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38 Questions In Review: Part III

Before the season began, I hosted a contest where I asked you to submit 38 questions. Each question asked you about 38 pairs of numbers, with the contestant trying to guess which number will be bigger. I also calculated the percentage that each “side” of the bet received, based on 82 entries.

In early January, I looked at the first 19 questions (that post has been updated since the playoff results).  Yesterday, I looked at the remaining set of questions. Today, the contest results.

Here were the answers to each question, along with the percentage of entries that guessed correctly:

Correct AnswerWrong AnswerPerc
Number of wins by Washington and Oakland combinedNumber of wins by the team with the second-most wins12.2%
Number of wins by the LionsNumber of wins by the Ravens15.9%
Yardage of the longest passing TD thrown by Derek Carr.Number of distinct players to have a 100-(or more)-yard rushing game84.1%
Number of wins by the PackersNumber of interceptions thrown by Aaron Rodgers81.7%
Number of J.J. Watt sacksNumber of total TDs scored by Le’Veon Bell81.7%
Number of rushing yards by Chris Ivory; Todd Gurley; and Frank Gore; combinedNumber of rushing yards by Adrian Peterson and DeMarco Murray; combined20.7%
Number of interceptions caught by Darrelle RevisNumber of games started by RG379.3%
Maximum number of TDs thrown by Drew Brees in a single gameNumber of playoff (non-Super Bowl) games won by the visiting team75.6%
Number of Passing TDs thrown by the league’s leader in passing TDsMaximum number of points scored in a game by the Ravens74.4%
Margin of the Titans biggest win.Number of Passing TDs thrown by Marcus Mariota.26.8%
Number of Sammy Watkins receiving yardsNumber of LeSean McCoy rushing yards26.8%
Number of wins by the JetsNumber of wins by the Giants28%
Number of rushing TDs by the rookie with the most rushing TDsNumber of postseason games where the winner scores under 32 points72%
Number of Blair Walsh missed field goals and missed extra points; combinedNumber of Jamaal Charles games with 100 yards from scrimmage29.3%
Maximum number of passing TDs by a player from this group: Ryan Fitzpatrick; Geno Smith; Josh McCown; Johnny Manziel; Brian Hoyer; and Ryan MallettMinimum number of passing TDs by a player from this group: Tony Romo; Peyton Manning; Andrew Luck; Ben Roethlisberger; Philip Rivers; Matt Ryan30.5%
Number of wins by the DolphinsNumber of wins by the Cowboys31.7%
Number of receiving yards by the Jaguars leader in receiving yardsNumber of Blake Bortles rushing yards times three68.3%
NFC Championship Game victories by the rest of the NFCNFC Championship Game victories by the Packers and Seahawks31.7%
Number of playoff games won by NFC South teams; plus 0.5Number of playoff games won by the Patriots31.7%
Number of receiving TDs by the player with the MOST in this group: Dez Bryant; Odell Beckham; Julio Jones; and A.J. GreenNumber of COMBINED receiving TDs by Pierre Garcon; Eddie Royal; Jarvis Landry; and Percy Harvin32.9%
Number of games started by Sam BradfordNumber of interceptions thrown by Kirk Cousins32.9%
Number of wins by the last place team in the AFC EastNumber of wins by the Bears; minus one65.9%
AFC Championship Game victories by AFC East and AFC WestAFC Championship Game victories by AFC South and AFC North64.6%
Number of double-digit losses suffered by the Eagles during the regular seasonNumber of interceptions thrown in the Super Bowl64.6%
Number of rushing yards by Jeremy HillNumber of combined passing yards by all Bills players EXCEPT FOR Tyrod Taylor.63.4%
Number of interceptions thrown by Jameis Winston; minus twoNumber of interceptions thrown by Jay Cutler63.4%
Highest single-game receiving yardage by a player from this group: Tavon Austin; Ladarius Green; and Shane VereenNumber of receptions by the player with the MOST receptions from this group: Rob Gronkowski; Greg Olsen; and Martellus Bennett63.4%
Number of divisions whose 2015 champ is NOT the same as the 2014 champNumber of divisions whose 2015 champ is the same as the 2014 champ; minus 0.536.6%
Number of rushing TDs by Cam NewtonNumber of receiving TDs by C.J. Spiller and Danny Woodhead; combined37.8%
Number of catches by the player with MOST receptions in this group: Eddie Lacy; Giovani Bernard; Ameer Abdullah; C.J. AndersonTotal points scored in the Super Bowl57.3%
Number of wins by the BucsNumber of wins by the 49ers43.9%
Total number of TD passes thrown by the Giants.Number of games started by QBs drafted in the 2015 draft; minus three56.1%
Number of combined kick and punt return TDs by Darren SprolesNumber of combined kick and punt return TDs by Devin Hester56.1%
Number of home wins by the RamsNumber of road wins by the Seahawks45.1%
Super Bowl Championships won by the Patriots; Colts; Broncos; Cowboys; and SeahawksSuper Bowl Championships won by all other teams54.9%
Number of wins by the CardinalsNumber of wins by the Falcons53.7%
Number of players who throw 35 or more TD passesNumber of players in the NFL’s top 10 in rushing yards who were born in the 1990s53.7%
Number of points scored in the NFC Championship gameNumber of points scored in the AFC Championship game; minus 552.4%

