Which Game-Winner Was Best in Week 4?

The Ravens, Saints, Seahawks, Broncos, and Rams all had big wins this weekend that came down to the final plays of the game. But which game-winning play was the biggest?

Last week, Tom Brady threw his 400th TD and the Twitterverse went nuts. This week, Drew Brees accomplished the same feat, but he did it in slightly different fashion.

Drew Brees celebrates with his running back, C.J. Spiller, who caught the former's 400th career TD pass, winning the game against the Cowboys in the process.
Drew Brees celebrates with his running back, C.J. Spiller, who caught the former’s 400th career TD pass, winning the game against the Cowboys in the process.

Brees threw his 400th career touchdown pass on the first play in overtime against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. He accomplished the feat on a pass down the sideline to his running back C.J. Spiller who caught the pass and outran the linebacker 80 yards for the score, winning the game in the process. Just like Brady’s last week, the TD toss was one of the highest plays to receive buzz on Twitter (both garnered the #2 most tweets of the weekend). However, unlike Brady’s throw, Brees’s play was a key moment in the game – as key as they come, too; it won the Saints the game. The play blew up on Twitter, receiving 14,658 tweets in the following five minutes. The graph of the rest of the Twitter action for the game can be viewed here. You’ll notice that a large amount of the tweets from the game occurred in the final two minutes of regulation or in the short-lived overtime.

As for the top five social moments in the NFL’s Week 4 schedule of games, here is what garnered the most interaction:

  1. Justin Tucker hits the game-winning field goal in OT against the Steelers. (4,693 tweet initially; 14,779 tweets in the five minutes following)
    Screenshot 2015-10-07 13.25.03
  2. Drew Brees throws an 80-yard TD pass to C.J. Spiller on the first play in OT against Dallas. The throw was his 400th career touchdown pass. (1,398 tweets initially; 14,658 five minutes following).
    Screenshot 2015-10-07 13.23.44
  3. Brandon Weeden throws a touchdown to Terrance Williams to tie the game late in the fourth quarter against the Saints. (2,407 tweets initially; 14,529 five minutes following)Screenshot 2015-10-07 13.23.13
  4. Calvin Johnson fumbles the football just before the goalline and the ball is batted into the endzone for a touchback. (1,472 tweets initially; 10,290 five minutes following)
    Screenshot 2015-10-07 13.24.23
  5. Justin Tucker ties the game against the Steelers with a field goal at the end of regulation. (2,734 tweets initially; 9,486 five minutes following)
    Screenshot 2015-10-07 13.30.12

 

Top five games by total tweets:

Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) kicks the game winning field goal in overtime of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015 in Pittsburgh. The Ravens won 23-20 in overtime. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) kicks the game winning field goal in overtime in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, October 1.
  1. Ravens vs. Steelers (184,954 total tweets)
  2. Cowboys vs. Saints (182,186 total tweets)
  3. Lions vs. Seahawks (136,153 total tweets)
  4. Eagles vs. Redskins (109,706 total tweets)
  5. Packers vs. 49ers (106,356 total tweets)

Least popular game of the week: Rams vs. Cardinals (28,965 total tweets)

Notable facts of the week:

For the third straight week, the most popular game of the week declined in total tweets, this week going from 216,739 (Chiefs vs. Packers) to 184,954 (Ravens vs. Steelers).

The least popular game of the week, Rams vs. Cardinals, was actually the biggest upset of the weekend, so this comes somewhat as a surprise. However, the game was not shown in too many markets, with Packers vs. 49ers and Vikings vs. Broncos occupying most of the nation’s TV sets during the late afternoon.

While the total number of NFL tweets was down this weekend, the biggest plays of the weekend all received more action on social media. Last week’s biggest play (Aaron Rodgers’s first touchdown pass to Randall Cobb against the Chiefs) only garnered 9,812 tweets in the following five minutes, while the four biggest plays of this weekend all received more action – 14,779; 14,658; 14,529; and 10,290 tweets, respectfully.

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