Unlike his call on 4th-and-2, very few people disagreed with Bill Belichick’s decision to let the Giants score inside the 10 with less than a minute to play. He was right on both calls but Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective does the extra legwork and unveils why the call was a good one and why the Giants should have taken a knee:
But no one knew that his score would decide the game. Before he ran the ball in, the Giants had 0.94 win probability (per Advanced NFL Stats). After the play, the Giants’ win probability dropped to 0.85. Had he instead taken a Brian Westbrook or Maurice Jones-Drew-esque knee on the goal line, the Giants would have had a 0.96 win probability. Assuming the Patriots used their final time out, the Giants would have had 3rd and Goal from the 1-yard line with around 1:04 left to play. At this point, the Giants could either attempt to score a touchdown or take a knee. Assuming the touchdown try was unsuccessful or that Eli Manning kneeled, the Giants could have let the clock run all the way down to 0:25 before using the Giants’ final time out. With 4th and Goal from the 2 with 25 seconds left to play, the Giants would have a 0.92 win probability, 0.07 higher than after Bradshaw scored the touchdown of his life.