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

New York Jets v Oakland Raiders Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

What was the most important play of yesterday’s loss to the Oakland Raiders?

What does Pro Football Reference think?

Pro Football Reference has a formula that estimate’s a team’s chances of winning at any given point in the game. The Raiders were never below 80% at any point in yesterday’s game.

The single play that swung the formula the most, however, was Kalif Raymond’s muffed punt in the second quarter. The Jets were getting the ball back near the end of the first half down 14-10 with a chance to score and take a halftime lead. The fumble allowed the Raiders to punch in a touchdown and go to the locker room with an 11 point lead instead.

This play swung the Raiders’ chances of victory by 11.4% from 85% to 96.4%. The Raiders never fell below 94% the rest of the way.

What do I think?

Yesterday I wrote that I thought Raymond’s turnover was the biggest play of the game. After sleeping on it, however, I changed my mind. Yes, the turnover did stall momentum the Jets had at the time, but they responded with a 14 play scoring drive to start the second half. Chandler Catanzaro kicked a field goal to get the Jets back to within 8.

They had weathered the storm and were very much in the game in the third quarter. Then on the following drive, Cordarrelle Patterson had a 43 yard run for a touchdown on a third and 1 play. The game was never within one score again.

Patterson’s touchdown left the Jets chasing the game. They had started to establish the run early in the second half, but they had to abandon that strategy in catch up mode in the second half. If the Jets had gotten a stop, the rest of the game may have played out differently.

What do you think?