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Matt Forte's Fumble Was The Most Damaging Play Of Week 5

With under fives minutes to play in a tie game, Chicago possessed the ball with an opportunity to control the clock and take the lead. But Matt Forte fumbled in what was the most detrimental play of the week. According to data from Brian Burke of Advanced Football Analytics the fumble lowered the Bears' Win Probability 34 percentage points.

Burke's Win Probability measures a variety of things, like time remaining, score, down, and distance. Forte's fumble was particularly costly given the score and time remaining in the game. The play lowered the Bears' Win Probability from 59 percent to 25 percent and led to Cam Newton's game-winning touchdown pass six plays later.


The Bears' previous possession also resulted in one of the most costly plays of the week as Jay Cutler's interception lowered their Win Probability 26 percentage points. The interception lowered the Bears' Win Probability from 80 percent to 54 percent and led to a Carolina field goal, which tied the game.

Although the Lions lost, Matthew Stafford's 55-yard pass to Golden Tate near the end of regulation was the most positive play of the week, raising the Lions' Win Probability 38 percentage points. The play boosted the Lions' Win Probability from 51 percent to 89 percent. But the Lions were unable to pick up another first down on the drive. And kicker Alex Henery missed the ensuing 50-yard field goal try, giving the Bills good field position. Bills kicker Dan Carpenter then connected from from 58 yards three plays later, which ended up being the game winner.

Below are the most and least helpful plays of the week.

Play Team WPA EPA Qtr Time Down Distance Yd Line
Matthew Stafford pass to Golden Tate for 55 yards DET 0.38 3.19 4 1:02 1 10 89
Dan Carpenter 58 yard field goal BUF 0.28 -2.39 4 0:09 2 10 40
Tony Romo pass to Dez Bryant for 37 yards DAL 0.28 3.21 OT 10:09 3 8 68
Brian Hoyer pass to Miles Austin 23 yards CLV 0.22 2.02 4 2:24 2 8 40
Peyton Manning pass to Demaryius Thomas for 86 yard touchdown DEN 0.22 6.26 2 1:48 1 10 86
Play Team WPA EPA Qtr Time Down Distance Yd Line
Matt Forte run for 5 yards, fumble, recovered by CAR-Kawaan Short at CHI 23 returned for no gain CHI -0.34 -4.20 4 4:29 1 10 80
Alex Henery 50 yard field goal is no good DET -0.31 -2.28 4 0:26 4 8 32
Dan Bailey 53 yard field goal is no good DAL -0.27 -3.30 4 0:03 1 10 35
Blake Bortles pass intercepted by PIT-Brice McCain at JAX 22, returned for 22 yard touchdown JAX -0.27 -5.79 4 11:40 2 12 85
Jay Cutler pass intercepted by CAR-Thomas DeCoud at CAR 33, returned for 35 yards CHI -0.26 -4.40 4 6:08 2 11 54

Photo: Scott Cunningham / Getty Images Sport

[Advanced Football Analytics]

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