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Seahawks EPA Replay: The 12 biggest plays from the Game of the Year

NFL: Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday’s Seahawks-Texans game was a roller coaster of emotion. There were so many big plays that a 20-yard touchdown pass was only the 12th-biggest play in the game. As a result, I’m going to expand the list for this week to 12 plays.

For an overview of EPA and this series, see my intro article here. Onto the plays:

#12. Q1 2-10 HOU 20: (2:19) (Shotgun) Russell Wilson pass deep middle to Paul Richardson for 20 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

EPA:2.98. Score before play: SEA7, HOU14. SEA WP change: 38-> 48. TD% before: 46. TD% after: 100

#11. Q2 2-8 SEA 20: (9:40) (Shotgun) Deshaun Watson pass deep right to Will Fuller V for 20 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

EPA:3.01. Score before play: HOU14, SEA14. SEA WP change: 38-> 28. TD% before: 46. TD% after: 100

#10. Q4 2-11 SEA 38: (10:16) (Shotgun) D.Watson pass deep right to W.Fuller V ran ob at SEA 2 for 36 yards.

EPA:3.10. Score before play: HOU24, SEA27. SEA WP change: 47-> 34. TD% before: 42. TD% after: 85

#9. Q4 1-10 HOU 20: (2:55) R.Wilson pass short left intended for P.Richardson INTERCEPTED by Marcus Williams at HOU 6. M.Williams pushed ob at HOU 8 for 2 yards (P.Richardson).

EPA:3.63. Score before play: SEA34, HOU38. SEA WP change: 41-> 20. TD% before: 45. TD% after: 14

#8. Q2 2-8 SEA 40: (6:54) R.Wilson pass deep right to Tanner McEvoy to HOU 7 for 53 yards.

EPA:3.72. Score before play: SEA14, HOU21. SEA WP change: 31-> 44. TD% before: 31. TD% after: 65

#7. Q4 1-10 HOU 18: (:26) (No Huddle, Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short middle to Jimmy Graham for 18 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

EPA:3.86. Score before play: SEA34, HOU38. SEA WP change: 10-> 90. TD% before: 31. TD% after: 100

You can see how out of sorts the Texans’ defense is here. For the win probability, this calculation from ESPN is probably closer to accurate.

#6. Q4 2-10 SEA 25: (9:04) R.Wilson pass deep left to Tyler Lockett pushed ob at HOU 21 for 54 yards.

EPA:3.91. Score before play: SEA27, HOU31. SEA WP change: 29-> 45. TD% before: 26. TD% after: 51

#5. Q3 2-10 SEA 22: (6:55) R.Wilson pass short middle to Tre Madden to HOU 12 for 66 yards.

EPA:4.75. Score before play: SEA21, HOU24. SEA WP change: 34-> 50. TD% before: 28. TD% after: 54

Houston just completely lost track of Madden. Hard to blame them, really.

#4. Q1 2-11 HOU 41: (12:47) (Shotgun) D.Watson pass deep middle to W.Fuller V for 59 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

EPA:5.44. Score before play: HOU0, SEA0. SEA WP change: 49-> 30. TD% before: 36. TD% after: 100

#3. Q3 2-7 HOU 25: (3:56) D.Watson pass short right intended for Stephen Anderson INTERCEPTED by R.Sherman at HOU 35. R.Sherman to HOU 16 for 19 yards.

EPA:5.75. Score before play: HOU24, SEA24. SEA WP change: 46-> 63. TD% before: 31. TD% after: 1

#2. Q4 2-7 HOU 28: (5:01) (Shotgun) D.Watson pass short right to DeAndre Hopkins for 72 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

EPA:6.37. Score before play: HOU31, SEA34. SEA WP change: 57-> 25. TD% before: 22. TD% after: 100

#1. Q1 3-10 SEA 29: (10:21) (Shotgun) D.Watson pass short middle intended for D.Hopkins INTERCEPTED by Earl Thomas at SEA 22. E.Thomas for 78 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

EPA:9.86. Score before play: HOU7, SEA0. SEA WP change: 21-> 53. TD% before: 34. TD% after: 0

Concluding thoughts

The Seahawks are 2 plays away from being 3-4 (a Jared Goff pass to Cooper Kupp at the end of the Rams game and a 3rd and 4 conversion from the Texans). Instead, they are 5-2 with two games coming against teams struggling with injuries. Winning close games is almost entirely luck, but it sure is fun when a game like this goes your way.