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Thanksgiving Nightcap: Bengals at Jets

If you are looking for an exciting game to roust you from your tryptophan induced lethargy, you are in luck.  Sure, a matchup between the 2-8 Bengals and the 8-2 Jets, in New York, would appear to be a snoozer.  The Jets, though, have had a habit of making every game exciting.  Unfortunately, you’ll have to listen to Joe Theismann and Matt Millen tonight, though the NFL Network will be re-airing the game on Saturday without game commentary and all sound provided by coaches and players. 

The Bengals became the first team to have a lead of 17 or more at halftime but manage to lose by at least 17, as they were outscored by 35 in the second half against Buffalo at home.  Meanwhile, the Jets have been full of comebacks.  How crazy have some of them been?  I decided to use Advanced NFL Stats Game Win Probability Charts to find the lowest point in the second half of each of the Jets’ eight victories, to see how improbable some of their victories have been.  The Game Win Probabilities are based on historical data, for teams with similar score margin, down, distance, field position and time remaining situations.   These aren’t team specific, so your chances are better if you are the better team, and if the opponent has a pass defense, but they still give us a decent estimate.  Here are the points in the second half of each victory where the chances of winning were at their lowest:

Week 2 versus New England:  When Tom Brady completed a third down pass to Wes Welker early in the third quarter to move into Jets’ territory with the Patriots already holding a 14-10 lead, the Jets had a 26% chance of winning.  Cromartie ultimately intercepted Brady on a deep pass to stop that drive, and the Jets never allowed another point.

Week 3 at Miami:  Chad Henne threw an 11 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall to give Miami a 17-14 lead halfway through the third.   The Jets had a 38% chance of winning the game at that point.

Week 4 at Buffalo:  The Jets never dropped below a 77% chance of winning in the second half, which was early in the third up 17-7.

Week 5 vs Minnesota:  Even though this was a close game, the Jets never fell below a 60% chance of winning because they never trailed.  The lowest point was after an incomplete pass on third down with 9:44 remaining, leading 15-13. 

Week 6 at Denver: Facing a 4th and 6 at midfield with a minute and a half left down 3, the Jets only had a 7% chance of winning.

Week 9 at Detroit:  The Jets had only a 4% chance of winning after failing on third down with 7 minutes left, already down 20-10.

Week 10 at Cleveland:  The Jets held the lead most of this game, and then in overtime had good field position, so even late, they were more of a favorite to score than the Browns.  The lowest point was a 32% chance to win after Peyton Hillis had a carry that put the Browns in Jet’s territory early in overtime.

Week 11 vs. Houston: When they got the ball for the final drive, the Jets had an 11% chance of winning.

[photo via Getty]

 

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