My quick thoughts on the 4th down bot



If there was any doubt that so-called nerds are starting to take over the sports world, look no further than the New York Times 4th-down bot, a collaboration with Brian Burke of, which features minute-by-minute analysis of NFL coaches’ fourth-down decisions.

At each fourth-down in an NFL game, the Bot will spit out which choice – punting, kicking a field goal, or going for it – is optimal, based on either maximizing that team’s expected point total or its chances of winning the game. It’s a pretty neat website, and I took a few days to explore the Bot before coming up with the following thoughts.

What I like

  • For starters, its a great idea, and the website setup is outstanding and easy to navigate.
  • I like how when you click on each decision, the Bot explains win probabilities, or expected points, in relatively straight-forward fashion. For example…

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Posted on December 4, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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