Roundup 10/18

Which passing stats stay the most consistent when a QB changes teams? Jason Lisk tells us. Keep in mind some stats are naturally more random than others. Really interesting stuff.

The Ravens defense gave up 100 yards to a RB for the first time in 35 games. Chase Stuart tells us that since 1960 only 12 defenses have accomplished that feat.

Longtime reader Ian Stanczyk has luanched a really interesting new website, BookOfOdds.com. I just learned that an MLB player will hit for the cycle in 1 out of 739.2 games. Check it out.

Doug Farrar at the Smarter Stats Blog looks at roughing the passer penalties in the wake of the Brady calls of week 4. His colleague Aaron Schatz looks at the same issue. There was a fair amount of criticism of both of their posts. I happened to look at the same issue several days ago for my weekly spot on a local Baltimore radio show, and did the analysis with a much larger data set and accounted for the number of drop backs. Brady gets slightly above average roughing calls, but Manning doesn't. The Ravens defense have fewer than average roughing penalties per drop back over the last several years.

Farrar also looks at the surprise teams of 2009. I'm not sure how the Giants and Saints could be considered surprises though.

Also at Football Outsiders, Chris Brown from SmartFootball.com chats about Xs and Os in the Jets-Dolphins game. I learned a lot.

Carl Bialik at the WSJ found that parity is alive and well in the NFL despite what many of the pundits are saying.

George Bletherton at the NYTimes.com Fifth Down looks at whether the bye week really gives a team an advantage in the following game. He found that teams are 309-276-1, which is a .527 winning percentage. I'm so glad someone finally looked into this. The effect appears to be just less than half the effect of home field advantage, so it is worth considering. But if you apply a statistical test to the post-bye record, .527 is not statistically significant (p=0.09). All this means is that there is a 9% chance the effect doesn't really exist at all, or is actually a disadvantage. So, chances are good it helps teams, but we can't be too confident in just how much. I do know one thing for certain: NFL analysts greatly overestimate how big the effect is.

Phil Birnbaum takes a look at salary caps and their effect on competitive balance. Phil critiques
Stacy Brook's analysis. Here is my own look at NFL parity (Part 1, Part 2).

Tom Tango has a great take on why MLB managers are constantly making sub-optimal decisions. Tango reiterates David Romer's theory that managers do what they can to put any possible blame for failure on players a the expense of good decision-making. A manager that puts in a pinch batter who strikes out will escape the scorn that will naturally fall on the hitter. But one who stands pat will be asked why he didn't pinch hit for the starting player. What's funny is that the NFL is almost the opposite. Standing pat is punting, while going for it on 4th down is the "activist" decision. My own theory is that MLB managers are under the spell of the Illusion of Control.

Tom also points to interesting discussions on how to quantify how exciting games are. I wish I had read these when I created my "Excitement Index" a few months ago. In the end, I independently settled on the same technique.

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7 Responses to “Roundup 10/18”

  1. Borat says:

    Brain{

    I thalt you wore a fan of the teme of Alan Edgar Crows. Yes?

    Tell yeur frend Mr. Chaste that the teme of the Crows gave up 100 meteors to the RB for the first tyme in 39 games witch is 3 more than the 35 games. Yes?

    I know this because in my country we have the school.

    Very nice.

  2. Brian Burke says:

    Borat-You need to get out more often. I think Chase is only counting regular season games.

  3. Borat says:

    Brain\

    execute me Pleez Brain, but if you visit the lynxes you yourself have provideded, yo two can reed four yorselve that Ms. Chaste herself sez that the Alan Edgar Crwos Teme played 39 matchez with no allowance of the runner of 100 meters.

    Here iz the quotient of the Ms. Chaste werds. she say :Before Benson's big performance, the Ravens had gone 39 straight games without allowing a 100-yard rusher.:

    You can reed werds too, yes Mr. Brain? Thirty-nine is 3 more than the 35 you said, no?.

    Also I can not get out more Brain becalse the Taliban and yure CYO have occupied our neighbors. But we very much support yure war of terror.


    What radio channel can I watch you on tomorrow Brain/ Can I wash yu on Radeo Free Kazakhstan?

    I am the Ambastard for Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

    Very nice.

  4. denis says:

    "George Bletherton at the NYTimes.com Fifth Down looks at whether the bye week really gives a team an advantage in the following game. He found that teams are 309-276-1, which is a .527 winning percentage. I'm so glad someone finally looked into this. The effect appears to be just less than half the effect of home field advantage, so it is worth considering".

    Last time I looked at this I found that more teams coming off a bye week are given a home game(56%/44% iirc),so the guy's sample may include more home games for the rested side.This will inflate the apparent effect.

    Also there could be some double counting where both sides are coming off a bye.

    Haven't got the data at hand,but I seem to recall that superior sides who went on the road following a bye made the most of the advantage.Superior bye teams going on the road won over 80% of those games compared to under 70% for similar sides not coming off a bye.

  5. James says:

    What makes a team superior in a quantifiable way?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Brian,

    You should definitely check out this interview with a high school coach.

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4577094&categoryid=null

  7. Bjorn says:

    In the "avoid blame" game it is worth noting that in deciding to go for it on 4th down the coach is not only exposing himself to beeing secondguessed for that choice, but also sets up a second choice (what play to run) that is an easy target for monday morning quarterbacking.

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