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EdjVarsity - Best and Worst Coaching Decisions - Week 18

Brought to you by our friends at EdjVarsity:

A wild Super Wildcard Weekend.

Best Decision – PIT vs CLE

With 3:01 remaining in the 3rd quarter and trailing the Browns by 19 points, the Steelers faced a 4th & Goal at the CLE 5-yard line. Coach Tomlin made the correct call by deciding to go for it. The decision increased the Steelers (pre-snap) win probability by +2%.

Our EdjSports Power Indexes (EPIs) had the Steelers offense at a disadvantage versus the CLE defense in the run-game (PIT #32 vs CLE #21) and the pass-game (PIT #30 vs CLE #23). Based on our EPIs and the game state, teams that go for it, go on to win the game 6% of the time and teams that attempt the FG, go on to win the game 4% of the time.

Despite facing longs odds of making a comeback, Coach Tomlin made the correct decision.

Worst Decision – TEN vs BAL

With 10:06 remaining in the 4TH quarter and trailing the Ravens by 4 points, the Titans faced a 4th and 2 at the BAL 40-yard line. And, in a call that will be talked about for a while, Coach Vrabel made an error by deciding to punt. The decision cost the Titans -14% in (pre-snap) win probability. This was a huge error - one of the biggest of the entire season!

Our EdjSports Power Indexes (EPIs) had this run-game match up as fairly even, with the Titans rush offense ranked as the league’s best (#1) versus the Ravens rush defense ranked above league average (#11). Based on our EPIs and the game state, teams that go for it, go on to win the game 37% of the time and teams that punt, go on to win the game 23% of the time.

Tough time to make an error like this.

Extra Point

EdjSports weekly column Risky Business by Frank Frigo: 4th Down Decisions Shape the Opening Weekend of the NFL Playoffs.

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Notable High School Calls of the Week

Highschool (13)

Austin Westlake Chaparrals (TX) vs. North Shore Mustangs (TX)

With 1:43 left in regulation and trailing 17-21, Coach Dodge and the Chaparrals faced a 4th and 1 at the Mustangs 1-yard line. By deciding to go for the TD, Coach Dodge increased the Chaparral’s (pre-snap) win probability by +42%. The Chaparrals would go on to win the Texas semifinal playoff game 24-21.

Crosby Cougars (TX) vs. Liberty Hill Panthers (TX)

Leading 42-34 with 4:16 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Coach Prieto and the Cougars faced a 4th and 6 at the Panthers 17-yard line. By deciding to go for it instead of attempting a FG, Coach Prieto increased the Cougar’s (pre-snap) win probability by +5%. The Cougars would go on to win an absolute barnburner 62-61 in OT.

Great calls Coaches!

Submit your play of the week here.

Bottom Line

Every decision matters and it’s important to make the ones that give your team 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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