Did a replay reversal save the Redskins season?

Did a replay reversal save the Redskins season?
December 12, 2012, 7:30 am
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Thanks to beating some long odds, the Redskins improved their odds of making the postseason.

When referee John Parry reversed the call of a Baltimore recovery on Niles Paul’s fumble of a kickoff with 4:47 to go, the Redskins chances of winning the game went from almost impossible to very difficult. Had the original ruling that David Reed recovered the fumble inbounds at the 15 stood, the Redskins would only have had a three percent chance of winning the game, according to the Win Probability Calculator on Advanced NFL Stats,

As it was, replay revealed that Reed did not have control of the ball until he was out of bounds and the Redskins were awarded possession at their own 15. Still, the odds were against them. When Robert Griffin III and company took the field they had just a nine percent chance of winning the game at that point. But that 300 percent improvement in their win probability was one of their biggest single swings of the season.

Fast forward to 45 seconds left to go. That is when Griffin left the game for good and Kirk Cousins came in facing second and 20 at the Ravens’ 26. At that point, the Redskins’ chances of winning had gone down to six percent.

The Redskins, of course, got the TD, the two-pointer, and the Kai Forbath field goal to win it in overtime. Due to other game results, however, the win did not give the Redskins’ playoff chances a huge boost. According to NFL-Forecast.com, Washington had a 43 percent chance of making the playoffs on Sunday morning. As of now they have a 47 percent chance of extending their season.

But they have a chance to greatly improve their odds on Sunday. If the Redskins manage to beat the Browns in Cleveland, their playoff chances will skyrocket to 67 percent.

After Week 14 Football Outsiders gives the Redskins a 47.8 percent chance of playing in January. That breaks down to a 31.3 percent chance that they will win the division and 16.4 percent of earning a wild card. Their odds of getting in one way or the other is up 8.6 percentage points from last week.