What was the most important play of yesterday's game?
What does Pro Football Reference's win probability think?
Pro Football Reference has a win probability formula that estimates a team's chances of winning based on factors like score, time, and down. Which play swung the game the most in Houston's favor yesterday by that formula?
They have DeAndre Hopkins' 61 yard touchdown against Darrelle Revis that gave the Texans a 10-3 lead. It swung the percentages in Houston's direction by 17.4%. Before that play, the Texans had a 49.4% shot of winning. After it, they had a 66.8% shot of winning. So according to this formula, that one play took the game from a coin toss to Houston having a two out of three chance.
What do I think?
I would go with the trick play that resulted in Cecil Shorts' 21 yard touchdown pass to Alfred Blue. It put the Texans up 17-10, a lead they would never relinquish.
It wasn't just about the Texans taking the lead. It was the way it shifted control of the game. The Jets had just driven for the tying touchdown. This was a chance for the defense to make that score stand up. Instead, the Texans drove it right down the field and answered. The Jets had a real shot to take all of the momentum, and that drive took it away, capped by the big scoring play.