Week 3, 49ers at Seahawks
4th-and-4, 11:20 remaining in 3rd quarter, Down by 21
The 49ers punted on a 4th-and-4 on their 47. 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 49ers’ 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
Go for it4th and 4, own 47 51% <1% 1% -
Punt <1% <1% -
Field goal try70 yard kick (est.) <1% <1% <1% -
What coaches usually do
Punt 85% of the time
Go for it 15% of the time
Field goal try -
Based on about 1,229 fourth downs in similar situations since 2001.
What happened

Bradley Pinion punts for 41 yards to Sea12. Bradley Pinion punts for 41 yards to Sea12.

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!