Week 3, Lions at Packers
4th-and-14, 12:37 remaining in 4th quarter, Down by 17
The Lions attempted a field goal on a 4th-and-14 on the Packers’ 32. It doesn’t matter to NYT 4th Down Bot.
If you disagree

To be honest, I've kind of checked out at this point. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Lions’ chances of winning are pretty slim no matter what they do. So why not go for it?

Here's the full breakdown of my calculations:

Option Chance of converting
Chance of winning
Before play
After play Change
Field goal try49 yard kick (est.) 57% 2% 2% -
Punt 2% 1% –1%
Go for it4th and 14, opp. 32 10% 2% 1% –1%
Behind my field goal number
What coaches usually do
Field goal try 59% of the time
Punt 21% of the time
Go for it 19% of the time
Based on about 1,431 fourth downs in similar situations since 2001.
What happened

Matt Prater 50 yard field goal attempt is GOOD. Matt Prater 50 yard field goal attempt is GOOD.

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!