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    GameChangers Week 9 (11/09/15)

    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

    Broncos vs. Colts



    Denver is no longer perfect and the Broncos have Peyton Manning to blame. Trailing 27-24 with six minutes to play, Manning threw his second interception of the game. The Colts Darius Butler picked off Peyton's pass, it was the last offensive play of the game for Denver.



    The interception increased Indy's expected win probability by 22 percent, making Peyton's old team 75 percent likely to win. Had the pass fallen incomplete, Denver would have had a 45 percent chance to win.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    The Decision

    Patriots vs. Redskins



    Surprise onside kicks are great because they work more often than not. Already leading Washington 7-0 early in the first quarter, Bill Belichick kept his foot on the pedal. On the ensuing kickoff, New England stole an extra possession by recovering an onside kick. The Patriots never looked back cruising to a comfortable 27-10 win.




    The onside kick increased the Pats' expected win probability by five percent. That isn't much until you put it in context. New England started the game 83 percent likely to win as two touchdown favorites. The special teams play was the biggest swing in expected win probability in the game. It accounted for nearly a third of the remaining win probability that New England needed for the victory.

    Had the Patriots just kicked the ball away, Washington would have had a 20 percent chance to win.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    Additional Highlights

    Cam Newton for MVP! The Panthers quarterback threw for 297 yards, three touchdowns and rushed for another score in a 37-29 win over the Packers. Newton increased Carolina's net win percentage by 23 percent – the highest of any player in the game.

    The Vikings lost Teddy Bridgewater but defeated St. Louis 21-18 in overtime. The victory was set up by a 24-yard punt return by Marcus Sherels after Minnesota forced a three-and-out by the Rams on the first possession in the extra session. The big special teams play gave the Vikings the ball in St. Louis territory and increased Minnesota's expected win probability by 22 percent.

    Landry Jones found Antonio Brown for a 57-yard gain with less than a minute left that gave the Steelers a first down at the Oakland 15-yard line in a tie game. The catch-and-run set up the game-winning field goal an increased Pittsburgh's expected win probability by 40 percent.

    Tennessee beat New Orleans 34-28 in overtime Sunday afternoon. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for 371 yards and four touchdowns, including a jump ball that somehow went the distance. The 61-yard score increased Tennessee's expected win probability by 14 percent.

    Blaine freaking-Gabbert led the 49ers to a 17-16 upset of the Atlanta Falcons Sunday afternoon. Gabbert threw two touchdowns and scrambled five yards for a first down on a naked bootleg to seal the game with less than two minutes to play.

    Sam Bradford connected with Jordan Matthews for a 41-yard touchdown in overtime to beat the Cowboys 33-27 Sunday night. One play before, running back Ryan Mathews picked up a key first down on 4th-and-1 from the Dallas 43-yard line. At the end of Mathews' run he fumbled but replays showed his knee was down. The first down increased the Eagles chance of winning by 32 percent.


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