To be honest, I've kind of checked out at this point. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Texans’ chances of winning are pretty slim no matter what they do. So why not go for it?
Here's the full breakdown of my calculations:
|Option||Chance of converting||
Chance of winningBefore play
|Go for it4th and 13, own 29||18%||1%||1%||-|
|Field goal tryA really, really long kick||<1%||1%||<1%||-|
|Punt||97% of the time|
|Go for it||3% of the time|
|Field goal try||-|
Shane Lechler punts for 57 yards to KC14.
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!