And, here were the number of answers guessed correctly by each contestant:

Nathan Street24
Stephen Church23
Deacon Drake23
Brad O.23
Dr. Martin van Nostrand23
Andrew T. McLeod23
Wil Hunter22
Josh Sanford21
Bryan Knowles21
Mario Peri21
David Howells21
David Lowe21
Adrian Dyka20
Dave Powell20
Garrison Carr20
Bob Harris20
Arin Franz20
Jordan Cohen20
Andrew Healy20
Jonathan Blattmachr20
Jason Winter19
Justin Scaife19
Seán Allan19
Roger Kirk19
Tom Bradbury19
Max Hicks19
Topher Doll18
Joff Callaghan18
J.R. Pierce18
The Mysteries of Bob17
André Vizzoni17
Greg sayler17
Johnathen Adair17
Andrew H.16
Chris West16
Ralph Skinner16
Ben Fitzgerald15
Buddy Walker15

That makes JimZornsLemma the big winner, unless I calculated things incorrectly. I emailed Jim, and asked him his thoughts:

My thoughts: In general, one thing I try to be mindful of when doing things like this is the “power of the field.” That is, the idea that an outcome can be a heavy favorite when compared to any other outcome, but be a heavy underdog when compared to *all* other outcomes. I think this is something that is not always appreciated by the general public. However, among the audience of a site like Football Perspective, I’m sure this is much more well understood, and the questions clearly took this into account, as there was rarely an obvious “right” choice. One that I did feel was vely likely to pay off:

    Maximum number of passing TDs by a player from this group: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel, Brian Hoyer, and Ryan Mallett
    Minimum number of passing TDs by a player from this group: Tony Romo, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan

The probability that at least one player from the former group would blowup and/or at least one player from the latter group would tank (or get injured) seems far north or 0.5 to me.

Other than that I tried to do mostly “head” picks with a few “heart” picks mixed in (it is for fun, after all). I got burned a few times by my pro-Seahawks bias (I’m a diehard 12), specifically I picked the Falcons over the Cardinals, even though I thought the Cardinals probably would be better, because I like Dan Quinn, and I’m sick of hearing what an amazing coach Bruce Arians is. (In my extremely biased opinion, Carroll has been a far more successful coach and gets way less love.)

The one I missed that I thought was mostly likely to hit:

Number of games started by Sam Bradford
Number of interceptions thrown by Kirk Cousins

I thought the Eagles’ offense would struggle; I thought Kirk Cousins would start all season and throw a lot of pass; and I thought Kirk Cousin was a lousy quarterback. Two out of three didn’t cut it this time. So in answer to your question Kirk: No, I did not like that. I did not like it at all.

This contest turned out to be pretty difficult, which I think is a good thing. The average was right at 19.01, which is pretty incredible given that there were 38 questions and I believe only one question (wins by the team with the fewest in the AFC East vs. wins by the Bears) turned out to be a tie. Even Jim got just south of 66% of all questions correct.

I thought this was a lot of fun, so I hope you did, too. Hopefully I remember to run this again next year.

  • Adam

    These results are remarkable to me. The answers came out almost exactly 50% correct, and this despite almost none of the individual questions yielding anywhere near an even split in answers. I don’t know if Chase just picked out the perfect questions for 50/50 outcomes, or if this is regression to the mean at its finest, but Vegas bookies would give their left but to have betting lines this even. Well done, Chase!

  • Alejandro

    Hey, I tied with Shattenjager, I guess I sorta know about football!?!?

  • Richie

    4th place! Woo hoo!

  • Richie

    JimZornsLemma brought up an interesting point that I hadn’t considered before. Who is a better coach, Bruce Arians or Pete Carroll? They are interesting comparisons because they are both over 60 years old, but don’t have as many years of being an NFL head coach as their ages might indicate. In fact, they both SEEM like younger guys than they are.

    Carroll has either 6 or 7 more seasons as a head coach (depending on how you want to classify Arians’ interim season with Indianapolis). Arians “took over” for 2 different teams that had losing records when he arrived, yet he has won at least 63% of his games in all seasons he has coached.

    I feel like Arians is probably a better coach, but his track record is much shorter so it’s hard to say. Carroll obviously did very well in college, but in college, I think recruiting is way more important than X’s and O’s.

  • Richie

    If you do this game next year, I think I should try to write down my logic when I make the picks. If I go back on my picks now, I don’t think I’d be able to remember what I was thinking. The actual 2015 season will likely affect my memory.

  • “The average was right at 19.01.”

    I feel so below average 🙁