Week 1, Panthers at Jaguars
4th-and-15, 0:13 remaining in 4th quarter, Down by 11
The Jaguars went for it on a 4th-and-15 on their 40. The NYT 4th Down Bot abides.

In this situation, the numbers are pretty clear: For the Jaguars to have any chance of winning, they have to go for it. A decision so easy, a human could make it.

Here's the full breakdown of my calculations:

Option Chance of converting
Chance of winning
Before play
After play Change
Go for it4th and 15, own 40 10% <1% 1% +1%
Punt <1% <1% -
Field goal tryA really, really long kick <1% <1% <1% -
What coaches usually do

Based on about 1,925 fourth downs in similar situations since 2001.

What happened

Blake Bortles pass to the left to Bryan Walters for 4 yards to the Jax44. Tackled by Bene Benwikere.

Where did these numbers come from?

To estimate a team’s chances of winning, I use a mathematical model that accounts for a whole lot of variables — including the difference in score, the time remaining in the game, and the number of timeouts each team has left. On top of that, I have models for the likelihood that a team makes a field goal and the likelihood that it will convert a first down.

By combining all of this information, I can come up with the best decision a team can make, according to math.

If you want even more details about the numbers behind my decisions, my full model is available on GitHub. Help make me better!