October 2012

NYT Fifth Down: Post-week 8

October 31, 2012 NYT

My post for the New York Times this week takes a look at the triumvirate of Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan, and Mark Sanchez. Rex Ryan was hired by Mike Tannenbaum on Jan. 19, 2009. Three months later, they traded up in the 2009 N.F.L. draft to acquire Mark Sanchez. Since that moment, the three of […]

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Estimating NFL Win Probabilities for Matchups Between Teams of Various Records

October 30, 2012 Statgeekery

(I originally posted this at the S-R Blog, but I thought it would be very appropriate here as well.) WARNING: Math post. PFR user Brad emailed over the weekend with an interesting question: “Wondering if you’ve ever tracked or how it would be possible to find records vs. records statistics….for instance a 3-4 team vs. […]

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Should Mike Mularkey have gone for 2 against the Packers?

October 30, 2012 Coaches

The Jacksonville Jaguars faced an uphill battle on Sunday: they were 15-point underdogs against the Packers in Lambeau Field. Trailing 14-6 in the final seconds of the first half, Blaine Gabbert threw a one-yard touchdown pass to tackle Guy Whimper. At that point, Mike Mularkey decided to go for two in an attempt to tie […]

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How much does Philip Rivers’ decline have to do with Philip Rivers?

October 29, 2012 Passing

For years, I was an unabashed Philip Rivers supporter. I had no preexisting affinity for the Chargers or Rivers, but in all the metrics I care about, Rivers was always one of the best. In 2008, 2009, and 2010, Philip Rivers led the league in yards per attempt. He finished first in ANY/A in ’08 […]

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There is only a 10% chance Oregon, Kansas State, and Notre Dame all go undefeated

October 28, 2012 College

Neil once pointed out, that you can approximate a team’s odds of winning a game by using the point spread and the following formula: p(W) = 1 – (1-NORMDIST(0.5,SPREAD,13.86,TRUE))+0.5*(NORMDIST(0.5,SPREAD,13.86,TRUE)-NORMDIST(-0.5,SPREAD,13.86,TRUE)) For college football games, there is research by Wayne Winston and Jeff Sagarin that the standard deviation in the above formula should be 16 instead of […]

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Week 9 SRS Ratings: When Will Oregon Stop Scoring?

October 28, 2012 College

Oregon’s offense is ridiculous, and its defense and special teams aren’t far behind. Entering this weekend, Oregon had outscored opponents 234-46 … in the first half. Prior to their game against Colorado, Bill Connelly ranked Oregon as the third best defense in college football. Against the horrible Buffaloes, the Ducks didn’t disappoint. Oregon jumped out […]

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Wins with quarterbacks drafted by that team

October 27, 2012 Draft

Good stat today by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who notes that Kansas City has gone 25 years without winning a game with a quarterback drafted by the Chiefs. This Todd Blackledge-led victory over the Chargers in 1987 was the last time a quarterback drafted by the Chiefs won a game in red and gold. That’s remarkable, […]

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New page added to Football Perspective: NCAA Games

October 27, 2012 Uncategorized

At the top of every page there are gray tabs that will take you to the different pages at Football Perspective. I’ve added a new one: NCAA Games. That page will show you the results for every individual game involving any of the 124 FBS teams this year. The page will be updated along with […]

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Trivia of the Day – Saturday, October 27th

October 27, 2012 Rushing

Last week, I noted that Calvin Johnson was trying to become just the third player since 1970 to lead the NFL in receiving yards in consecutive seasons. The rushing crown is much more likely to go to the same player; in fact, ten rushing champions since 1973 also led the league in rushing yards in […]

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Cam Newton is having an interesting year

October 26, 2012 Statistics

I don’t care about any of the nonsense with Cam Newton. Instead, take a look at his 2011 and 2012 stat lines: Year GS QBrec Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD TD% Int Int% Y/A AY/A Y/C Yd/G Sk Yds NY/A ANY/A Sk% Rsh Yds TD YPC Y/G C/G 2011 16 6-10-0 310 517 60.0 4051 […]

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Checkdowns: Josh Freeman is three parts Steve Grogan, one part Eli Manning

October 25, 2012 Passing

Have you taken a look at a passing leaderboard lately? Here’s the PFR passing leaderboard sorted by ANY/A; as always, all columns are sortable. Tweet

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Week 7 Power Rankings

October 25, 2012 Power Rankings

At 6-1, Houston is sitting pretty atop the AFC. They have to be the Super Bowl favorite right now, as they’re the most likely team in either conference to wrap up the 1 seed and they won’t have to go through two very good teams to get to New Orleans. In addition, they’re also really, […]

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NYT Fifth Down: Post-week 7

October 24, 2012 NYT

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote the differing rookie seasons of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. The numbers still hold — Griffin dominating in all traditional stats, while Luck throwing more passes downfield than any other quarterback — so I sat down with ESPN’s Jeff Bennett to figure out why Luck ranks ahead […]

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Chan Gailey – wisely? – went for 1 up 5 against Tennessee

October 24, 2012 Uncategorized

In Buffalo’s loss to Tennessee on Sunday, Chan Gailey faced an interesting decision. Buffalo trailed 28-27 in the final seconds of the third quarter when Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Steve Johnson for a 27-yard touchdown. Now up 33-28, Gailey chose to kick the extra point, and ultimately saw his team lose, 35-34. Why did Gailey choose […]

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More work on POPIP and predicting INT rates

