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    GameChangers Week 12 (11/30/15)

    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.

    The Play

    Seahawks vs. Steelers



    Pittsburgh is one of the most aggressive teams in the NFL. The Steelers have attempted the most two point conversions (converted one in the second quarter against Seattle) in the league, but Mike Tomlin got conservative at the worst moment. Trailing 32-27 with under four minutes to play the Steelers opted to kick a field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-goal from the three yard line. The successful field goal only increased Pittsburgh's expected win probability from 31 percent to 33 percent.

    There are a lot of good reasons to think that Pittsburgh would have been successful if they had gone for it on fourth down. For starters, the team has converted over 70 percent of their two point attempts (similar distance from where the fourth down would occur) and Ben Roethlisberger was shredding the Legion of Boom – he threw for 456 yards Sunday afternoon. Had the Steelers gone for it on fourth down and scored a touchdown, leading 34-32, Pittsburgh would have become 60 percent likely to win.

    If the Seahawks would have stopped the Steelers on fourth down, Pittsburgh's expected win probability decreases to 15 percent. The down side of failing is a potential decrease of 18 percent in expected win probability, the upside is a gain of 27 percent. Tomlin made the wrong decision, the Steelers should have been more aggressive.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    The Decision

    Raiders vs. Titans



    Oakland got the best of Tennessee Sunday afternoon winning 24-21. The Raiders got some help from the Titans who were penalized 11 times for 94 yards including a questionable defensive holding call.


    The Raiders were trailing 21-17 with less than two minutes to play and game appeared to be over when a fourth down pass was broken up by Michael Griffin in the end zone. However, officials flagged B.W. Webb for holding on the other side of the field away from the play. The penalty gave Oakland a new set of downs and made the Raiders 50.2 percent likely to win. The flag was worth 40.3 percent in net win probability.

    Had the penalty not been called, Tennessee would have been 97 percent likely to win.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    Additional Highlights

    The Houston Texans have won four games in a row for the first time since 2012. Brian Hoyer led the way completing 21-of-27 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. The Texans quarterback was worth 24 percent in to the team's net win percentage.

    Alex Smith threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns leading Kansas City to a 30-22 win over Buffalo. The Chiefs signal caller improved KC's win probability by 53.4 percent.

    Matt Hasselbeck improves to 4-0 on the season as Indy beats Tampa Bay 25-12. The 40 year old quarterback threw for 315 yards and two scores. Hasselbeck's expected win probability added was 33.8 percent.

    Cincinnati's defense came to play against St. Louis. The Bengals forced three interceptions and returned one pick for a touchdown. The turnovers increased Cincy's expected win probability by 15 percent.

    The NFC East is a mess. The Redskins are in first place after a 20-14 win over the New York Giants. Washington got DeSean Jackson going early. Kirk Cousins found Jackson for a 63-yard touchdown. The big play increased the Redskins' expected win probability by 13 percent.

    The Chargers ended a six game losing streak by beating Jacksonville 31-25. Philip Rivers threw for four touchdown passes and was worth 80 percent in net win probability.

    Chicago's defense came up big to deliver a 17-13 win in Green Bay. The Packers were 85 percent likely to win with the ball inside the 10 yard line with less than a minute to play. The Bears completed a goal line stand to preserve the win.

    Is there a quarterback controversy brewing in Denver? Brock Osweiler rallied the Broncos from a two touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter (one percent chance to win) to beat New England 30-24 in overtime. Of the top ten plays that impacted the change in win percentage in the game, Osweiler was involved in seven of them.
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