Week 9, Packers at Panthers
4th-and-14, 5:05 remaining in 4th quarter, Down by 15
The Packers went for it on a 4th-and-14 on their 44. The NYT 4th Down bot stands with the coach, although punting would have been fine, too.
If you disagree

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 winning
Before play
After play Change
Punt 3% 3% -
Go for it4th and 14, own 44 10% 3% 2% –1%
Field goal try73 yard kick (est.) <1% 3% 2% –1%
What coaches usually do
Punt 90% of the time
Go for it 10% of the time
Field goal try -
Based on about 1,925 fourth downs in similar situations since 2001.
What happened

Aaron Rodgers pass to the middle to James Jones for 36 yards to the Car20. Tackled by Josh Norman.

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!