Thoughts on Completion Percentage By Position

August 5, 2014 Thought Experiments

According to Football Outsiders, over the last three years, 60% of all passes have gone to wide receivers, 21% to tight ends, and 19% to running backs. There are some players who are position hybrids, of course, but as a general rule, wide receiers catch about 56.3% of passes, tight ends have a 63.1% catch […]

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Insane Ideas: Rules Changes

February 8, 2014 Theory

Should the depth of the NFL end zone be extended from 10 to 20 yards? Practically, this is probably impossible, as adding 20 yards to certain fields would be an issue in many NFL stadiums. But let’s ignore that issue for today. I recently had lunch with a baseball friend of mine who suggested this […]

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A Monte Carlo-Based Comparison of College Football Playoff Systems

January 6, 2014 College

Love the Bowl Championship Series or (more likely) hate it, tonight marks the end of college football’s 16-year BCS experiment. Designed to bring some measure of order to the chaotic state college football had been in under the Bowl Alliance/Coalition, the BCS did streamline the process of determining a national champion — though it was […]

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Insane Idea: Spotting Points in the Playoffs

January 4, 2014 Insane Ideas

One of my favorite sabermetric baseball articles of all time was written by Sky Andrecheck in 2010 — part as a meditation on the purpose/meaning of playoffs, and part as a solution for some of the thorny logical concerns that arise from said mediation. The basic conundrum for Andrecheck revolved around the very existence of […]

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What’s the Correct Margin-of-Victory Cap For the NFL?

December 24, 2013 SRS

The Simple Rating System is a many-splendored thing, but a known bug of the process is that huge outlier scoring margins can have undue influence on the rankings. Take the 2009 NFL season, for instance, during which the Patriots led the NFL in SRS in no small part because they annihilated the Titans 59-0 in […]

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Chip Kelly, Two Point Conversions, and Failing Unconventionally

September 28, 2013 Strategy

“Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for the reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.” – John M. Keynes. Last Thursday night, Chip Kelly was widely criticized for an unconventional decision that turned out to be unsuccessful. Trailing 10-0 in the first quarter against the Chiefs, Michael Vick threw a 22-yard touchdown pass […]

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How Many Extra Receiving Yards Should Come on Extra Passes?

August 18, 2013 Thought Experiments

On Thursday, Neil and I introduced you to the concept of True Receiving Yards. True Receiving Yards is designed to place every receiver into the same environment. TRY starts with receiving yards, but gives a bonus for receptions and touchdowns, adjusts for how frequently a player’s team passes, adjusts for the league passing environment, and […]

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Contest: Reports of the Demise of the New England Passing Game Are…

June 27, 2013 Checkdowns

On September 13, 2008, Doug Drinen wrote this post, which I reproduce in full below. I’m hearing and reading a lot of crazy stuff this week. So I just want to document my predictions that (a) the Patriots will win at least 11 games this year, (b) the Patriots will clinch the East before week […]

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Another Note on the Relative Impact of Offense vs. Defense on Scoring

May 8, 2013 History

Last week, Chase had a great post where he looked at what percentage of the points scored by a team in any given game is a function of the team, and what percentage is a function of the opponent. The answer, according to Chase’s method, was 58 percent for the offense and 42 percent for […]

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More thoughts on how many games a team of replacements would win

March 30, 2013 Statgeekery

Yesterday, I asked how many wins a team full of recent draft picks and replacement-level NFL players would fare. I don’t think there’s a right answer to the question, but it might be a more important question than you think (and you’ll see why on Monday). But I have at least one way we can […]

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Thought Experiment: How many wins would this team average?

March 29, 2013 Theory

It’s been awhile, but time for another post in the Thought Experiments category. Assume the following: On May 1st, 2013, an average owner, average general manager and average coach are assigned an expansion team. They are randomly assigned 24 players: one from each of the seven rounds of the 2011, 2012, and 2013 drafts. So […]

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Yet another thought experiment

October 6, 2012 Thought Experiments

I’ve decided to add a new category to Football Perspective, as this thought experiment idea is here to stay. Here’s today’s thought experiment: It’s 4th and 1, at the 50-yard line, with 1:30 to go. You’re the defensive coordinator and your team is trailing by 1 and out of timeouts. The other team looks like […]

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Another thought experiment

September 29, 2012 Thought Experiments

In this post, I noted that the Steelers could have punted to the Raiders, leaving Oakland with the ball likely at their own 33-yard line in a tie game with just under 4 minutes remaining. You are the head coach of a team with a league average offense and league average defense. You are given […]

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A thought experiment

September 22, 2012 Strategy

Yeah, yeah, Football Perspective turned 100 today, blah blah blah. I have something on my mind and I need the wisdom of this crowd. Below is a thought experiment. You are highly incentivized to correctly guess how many interceptions a quarterback threw in a specific game. If you can answer it correctly within the one-tenth […]

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