GameChangers, a look at plays that impacted the outcomes of games around the league. If you have a suggestion for a GameChanger please direct all ideas via twitter to @johnewing.
To highlight the Live ScoreCaster, we will take our in-game technology, Live ScoreCaster
, to the next level to review three of the game-changing plays from the NFL and what the game would have looked like if the plays had turned out differently.
Broncos vs. Colts
4th quarter turnovers ended the Broncos’ comeback bid against the Colts. How much did the interception and the fumble hurt the cause?
Trailing by as much as 19 points in the 4th quarter, Denver had cut the Colts’ lead to six points and forced Indianapolis to punt with seven minutes remaining in the game. On the ensuing play Manning’s arm is hit causing his pass to be intercepted. The Broncos odds of winning went from 21.1% to 5.9%.
With 3:12 left in the 4th quarter, Denver trailing by 9 points, Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman lost a fumble inside the Colts 5-yard line. Denver’s odds of winning went from 29.1% to 6.5%
Jets vs. Patriots
The Jets missed a 56-yard field goal attempt in overtime that would have given the Patriots excellent field position but New York was saved by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Patriots’ Chris Jones was called for pushing his teammate into the formation of the opponent, a penalty that has never been called before in the NFL. Prior to the field goal attempt the Jets were 51.0% likely to win. Following the penalty on the Patriots, New York’s chances of winning increased to 90.2%.
Had the penalty not been called and following the missed field goal (with excellent field position), the Patriots would have been 72.0% likely to win.
It could have ended in regulation
Gronkowski almost made a one-handed grab with 0:30 left in the 4th quarter. After the drop the Jets were 53.2% likely to win. Had Gronk made the spectacular catch for a Patriots first down (approximately on the 16-yard line), New England would have been 60.1% likely to win.
Buccaneers vs. Falcons
Tampa Bay was trailing by 11 points with two minutes left in the 4th quarter (only 1.7% likely to win), Greg Schiano opts to kick a field goal on 4th and 6 from the Falcons’ 17-yard line. The successful field goal lowered the Buccaneers’ expected win percentage to 1.3%. Should Schiano have gone for it? Yes, successfully converting the 4th down would have increased Tampa Bay’s chances of winning to 6.2%. There was virtually no downside to going for it as kicking the field goal essentially ended the game.