In this situation, the numbers are pretty clear: For the Eagles to have any chance of winning, they have to go for it. A decision so easy, a human could make it.
Here's the full breakdown of my calculations:
|Option||Chance of converting||
Chance of winningBefore play
|Go for it4th and 5, opp. 26||43%||1%||3%||+2%|
|Field goal try43 yard kick (est.)||75%||1%||<1%||–1%|
Based on about 889 fourth downs in similar situations since 2001.
Sam Bradford incomplete pass to the middle. Sam Bradford incomplete pass to the middle.
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!