2011 NFC West game changers: Week 10


No NFL play from Week 10 affected win probability more than the one the Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Rams are still trying to figure out.

The Browns' botched/missed/blocked field-goal try from 22 yards was the fifth-shorted miss in the final three minutes of a game since 1983. But it might not have been a miss at all. The Rams are convinced defensive end James Hall blocked it. They have sought a scoring change.

Whatever the case, the Browns' missed chance with the Rams holding a 13-12 lead increased St. Louis' win probability from 33.6 percent to 70.9 percent, according to Aloko Pattani of ESPN's analytics team. The 37.3-point swing was the largest for any play from Week 10. It tops our weekly list of pivotal plays from games involving NFC West teams. All five plays helped NFC West teams win, and all four division teams won in the same week for the first time since divisional realignment in 2002.

Clutch pass completions by Arizona's John Skelton filled three of the top-five spots this week, led by his 37-yarder to Larry Fitzgerald on a third-and-10 play with 2:55 left in the fourth quarter and the Cardinals trailing Philadelphia, 17-14. Skelton's 5-yard scoring pass to Early Doucet later in the drive ranked third on the list.

Fitzgerald's 37-yard reception and two for touchdowns helped him earn NFC honors as offensive player of the week. He's averaging 17.6 yards per reception, a five-yard gain over last season and higher than his single-season best of 14.9, set in 2008.

Two of the five plays listed in the chart involved special teams, including David Nixon's forced fumble and Ben Leber's recovery for the Rams during a Josh Cribbs punt return for Cleveland with 10:53 left in the game.

2011 NFC West Game Changers: Week 10