Week 6, Texans at Jaguars
4th-and-6, 3:37 remaining in 4th quarter, Up by 11
The Texans punted on a 4th-and-6 on the Jaguars’ 36. It doesn’t matter to NYT 4th Down Bot.
If you disagree

Well, this is weird — it seems that the Texans’ chances of winning are about the same no matter what they do. I lean very slightly toward going for it, but I don’t have strong feelings here — just go with your gut, coach.

Here's the full breakdown of my calculations:

Option Chance of converting
Chance of winning
Before play
After play Change
Go for it4th and 6, opp. 36 39% 93% 93% -
Field goal try53 yard kick (est.) 47% 93% 93% -
Punt 93% 93% -
My decision in context

Along with some circuitry to come up with a win probability for every game situation, all you need to figure out what you should do next is an estimate of how likely you are to make a field goal or convert a first down.

My estimates for these are based on the results of thousands of similar plays, but you may think you're smarter than I am. This chart shows you how changing those estimates would change my recommendation.

What to do on 4th-and-6 on opp. 36
Up by 11 with 3:37 remaining in the 4th quarter
Behind my field goal number
What coaches usually do
Field goal try 61% of the time
Punt 28% of the time
Go for it 11% of the time
Based on about 856 fourth downs in similar situations since 2001.
What happened

Nick Novak punts for 36 yards to Jax0.

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!