2011 Week 4: NFC West game changers

October, 4, 2011
10/04/11
6:45
PM ET
Go ahead and take Justin Smith's hustle play to force a game-saving fumble in Week 4 as evidence the San Francisco 49ers are going all-out for new coach Jim Harbaugh.

Just understand that Smith, nicknamed "Cowboy" and referred to as "a John Wayne kind of guy around our building" by Harbaugh himself, has been playing that way for a long time.

Smith's hustling play to track down Philadelphia Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin and force him to fumble proved pivotal during the 49ers' 24-23 victory Sunday.

That play headlines our weekly list from ESPN Stats & Information singling out the five plays with the greatest impact on win probability. Four of the five most pivotal plays from Week 4 involved NFC West teams. Those and one other -- James Laurinaitis' interception for the St. Louis Rams -- appear in the chart.

Note: These calculations, provided by Alok Pattani of ESPN's analytics team, reflect results from thousands of game situations. They aren't perfect in part because coaches approach specific situations differently, particularly in close games, but the general idea is sound.

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