Fourth down is prime time to make the wrong decision. We don't punt enough. TNT713 explains how the role of punts in flipping field position make them the most successful plays in the history of football.
For reasons unknown to football traditionalists, some of us refuse to punt. There is a perception that punting indicates weakness and is indicative of offensive failure. Perhaps.
Some may still laud the value of fourth down attempts, but have they considered that even the best return man in history, Devin Hester, has returned less than 5% of his career punt returns for touchdowns. Not even Four Verticals, a common pass play used in Madden, can claim a 30+ yard average change of field position nor a sub-5% backfire rate.
Punting is a win/win. Great coaches throughout history embraced punting as a way of life. John Heisman, the man who the famous collegiate trophy is named after, once said, "When in doubt, punt." Jim Harbaugh, former coach of the San Francisco 49ers once summed up his coaching philosophy by saying, "any drive that ends with a kick is a good drive." To that end, punting means an offensive drive did not end with a turnover. It also means punting the ball away forces opponents to drive farther than a failed fourth down attempt would.
Madden players with an affinity for defense make punting their primary defensive weapon. Incorporating punts into a defensive game plan increases the distance opponents must move the ball, and the number of plays the offense must run before they are able to score. Each play represents an opportunity to make a pivotal defensive stop by presenting opponents with a chance to make a mistake.
Why most players don't punt on fourth down is a mystery. Punting helps players win games pride would otherwise lose. Forcing opponents to go farther to score and setting the defense up for success seem like a no-brainer. Good decision makes punt. In those situations when a punt is unwise, players that utilize punts as a part of their game plan can easily make the distinction.