NFL GameChangers: Week 6 Edition (10/15/17)

By Ryan Fowler
In this edition of GameChangers, we will utilize our Live ScoreCaster technology to review the game-changing plays from Week 6 of the 2017 NFL season.

The Situation

With the Patriots leading the Jets 24 – 14 midway through the 4th quarter, Josh McCown swung a pass out to Austin Seferian-Jenkins who appeared to dive into the end zone until video review indicated a “fumble” out of the end zone negating the score.

The Take

This was ruled a fumble-touchback with the Jets losing points and possession in a 24-14 game:

The egregious ruling aside, if Seferian-Jenkins' touchdown was upheld, the Jets would have still trailed the Patriots 24-21. New York's win expectancy would have improved from 1.8% to 25.6% - not exactly a game-changer. However, after the touchback-turnover, the Jets forced a three-and-out with 6+ minutes remaining on the clock. If the Pats punt to the Jets with a 24-21 lead, 6:32 on the clock and New York starts a drive on their 35-yard-line, their win expectancy improved to 40 percent. The refs' fumble-touchback call definitely had a trickle-down impact on a day the Patriots appeared beatable.

The Situation

Leading 12-10 with less than 4 minutes remaining, the Steelers faced 3rd and 2 from midfield. Ben Roethlisberger threw into a tight window where Chiefs CB Phillip Gaines tipped the ball directly to Antonio Brown who ran it in for the 51-yard touchdown.

The Take

If Kansas City gets the stop on third down, they probably force Pittsburgh to punt. So, for the sake of argument, say Gaines knocked down the pass. It's 4th-and-2 on the Steelers 49-yard line and Pittsburgh punts. Kansas City's win expectancy improves from 1% (following the Brown TD) to 30%.

Another thing to consider when analyzing the game-changing tip drill is that Brown's touchdown was sandwiched between two scores by the Chiefs. Kansas City scored 10 of their 13 points in a four-minute span late in the fourth quarter. The Steelers defense was starting to show a little wear and tear in the game's final minutes.

The Situation

With less than 8 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter and immediately after an Oakland go-ahead touchdown, Raiders long snapper Jon Condo's special team's snap was high and kicker Giorgio Tavecchio missed the extra point – 16-10 Oakland.

The Take

The missed extra point caused Oakland's win expectancy to dip from 92.5% to 68.2%. As we know, the Chargers went on to kick a game-winning field goal as time expired to win 17-16.

What-if Tavecchio made the XP and it was 17-14 as the Chargers lined up to attempt the last-second field goal?

The Raiders win expectancy would be 56%.

If the game went to OT – tied at 17 – and Oakland received the kickoff, their win expectancy would dip to 53.4%. If the game went to OT and the Chargers received, the Raiders still owned a slight edge at 52%.

With Oakland struggling to score points – 13.3 during their four-game skid – every touchdown, field goal, safety and extra point matters.