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    GameChangers Week 5 (10/06/14)

    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.

    49ers vs. Chiefs

    Phil Dawson converted all five of his field goal attempts as San Francisco beat Kansas City 22-17. Dawson's 27-yard go-ahead field goal was setup by a trick play.

    Facing 4th and 1 from the Niners' 29-yard line early in the fourth, San Francisco used a fake punt, a direct snap to Craig Dahl for a 3-yard run, to keep the drive alive. The 49ers expected win probability increased from 54 percent to 64 percent.

    Does the positive result, converting the fake punt, validate the risk in attempting such a play?

    Had the Niners failed at picking up the first down, the Chiefs would have become 64 percent likely to win with the lead and a short field.

    The successful trick play increased San Francisco's odds of winning by 10 percent; failure would have decreased it by 20 percent. By the numbers, the risk was not worth the reward.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    Cowboys vs. Texans

    Dan Bailey booted a 49-yard field goal in overtime and the Cowboys beat the Texans 20-17. Dallas is 4-1 and has won four straight for the first time since 2011.

    The play that set up Bailey's winning kick was a desperation throw by Tony Romo off of his back foot on third down. Dez Bryant bailed out his quarterback with a leaping catch for a 37 yard gain. The big play increased the Cowboys' expected win probability from 53 percent to 94 percent.

    Had the pass been incomplete, assuming Dallas would have punted (net punting average 41.7 yards) facing a 4th and 8 from their own 32-yard line, Houston would have become 67 percent likely to win.

    The difference between Bryant catching and dropping the pass was worth 61 percent in expected win probability.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    Bills vs. Lions

    Buffalo completed a comeback win scoring 17 unanswered points to stun Detroit 17-14. Dan Carpenter kicked a 58-yard field goal with four seconds left to seal the victory.

    Carpenter's field goal came 17 seconds after Alex Henery missed his third attempt for the Lions. Had Henery's field goal been good, Detroit would have been leading 17-14 with 21 seconds remaining and the Lions would have been 82 percent likely to win. Instead, Buffalo's expected win probability jumped to 73 percent.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    Browns vs. Titans

    Cleveland overcame a 25 point deficit to defeat Tennessee 29-28. It was the largest come from behind win by a road team in NFL history. The Browns only had a 5 percent chance of winning the game trailing by more than three touchdowns in the second quarter.

    The rally was not without controversy. Tennessee turned the ball over on downs with 3:03 to play. The Titans tried to pick up fourth and less than a yard using a quarterback sneak, a play that is successful 85 percent of the time, but failed. The turnover increased Cleveland's odds of winning from 7 percent to 23 percent.

    Had the Titans picked up the fourth down, Tennessee would have become 98 percent likely to win.

    Had the Titans punted (Tennessee's net punting average is 40.9 yards) and assuming Cleveland starts with the ball on their own 20 yard line, Tennessee would have been 90 percent likely to win. ­

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

    Saints vs. Buccaneers

    Khiry Robinson scampered for an 18-yard touchdown to give New Orleans a 37-31 win in overtime.

    Holy lead-change Batman!
    • The Saints led 13-0 in the second quarter and were 93 percent likely to win.
    • Tampa Bay scored 24 unanswered points and were 69 percent likely to win.
    • The Buccaneers had a double-digit lead in the fourth and were 87 percent likely to win.
    • After forcing overtime, the Saints became 61 percent likely to win getting possession at the start of extra time.

    For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.
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