Each week coaches are faced with real-time critical calls. By evaluating how teams manage their win probability, we can learn how to optimize future decisions and give your team the best chance to win the game.
Let’s a take a look at one of the best and worst decisions in the NFL this week.
BEST DECISION – HOU vs KC
The Texans faced a 4th and 1 decision at the Chiefs’ 21-yard line while trailing 17-9 with 4:46 left in the second quarter. This early in the game, conventional wisdom may tell you that you have plenty of time left in the game to “make up the points”, so it’s best to punt in this situation. However, Bill O’Brien made the right decision. With a beginning Game-Winning Chance (GWC) or win probability of 27.7% pre-snap, the Texans gained 4.2% GWC by going for it. After this successful fourth down conversion, they went on to score a touchdown and close their deficient to one point.
WORST DECISION – SEA vs CLE
Now let’s take a look at one of the worst decisions this week. Trailing 20-9 against the Browns, the Seattle Seahawks were facing a 4th and 2 at the Cleveland 2-yard line with 7:27 remaining in the second quarter. By electing to kick a field goal vs. going for the touchdown, they left 5.5% win probability on the field.
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Images via USA Today Sports.