October 23, 2012 Passing

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about interceptions per incompletion, or POPIP. In that article I showed how a player’s completion percentage is a better predictor of his future interception rate than his actual interception rate. And in this article by Brian Burke, one comment stuck with me: Griffin has thrown deep, defined as […]

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Checkdowns: Weighted NFL SRS Ratings (through Sunday 10/21/12)

October 22, 2012 Checkdowns

Here are the current SRS Ratings, weighted for the recency of each game, along with each team’s quarter-by-quarter Win Probability Added (WPA) so far this season: Tweet

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Attempting to measure fatigue in the NFL

October 22, 2012 Statistics

Fatigue in the NFL is definitely real, and a team that’s tired is not a team that’s likely to excel. But I don’t know if it’s even possible to accurately measure the effect of fatigue in the NFL, and if it is, I certainly don’t know how to do it. Fatigue is a useful descriptive […]

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Week 8 SRS Ratings: The Crimson Tide death star marches on

October 21, 2012 College

I didn’t think this was possible. In 2009, Alabama had an incredible defense, ranking 1st or 2nd in points allowed, yards allowed, first downs allowed, completion percentage allowed and rushing yards allowed en route to a 14-0 season and a national title. In the 2010 draft, Rolando McClain and Kareem Jackson went in the first […]

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Dennis Allen punted instead of letting Sebastian Janikowski try a 58-yard field goal

October 20, 2012 Coaches

Most criticisms of 4th down calls spring when teams fail to go for it on 4th down and instead punt or kick a field goal. It is much rarer for stat geeks to cry out for a field goal attempt instead of a punt, and for good reason: field goals aren’t that valuable. One reason […]

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Trivia of the Day – Saturday, October 20th

October 20, 2012 Receiving

Calvin Johnson led the league in receiving last season with 1,681 yards. Johnson is fourth in receiving yards this season behind A.J. Green, Wes Welker, and Reggie Wayne, but Johnson is 2nd in yards per game as the Lions have had their bye week while the Bengals and Patriots have not. If Johnson can lead […]

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Checkdowns: Weighted NFL SRS Ratings (through Thursday 10/19/12)

October 19, 2012 Checkdowns

Here are the current SRS Ratings, using the recency-weighted system I described on Monday: Also, just for fun, here’s how SRS sees this weekend’s games going (with the Vegas lines and over/unders for comparison’s sake): Tweet

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Want to get fired? Spend a first round pick on a quarterback

October 19, 2012 Coaches

In yesterday’s post, I argued that teams were overly hesitant to move on from bad investments. There’s a reason for that: miss on a first-round quarterback, and there are serious ramifications. Sometimes the offensive coordinator gets the axe first — we saw the Jets move on from Brian Schottenheimer this past offseason — but usually […]

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When should the Jaguars give up on Blaine Gabbert?

October 18, 2012 History

One of the most difficult decisions an organization has to make is when to admit its mistakes. The Jaguars drafted Blaine Gabbert with the 10th overall pick in 2011, and his lack of success is even more striking when compared to the rest of the top dozen selections: Rd Pk Tm Player

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Week 6 Power Rankings

October 18, 2012 Power Rankings

Jason Lisk and the wisdom of crowds say the Giants are the best team in the league; Aaron Schatz’ DVOA numbers agree. The computer operated by Brian Burke prefers Denver and Bill Barnwell’s wheel landed on Chicago. ESPN prefers the Falcons, a pick that is surely more retrodictive than predictive. Technically, I don’t do power […]

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NYT Fifth Down: Post-week 6

October 17, 2012 NYT

If you feel like this has been one of the most unpredictable seasons so far, you’re right: Pete Rozelle dreamed of a parity-filled league in which any team could win on a given Sunday. If alive today, the former N.F.L. commissioner would surely smile at how the 2012 season has started. Half of the league’s […]

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Checkdowns: Patriots Passing Game Struggles

October 17, 2012 Passing

If there was one thing you can count on in New England, it’s that the Patriots passing attack would be more efficient than their opponent’s nearly every week. From 2003 to 2011, New England averaged 6.9 net yards per pass attempt while their defense allowed 6.0 NY/A. But this season, the Patriots passing offense is […]

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Up by 1, after scoring a late touchdown, should teams go for two?

October 16, 2012 Statistics

I’m always interested in creative ways to maximize your team’s chances of winning. A few weeks ago, I wrote that when trailing by 14 or 15 points, teams should go for two if they score a touchdown. A different scenario came up during the Ravens-Cowboys game, as Baltimore was up 24-23 with just under five […]

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Joe Philbin chose to coach, did so successfully, no one cares

October 16, 2012 Coaches

While most coaches act like they’re on autopilot when it comes down to crucial 4th down decisions, let’s credit a coach who took his job title literally this weekend. Did you hear about what Joe Philbin did? No? Then it must have worked. Leading 17-14 with 4:15 to go, Miami faced 4th and 1 from […]

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Checkdowns: Weighted NFL SRS Ratings (through Sunday 10/14/12)

October 15, 2012 Checkdowns

Here’s a quick Monday data dump… I ran the Simple Rating System (for offense and defense) on this year’s NFL results, but instead of weighing each game equally, I used Wayne Winston’s method of giving more weight to recent outcomes. Winston’s system is simply to give each game a weight of: λ ^ (weeks ago) […]

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Rating offenses and defenses since 1970

October 15, 2012 History

NFL offenses and defenses are not mirror images of each other. The gap between the best and worst offenses is generally bigger than the spread on the defensive side of the ball. And strength of schedule is more likely to play a key role when it comes to determine the best and worst defenses, too. […]

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