Roundup 1/8/11

The violence of football put in historical perspective.

This is from a Peter King MMQB that's a couple weeks old, but I liked the detailed narrative of what goes into a punt from Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. I just really enjoy it when I read something from a player who can articulate what goes into their craft.

Not all official gamebooks are created equal. Some scorers add extra details. The crew at Dallas is especially good. Here is one from Buffalo that adds details of the depth and location of each pass attempt.  Helmet-knock: Adam Tarr.

Can you guess the top selling NFL jersey? I guessed Tebow.

Help Chase out by comparing Matt Ryan and Jake Long.

Are the Seahawks the worst playoff team any sport?

My hunch: colossal disaster.

The predictivity of 'success rate' in basketball.

Will the lack of RBs Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory impact the Saints' chances against the Seahawks?

Scouts, Inc. ranks the talent at each position for the playoff teams. Offense and defense. There is too much correlation with actual team record, and so I'm suspicious. A little too ex post facto for my taste. For example, imagine that had NO made that FG in OT against ATL. ATL would be a wildcard and the #5 seed in the NFC, and with the exact same performance all season long, I bet the 'experts' would grade their talent level much lower.

More on 'predictivity' of football stats.

How can a guy who had modest success at the college level suddenly arrive in the NFL and command a 5-year $25 million dollar contract. There needs to be some kind of rookie wage scale. Really?

Opponent-adjusted rushing YPC.

Playoff team similarity scores, sort of.

Passing is taking over the NFL, but where are the points? The theories seem plausible to me. My own theory is that football is not a game of score maximization, and in the end it's not even about net score maximization. It's about having a single greater point or more than your opponent. I think that might be part of the explanation.

Statistical Andrew Gelman, who's blog I follow off and on, has a couple great book recommendations. One is Bill James' Baseball Abstracts from '82-'86. Another is Kahneman, Tversky & Slovic's Judgment under Uncertainty.

A rundown of the biggest plays of the 2010 regular season.

Risk is the ally of the underdog. This is very similar to a post I did last year, but the author takes one step further looking at when NBA teams should change their mix of 3-point and 2-point attempts. H/K - Smart Football.

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4 Responses to “Roundup 1/8/11”

  1. eric says:

    The url for "Risk is the ally of the underdog" is

  2. Andrew Foland says:

    The book was preceded by a paper by Kahneman and Tversky that has many of the same examples.

  3. Anonymous says:

    And don't forget, Tversky co-authored the classic "hot hand" paper back in 1985.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Shame on ColdHardFootballFacts. This excerpt is a joke for a number of reasons:

    "We do know that many teams simply pass the ball too much these days, and that this problem often has a negative impact on the ability to score points. The Colts provided evidence of that phenomenon this year. They led the NFL with 679 passing attempts and they scored a lot of points (435 points).

    But they struggled badly when they relied too much on the passing game, as we reported a couple of times during their mid-season 0-3 slump. They ran the ball more often (as we advised), they got out of the slump and won their final four games thanks to a more balanced attack."

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