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How it cost them and why it matters

The cost of blockchain and cryptocurrencies has been a major barrier for companies looking to integrate the technology. But as more people learn about its potential benefits, industry leaders are starting to see it differently.

The “why are the prices of everything going up 2021” is a question that has been asked since the beginning of time. The answer to why it cost them and why it matters, is because they are paying more for what they need.

According to ESPN’s win probability model, Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott missed two chances to go for two in the fourth quarter of the Bills’ 33-27 overtime defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

The choices were pricey. While going for two would not have certain victory, a different option after each score would have swung the odds in Buffalo’s favor and may have been the difference between a win and a defeat.

Let’s take a look at each of these judgments and explain why McDermott erred:


No. 1 decision

With 9:07 left, the Bills score a touchdown, putting them up 11 points (27-16)

This is virtually the same circumstance as the “down-eight-go-for-two” plan that many teams have started to use, only Buffalo needs an extra field goal.

The plan was for the Bills to score at least a touchdown and a field goal to have a chance to win the game regardless of the outcome. In this circumstance, a touchdown (and PAT) plus a field goal would have won them the game in regulation if they had gone for two and converted. They could have gone for two again on the second touchdown if the 2-point attempt had failed, and still been in position to tie with a field goal. The Bills would only lose in regulation if they failed twice.

Simply told, it is much more probable to convert once than to fail twice.

2 Related

The win probability surrendered looked little at the time: Buffalo’s likelihood of winning the game reduced from 6.6 percent to 5.8 percent by selecting for a PAT erroneously. The fact that the Bills were down large late in the game mutes that win probability differential. The difference would be significant if we knew they were going to score a touchdown and a field goal again — the only scenario that mattered and so should have been prepared for.

Here’s another way to demonstrate how obvious this decision was: According to our model, the Bills needed a 28 percent chance of converting to justify going for two. Buffalo’s likelihood of converting is assessed to be 48 percent based on league averages, their offense, and the Buccaneers’ defense. That’s a significant disparity, indicating that there’s no good reason to kick the PAT.

No. 2 Decision

With 4:53 left, the Bills score a touchdown, cutting their deficit to four points (27-23)

McDermott was presented with another 2-point dilemma after making the wrong call on the first touchdown.

Even with the knowledge that Buffalo would almost certainly get another chance to score, the win probability heavily favored going for two. Going for two gave the Bills a 25.4 percent probability of winning, while kicking the PAT gave them a 23.3 percent chance of winning. Because the break-even conversion rate was 33 percent, it should have been a simple decision to go for two.

Why? In a sense, I like to think of this as anticipating the outcome of overtime. Assume the Bills kick a PAT and then a field goal, like they did last season. This sends the game into overtime, where they have a slimmer-than-50-50 chance of winning. They would have made other decisions if they had known the overtime outcome ahead of time.



As the Bills attempt to make up to the Bucs on the scoreboard, Josh Allen finds a wide open Dawson Knox in the end zone.

Let’s pretend the Bills attempted a two-point conversion and failed, putting them down 27-23. They would have known to go for it on fourth down when they faced fourth-and-2 from the Tampa Bay 7-yard line with 22 seconds left because they would have needed a score.

If they had converted and were down 27-25, they would have realized that a field goal would win the game and would have kicked it.

Because a 2-point conversion is almost a coin flip, much like overtime, the Bills learning whether they needed a touchdown or a field goal to win with five minutes left practically cost them nothing and allowed them to maximize their options for the remainder of the game.

Should Josh Allen’s health have been taken into consideration?

No. After the game, Allen was hobbling and wearing a walking boot on his left leg, but that shouldn’t have been a factor. While the context of the matchup and health should be considered, these decisions were not made on the spur of the moment. An NFL team should not expect to convert a 2-point conversion fewer than 28 percent of the time under normal circumstances.

Instead of extending the disadvantage of playing with a banged-up quarterback and increasing the time he spent playing injured, Allen’s health was all the more motivation to attempt to determine the game in regulation rather than go for overtime.

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In 1980, the cost of living was high. The average worker made $8,000 a year while the median income was $10,000. For comparison, in 2018, that same worker would make $22,000 and the median income is $30,000. Reference: 1980 cost of living chart.

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