The Dreaded 6-Point Lead: A Costly Decision for the Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens chose to kick a field goal on 4th-and-4 to go up six and ultimately lost by a point. Was it the right call?

Up 30-27 with 2:27 left in the fourth quarter, the Baltimore Ravens faced a 4th-and-4 from the San Diego Chargers 13-yard line. Both teams had one timeout remaining, so a first down would mean the Chargers could get the ball back with 24 seconds left, assuming the Ravens did not score or convert a second new set of downs. With a field goal, the Ravens would be up only six points, meaning a touchdown would all but win the game for the Chargers.

Avid football analytics readers know that in some situations, being up four to six points is worse than being up three points. This is because opposing offenses are forced to be more aggressive, and as a result, more efficient by passing the ball, rather than settling for a long, game-tying field goal (a.k.a. The Jason Garrett).

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