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Jets-Buccaneers: What Was the Most Important Play of the Game?

NFL: New York Jets at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

What was the most important play of last Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

What does Pro Football Reference think?

Pro Football Reference has a formula to determine a team’s chances of victory at any point in the game. Which single play changed the odds in Tampa Bay’s favor the most?

They go with Bilal Powell’s fumble near midfield late in the third quarter of the game. The Bucs took advantage of the turnover to kick a field goal on the ensuing drive extending their lead from 6-3 to 9-3. Tampa Bay’s chances of winning improved from 63.8% to 76.9%, an increase of 13.1%.

What do I think?

This is difficult because it was not a game that turned on one specific play.

If I had to go with one, I’d probably take Charles Sims’ 21 yard on third and 15 early in the fourth quarter. It extended a drive that turned into a Tampa Bay touchdown to take a two score lead. Had the Jets gotten a stop there, they likely would have gotten the ball back in the fourth quarter down 6. The Bucs also converted a third down earlier in the drive on a Darryl Roberts penalty, but penalties happen. Big runs on third and 15 can’t.

What do you think?