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Today at 538: A look at season long Game Scripts and Pass Identity data, through week 5:

As we enter mid-October, the identity of each NFL team’s offense has begun to emerge. Some teams, like the San Francisco 49ers, want to run the ball no matter the situation. Others, like the Indianapolis Colts, are pass-happy even when most other teams wouldn’t be. How do we know what teams’ preferred style is? It’s not as easy as looking at their basic stats: Those are shaped by factors outside of their control, like being forced to pass more when trailing. So I’ve created a way to adjust for external forces and classify teams based on how they choose to play offense regardless of the numbers on the scoreboard.

You can read the full article, and see the cool chart and table, here.

  • Tom

    Nice to see the Game Script idea getting a broader audience…it’s a great concept, even on its own. Great post also by the way!

  • Normally the 538 comments section is a mess, but I think there were some good ones on your article. If you get time, you should check out the comment from James Hetherington. It would take time to build the model to do what he describes, but it would be much easier with your special access to PFR and 538 data.

    • Yeah, I agree with him, but that gets very complicated very quickly once you try to include all those factors. That’s like building a win probability model, but for pass ratio rather than winning (at least, that’s how I read his comment). That’s a bit above my pay grade.

      • So you’re saying Neil could do it on his lunch break?