Tuesday, September 20, 2011
2011 Week 2: NFC West game changers
By Mike Sando
A weekly look at the most pivotal plays involving NFC West teams, these from Week 2:
NFC West teams accounted for six of the NFL's eight most pivotal plays this week, as defined by general win-probability estimates provided by Alok Pattani of ESPN's analytics team.
Four of the six worked against teams from the division.
I've broken out all six plays and ordered them in the chart below by greatest impact. The win-probability percentages reflect expectations based on how similar plays have impacted outcomes in similar situations. They do not reflect each team's exact percentage chance, but there's no question these were huge plays.
Each play is approached from the NFC West team's perspective. For example, history says the 49ers had about an 86.7 percent chance of beating Dallas until Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey made the tying 48-yard field goal as regulation ended. At that point, the 49ers' win probability fell by about 31.6 percentage points.