Week 15, Chiefs at Ravens
4th-and-2, 1:50 remaining in 4th quarter, Up by 20
The Chiefs punted on a 4th-and-2 on their 28. It doesn’t matter to NYT 4th Down Bot.
If you disagree

To be honest, I've kind of checked out at this point. The Chiefs’ chances of winning are pretty high no matter what they do. Given that, playing conservatively and punting isn't a bad idea.

Here's the full breakdown of my calculations:

Option Chance of converting
Chance of winning
Before play
After play Change
Go for it4th and 2, own 28 53% 99% 99% -
Punt 99% 99% -
Field goal tryA really, really long kick <1% 99% 98% –1%
What coaches usually do

Based on about 1,026 fourth downs in similar situations since 2001.

What happened

Dustin Colquitt punts for 51 yards to Bal21. Dustin Colquitt punts for 51 yards to Bal21.

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!