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EdjVarsity - Best and Worst Coaching Decisions and Execution (Week 6)

Brought to you by our friends at EdjVarsity:

For this week’s Best and Worst we’ll focus on some late game decisions by HOU and player execution in GB...

BEST Decision - HOU @ TEN

With 1:53 remaining in the 4TH quarter and leading the Titans by 1 point, the Texans faced a 4th and Goal at the TEN 1-yard line. Coach Crennel made the correct call by deciding to go for it. The decision increased the Texans (pre-snap) win probability by +8%.

Heading into the game our EdjSports Power Indexes (EPIs) had the Texans as a slight underdog in this game. For the HOU offense vs TEN defense match up, it was a fairly even match-up: in the pass-game it was HOU (#14) vs TEN (#14) and in the run-game it was HOU (#19) vs TEN (#16). For the TEN offense vs HOU defense match up, the Titans had a slight advantage: in the pass-game it was TEN (#5) vs HOU (#19) and in the run-game it was TEN (#14) vs HOU (#24).

Based on our EPIs and the game state, teams that go for it, go on to win the game 77% of the time and teams that attempt a FG, go on to win the game 69% of the time.

Great call Coach Crennel!

NOTABLE Decision - HOU @ TEN

After successfully converting on 4th and 1 and scoring a TD, the Texans took a 7-point lead and faced a very interesting PAT decision. Based on our EPIs and the game state, at the time of decision (before the PAT attempt) if HOU decides to attempt a 1-PAT they are expected to go on to win the game 91.5% of the time, and if they decide to attempt a 2-PAT they are expected to go on to win the game 90.4% of the time.

Now, let’s take a look at the win probabilities associated with the three most likely play outcomes:

Scenario-4

Based on the numbers above the “Risk” is 7.6% (92.0%-84.4%), the “Reward” is 6.1% (98.1%-92.0%), and the required success rate is 55.5%, calculated as 7.6% / (7.6% + 6.1%).

In other words, if Coach Crennel believed his team would convert the 2-PAT at least 55.5% of the time, then he made the correct decision. We think Coach Crennel made an error on this PAT decision.

WORST Execution - GB @ TB

This week we’ll take a look at player execution as opposed to a coaching decision making, specifically the cost of some very uncharacteristic INTs thrown by the Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.

With 12:50 remaining in the 2nd quarter, the Packers were ahead of the Bucs by 10 points and faced a 3rd and 10 from their own 22-yard line. On this play QB Rodgers threw an interception that was returned for a TD. That pick-six cost GB -17% in win probability.

On the Packers very next possession, with 11:17 remaining in the 2nd quarter and now ahead by only 3 points, facing a 3rd and 3 from the GB 32-yard line, QB Rodgers threw another INT that was returned to the GB 2-yard line. That pick cost GB -19% in win probability.

In other words, in just over a minute and a half of action, these two INTs cost the Packers -36% in win probability - before the first INT the Packers win probability was at 72% and after the second INT the Packers win probability was at 36%. Not an easy loss to bounce back from, especially when Tom Brady is the opposing team’s QB.

Notable High School Calls of the Week

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Brookfield Central Lancers (WI) vs. Brookfield East Spartans (WI)

With 6:39 remaining in the 1st quarter, tied 0-0, Brookfield Central faced a 4th and 2 at the Brookfield East 12-yard line. Lancers Coach Joel Nellis made the correct call by deciding to go for it instead of kicking the go-ahead FG, increasing his team’s (pre-snap) win probability by +4%.

Brebeuf Jesuit Prep Braves (IN) vs. Bishop Chatard Trojans (IN)

With 10:43 remaining in the 3rd quarter and trailing the Trojans 7-13, the Braves were facing a 4th and 5 on the Trojans 31-yard line. By electing to go for the first down instead of kicking a field goal, Coach Roessler increased the Braves (pre-snap) win probability by +5%.

Great calls Coaches!

Submit your play of the week here

Bottom Line

Analytics can be used to evaluate decisions in terms of play calling and player execution, in all facets of the game (ie. offense, defense, and special teams). Every decision matters and it’s important for coaches and players to make the ones that give their team’s the best chance to win the game.

For more information about how coaches are using analytics to make better decisions, visit EdjVarsity.

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