By Chris Alan
By the time the Ravens and Bills were playing in overtime last week I was rooting for Buffalo to pull off the upset and make me a 2008 Detroit Lions-esq perfect 0-4 in my picks. Personally I think it was a horrible call by the refs to allow a ball carrier to be picked up from the ground, carried backwards and get stripped from the ball. Or maybe I just don’t understand the point of forward progress, but either way I pulled out my first Pick of the Week win. Off to Vegas I go.
In previous years I could at least convince myself that I knew what was going on, but at least no one else seems to know what direction most teams are heading in this topsy turvy year for the NFL. Last week the only team to outscore the Kansas City Chiefs were the Oakland Raiders. Amazing.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
By Chris Alan
Monday, October 25, 2010
by Andy Steiner
David Romer considers momentum in his paper “Do Firms Maximize? Evidence from Professional Football”. In this study he looks at very good plays and very bad plays, and then the next three plays in an attempt to quantify momentum. He finds that there is no significant momentum effect (actually it goes in the reverse direction, the team that did poorly did slightly better than average on the next play). I wanted to look at a very similar effect; the momentum value of interceptions. I wanted to see how much more likely, in terms of actual points the intercepting team was to score. What I found definitely surprised me, although I should have seen it coming.
To see if interceptions have some extra effect, besides just the obvious value of taking the ball away from your opponent, I will simply compare the expected (actual) point curve for drives starting normally “normal starting”; and drives starting from interceptions.
by Chris Alan
My Apologies to Chris. I was away and did not have access to the web until I'd returned this morning.
Another week, another Pick of the Week loss. The way the Cowboys were playing early I was expecting another underdog win, but alas they found yet another way to beat themselves. There’s a very interesting article by Brian Burke, the founder of advancednflstats.com, regarding the dire position the Chargers are in despite their impressive offensive stats. This week I’m going to work the right side of my brain to see if I can figure out any insight into the dismal Cowboys.
But enough of the loser talk, the pundants who get paid for their opinions don’t let being wrong again and again and again stop them, and neither shall I. Time to crack open a beer, pull out the dictionary, and write down my opinions about the upcoming games. Now on to this weeks conjecture:
Thursday, October 14, 2010
by Chris Alan
First, a quote from Jerome Bettis writing for Sports Illustrated (.com), “It's hard to say who the best team in the NFL is, but it's not coming from the NFC.”
My pre-season Super Bowl teams were the Green Bay Packers versus the Baltimore Ravens. In the AFC picture I still really like the Ravens but am starting to jump on the Jets bandwagon, and the Steelers are also making things interesting. Those are my front runners to earn a bye week heading into the Playoffs
On the flip side, there’s no compelling team in the NFC. Green Bay is hurting, though still capable. The Atlanta Falcons are making me wish I knew more about them, it’ll be interesting to see them play the Philadelphia Eagles this week. The NFC East race is still wide open and full of teams known for late season revivals.
Friday, October 8, 2010
We have a new contributor in Chris Alan who is offering his thoughts about how to play a survivor league. Chris plans on contributing on a weekly basis.
How to Pick in an Elimination Pool (a.k.a. Survivor, Knock Out or Suicide.) Week 5 Edition.
These are my favorite leagues to get into, and unfortunately the one I had so much success with over the past few years folded in the off season, and I didn't find another in time. However, I still feel like analyzing the season, and will post weekly breakdowns of games.
My analysis will follow the same rules I used for my previous league. You get two losses before you're out for the season. Tiebreaker adds up the spread points, the person with the lowest number of spread points wins. A tie is not a loss, thank you Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles against Kansas City two years ago for not loosing. Unfortunately K.C. came back to haunt me last year in beating the Pittsburg Steelers in week 11 as the Steelers went on to loose to the worst teams on their schedule.
Friday, October 1, 2010
by Andy Steiner
In this analysis I wanted to see if there was any relationship between simply choosing to pass and winning. There have been many similar studies about this before, but I wanted look at it from a slightly different perspective. Brian Burke of this site has written the article “Offenses Run Too Often on 1st Down” which looks at the passing advantage from an expected point (EP) analysis. There seems to be an advantage by simply choosing to pass, but there is some wiggle room to that analysis because we can’t prove that EP is a perfect measure of utility. It is my opinion that it is a very good measure of utility as used in the above mentioned study; in the first and third quarters and when the score is within 10 points (which I think that would be an interesting study for another time if it hasn’t already been done!). I wanted to look at the direct effect on winning. If we can do this then some common arguments like “controlling the clock”, “keeping the opposing quarterback off the field”, and “tiring out the defense” lose a lot of credibility.
Essentially, this study is based on Brian Burke’s passing Expected Points Added (EPA) studies; I wanted to see if the situations where there was a known delta between passing and running (where passing was better) would relate to teams actually winning.