I lean slightly towards punting, but I don’t have strong feelings here – my numbers tell me that either punting or going for it could be the best play. Specifically, going for it would be the right call if you think the Packers’ chances of converting on fourth down are greater than 32 percent. (Based on my analysis, I’d give the Packers a 10 percent chance to get a first down here.)
Here's the full breakdown of my calculations:
|Option||Chance of converting||
Chance of winningBefore play
|Go for it4th and 14, own 44||10%||3%||2%||–1%|
|Field goal try73 yard kick (est.)||<1%||3%||2%||–1%|
|Punt||90% of the time|
|Go for it||10% of the time|
|Field goal try||-|
Aaron Rodgers pass to the middle to James Jones for 36 yards to the Car20. Tackled by Josh Norman.
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!