Math: Punting on 4th and 1 Was a Terrible Decision

I said in the quick recap last night that Jeff Fisher was giving up when he decided to punt on the 4th and 1 with 4:41 left in the game last night.  Well here is some math from Advanced NFL Stats to further prove why it was a bad decision:

A successful conversion would give the Titans a 1st and 10 on at least their 35, giving them a 0.23 *WP. A failed attempt drops their chances to a 0.06 WP. Conversion attempts with 1 yard to go are successful 74% of the time, making the total WP for going for it:

0.74 * 0.23 + (1-0.74) * 0.06 = 0.19 WP

Punting would typically give the Colts the ball at their own 31, worth 0.13 WP for the Titans. That means the decision to punt cost the Titans 0.06 WP. That might seem small in the overall scheme of an entire game, but another way to look at it is it cut the Titans' chances by a third.

*WP= win probability

I also can't understand why people are saying that it was a good decision because if Chris Hope gets Pierre Garcon on the ground the decision worked.  Why would anyone expect that the Titans defense would tackle?  While they were better last night than last week when someone told them it was two-hand touch, I still wouldn't say they tackled well overall in the game. 

I haven't figured out yet how much the odds of winning are decreased by having Justin Gage and Nate Washington on the field instead of Randy Moss, but I feel safe in saying they were decreased exponentially.

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