By: Anthony Jones
Here is the Best and Worst from NFL Week 10.
NFL BEST Decisions – KC vs LV
In this AFC West battle for the division lead, the Chiefs coaches and players got their swagger back. Coach Reid and the Chiefs went for it three times on 4th down, and successfully converted each time – the first two decisions increased KC’s (pre-snap) win probability by +10% and the thrid decision came with an interesting strategic opportunity.
The first decision came with 2 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter and a 3-point lead when KC faced a 4th and 1 from the LV 3-yard line. Coach Reid’s decision to go for it increased his team’s (pre-snap) win probability by +5%. Based on our Edj Power Indexes (EPIs) and the game state, in this situation a GO comes with an expectation for the Chiefs to go on to win the game 63% of the time and a FG attempt comes with an expectation for them to win the game 58% of the time.
The second decision came with just over 7 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter and a 3-point lead when KC faced a 4th and goal from the LV 1-yard line. This GO decision also increased KC’s (pre-snap) win probability by +5%. Going for it comes with an expectation for the Chiefs to win the game 71% of the time and attempting a FG comes with and expectation for them to win the game 66% of the time.
The third decision came at the beginning of the 4th quarter and 13-point lead when KC faced a 4th and 7 from the KC 47-yard line. Both of the Chiefs options (i.e., GO or Punt) had the same win probability expectation of 91%. As a result, KC was able to test a trick play with no additional risk in terms of win probability but, lots to gain from a strategic standpoint. The fake punt gave KC special teams coaches and players an invaluable live rep AND will force other teams to prepare for this possibility going forward. Additionally, whenever an opponent spends time preparing for the possibility of a fake punt it’s taking away from time that could be spent preparing for KC’s offense and/or defense.
Well done KC!
NFL WORST Decision and Execution – NO vs TEN
With 5:35 remaining in the 4th quarter and trailing by 11 points, the Saints faced a 4th and goal from the TEN 1-yard line. Coach Payton’s decision to attempt a FG cost the Saints -8% in (pre-snap) win probability. This FG attempt came with an expectation for the Saints to win the game 5% of the time and a GO came an expectation to win the game 13% of the time.
As another way to look at this error, it’s also worth noting the “relative change” in win probability that’s at stake (i.e., how much better is 13% relative to 5%). While the actual difference is 8%, the relative change is 160%, calculated as (13% – 5%) / 5%. In other words, any way you look at it this was a big error!
The Saints also had a noteworthy play execution error. With 1:16 remaining in 4th quarter the Saints scored a touchdown to make it a 2-point game. They lined up for a 2PAT from the TEN 2-yard line but were flagged for illegal procedure, when their TE moved early. As a result, the 2PAT was backed up to the TEN 7-yard line. The difference of 5 yards cost the Saints -4% in win probability, which is even more interesting when compared to what the earlier 4th down decision-making error cost them.
Notable NCAA Game of the Week
After another weekend of exciting college games, instead of highlighting just one game we want to hear from you guys. Send us a note here about a decision or play that you can’t stop thinking about. If we feature it in an article, we’ll send you some EdjVarsity swag.
Notable High School Games of the Week
Glenbard West Hilltoppers (IL) vs Hinsdale Central Red Devils (IL)
With 6:04 remaining in the game, the Hilltoppers faced a 4th and 1 at the Red Devil’s 14-yard line trailing 0-6. Coach Hetlet and the Hilltoppers decided to go-for-it, increasing the team’s (pre-snap) win probability by +18%.
Submit your play of the week here.