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 the Bengals' favor yesterday by that formula?
They have the 11 yard completion from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green on third and 13 in the final two minutes of the game. This was the play that came right before Mike Nugent's game-winning 47 yard field goal. This play swung the odds dramatically. Before the play, the formula indicates the Bengals only had a 39.7% of winning the game. After the completion, that number skyrocketed to 93.3%.
What do I think?
I actually am going to agree with them, although I don't think the field goal was a 93.3% sure bet (and that doesn't even factor in how there are scenarios where the Jets could win the game even if the kick was made).
The only other consideration I had was the sequence where the Jets had 6 plays from the 11 or closer leading 7-0 in the first quarter. That was a huge sequence in the game. If the Jets had punched it in for another touchdown to go up 14-0, this game had the potential to snowball. How many times have you seen the opponent start to get that look realizing it might not be their day? The field goal Nick Folk had blocked after this sequence was another big play. While it would not have had the same emotional impact, an early 10-0 lead would have been important.
I am going to go with the completion to Green on Darrelle Revis, though. After all of their mistakes, the Jets were still in position to win the game. A stop there would have left the Bengals to either try a low percentage 58 yard field goal or try to convert a fourth and 13. The Jets probably win the game without that completion, which set up a makeable field goal try.