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Jets vs. Patriots: What Was the Most Important Play of the Game?

New York Jets v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

What was the most important play of the Jets’ loss to New England on Saturday?

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 the Patriots' favor Saturday by that formula?

This game was such a mismatch that it is difficult to find just one play. The formula already had New England’s odds at 89.2% when the game kicked off. Those were the lowest odds of the day.

For the sake of the formula, Khiry Robinson’s fumble, which was recovered by New England with the Pats already ahead 10-0 took the Pats from 96.8% to 98.8%. They were never below 99% for the entire second half.

What do I think?

It is difficult for one play to stand out in such a thorough domination.

I think I’d have to go with the last play on the drive after the Robinson fumble. The Pats kicked a field goal to go up 13-0. The Jets then put together a quality drive that took them to the New England 16. On third and 6, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an incompletion intended for Austin Sefarian-Jenkins. If the Jets had scored a touchdown on that series, it would have cut the lead to 6 and perhaps stabilized the game. Instead they had to settle for a field goal attempt that Nick Folk missed. It was the last play where it felt like the Jets had a legitimate chance of getting back into the game so that’s my pick.

What do you think?