what it takes defensively to derail Peyton Manning and the explosive Denver offense.