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

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Indianapolis Colts v New York Jets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

What was the most important play of Monday’s loss to the Colts?

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 Colts' favor Monday by that formula?

In such a thorough domination from the start, there weren’t many plays that caused a huge swing. The Colts had high odds of winning the game from early in the first quarter on. The play PFR’s formula said swung the percentages by the greatest amount, however, was Andrew Luck’s 34 yard completion to TY Hilton with the Colts up 7-0. It came a play before his 21 yard touchdown to Dwayne Allen to put the Colts up 14-0. This moved the Colts from 72.5% favorites to 79.1%, a small difference of 6.6%

What do I think?

Again, it’s tough to say. This wasn’t the type of game where one play swung things. If I had to choose one, I’d go with a play early in the second quarter. The Jets were down 14-0 but had moved the ball to the Indianapolis 8 yard line. Ryan Fitzpatrick put up a pass for Austin Sefarian-Jenkins. Sefarian-Jenkins had a good chance to win a jump ball in the end zone but mistimed his jump. A better job by the tight end would have resulted in a touchdown.

Would it have led the Jets to a win? Probably not, but at least it would have cut the Colts’ lead to 7, given the Jets momentum, and conceivably changed the complexion of the game. It was one of the few legitimate opportunities the Jets had to make it a game.

What do you think?