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    GameChangers Week 9 (11/3/14)

    By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing

    To highlight the Live ScoreCaster, we will take our in-game technology, Live ScoreCaster, to the next level to review the game-changing plays from the NFL and what the game would have looked like if the plays had turned out differently.

    Click the header for each game to view the Game Breakdown for each matchup.

    Cardinals vs. Cowboys

    The Dallas Cowboys, without Tony Romo, dropped their second game in a row (both at home) following a six game winning streak. Arizona rallied from an early 10-0 deficit to win 28-17.

    The Cardinals' defense shined limiting DeMarco Murray to 79 yards on the ground ending the NFL rushing leader's record of eight straight 100-yard games. The biggest play of the game was a fourth down stop by Arizona. The Cardinals run defense stuffed Murray on 4th and 1 at the Arizona 34-yard line with less than ten minutes to play. The turnover on downs increased Arizona's expected win probability from 76 percent to 91 percent.

    Had Murray picked up the first down, Dallas trailing 14-10, the Cowboys odds of winning would have increased from 9 percent to 46 percent.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    Seahawks vs. Raiders

    Seattle led 24-3 at halftime; the Seahawks were 98 percent likely to win. Despite the dominating first half, Seattle had to survive an Oakland rally to win 30-24.

    Oakland attempted an onside kick with less than two minutes remaining trailing by less than a touchdown. Seattle misplayed the ball but the Raiders failed to recover the kick.

    Had Oakland recovered the onside kick, the Raiders would have only been 10 percent likely to avoid the team's 14th straight loss.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    49ers vs. Rams

    St. Louis upset San Francisco as 10 point underdogs. The Rams forced Colin Kaepernick to fumble on a quarterback sneak at the goal line on the second to last play of the game. Before the fumble the 49ers were 87 percent likely to win the game. Had Kaepernick merely been stopped short of the touchdown instead of fumbling, the game was almost certainly heading to overtime as the 49ers needed a short field goal to tie the game.

    San Francisco got the ball on the 2-yard line after consecutive penalties for pass interference and defensive holding gave the 49ers an extra 28 yards of field position.

    St. Louis was a long shot to complete the goal line stand. With less than a minute remaining the Rams were only 5 percent likely to win.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    Browns vs. Buccaneers

    The Browns beat the Buccaneers 22-17 Sunday afternoon. Cleveland is 5-3 at the midpoint in the season, the team's best record through eight games since 2007.

    Cleveland's special teams set up the game winning drive. Late in the fourth the Browns blocked a Tampa Bay punt attempt on the Buccaneers' 34-yard line. Cleveland's expected win probability increased by 24 percent.

    Two plays later Brian Hoyer found Taylor Gabriel for a 34-yard go-ahead score. Cleveland became 90 percent likely to win leading 22-17.

    Johnny Manziel enjoyed the game.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    Vikings vs. Redskins

    Minnesota trailed three different times during the game but was able to rally to defeat Washington 29-26.

    The Vikings defense harassed Robert Griffin III in his return to action after missing seven games with an ankle injury. Minnesota sacked Griffin five times. The cumulative effect of the sacks (putting Washington in unmanageable down and distances or ending the drives altogether) increased the Vikings' expected win probability by nearly 30 percent over the course of the game.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    Patriots vs. Broncos

    Tom Brady won the 16th chapter of the rivalry against Peyton Manning. The Patriots won 43-21 and New England now has the best record in the AFC.

    Denver led 7-3 after the first quarter and was 58 percent likely to win. New England scored the next 24 points and were 91 percent likely to win at halftime.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

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