Tag Archives: Super Bowl

Playoff Appetizer: True Wins Plus (Fumble Adjusted)

We might be halfway through the first quarter of the first NFL playoff game of 2013, but I’m still finishing up with baseball and just getting warmed up on football. Football month on the blog officially kicks off today — there’s lots of interest stuff to come, from innovative rule ideas and play calling to new prediction methods and game analysis. Today, I’m trying an addition to the measure of NFL team quality that I debuted last year: True Wins. True Wins are calculated as follows:

True Win = Blowout Wins + Close Wins/2 + Close Losses/2 + Ties/2

You may recognize the intuition from pythagorean expectations — you get full credit for blowout wins (I define this as more than 7 points), but no extra credit for winning by huge margins, and you get half credit for all close games, since those probably come down to luck more than skill. Last year, I showed that True Wins predicts a little better than pythagoreans, and it’s a whole lot more direct. Both measures are much better than using wins alone, which unfairly penalize (reward) teams that lose (win) a lot of close games.

What Else is Luck-Driven? Fumble Recoveries?

With the playoffs coming right up, I decided to try an improvement that adjusts for possible luck in fumble recoveries as well. Here’s the logic (from Football Outsiders):

Stripping the ball is a skill. Holding onto the ball is a skill. Pouncing on the ball as it is bouncing all over the place is not a skill. There is no correlation whatsoever between the percentage of fumbles recovered by a team in one year and the percentage they recover in the next year. The odds of recovery are based solely on the type of play involved, not the teams or any of their players . . . Fumble recovery is a major reason why the general public overestimates or underestimates certain teams. Fumbles are huge, turning-point plays that dramatically impact wins and losses in the past, while fumble recovery percentage says absolutely nothing about a team’s chances of winning games in the future. With this in mind, Football Outsiders stats treat all fumbles as equal, penalizing them based on the likelihood of each type of fumble (run, pass, sack, etc.) being recovered by the defense.

The keys are:

  1. Fumbles are huge turning points in games
  2. Teams don’t maintain high or low recovery rates over time

To quantify #1, I determined the point value of a recovery. A simple regression of point differential in each game on total fumbles and fumbles Continue reading

Advertisements

LOS LIIIIIINNNNNNKKKKSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week’s LOS LIIIINNNKKKKSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!:

As always, send me los links if you have something funny, sports-related, intelligent, and/or intriguing.

LOS LIIIIIINNNNNNKKKKSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week’s LOS LIIIINNNKKKKSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!:

As always, send me los links if you have something funny, sports-related, intelligent, and/or intriguing.

LOS LIIIIIINNNNNNKKKKSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week’s LOS LIIIINNNKKKKSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!:

As always, send me los links if you have something funny, sports-related, intelligent, and/or intriguing.

LOS LIIIIIINNNNNNKKKKSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NFL/Super Bowl sayonara edition

Here a few LOS LIIIINNNKKKKSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!! to wrap up an entertaining NFL season and Super Bowl (“Turn out the lights . . . “):

As always, send me your los links if you have something funny, sports-related, intelligent, and/or intriguing.

Adrian the Canadian on instant replay and cricket

Adrian the Canadian gave us his take on the use of instant replay in the NFL last Saturday. To his chagrin, the Super Bowl was tense and exciting but lacked replay controversy (we nearly had a Hochuli moment on the fumble recovered by the Patriots, due to an inadvertent whistle, but the Patriots’ 12 men on the field penalty made it irrelevant). Today, he reaches all the way to cricket to find an example of effective, uncontroversial video review:

With the Super Bowl over, the NBA and NHL slumping through their mid-seasons, March Madness a month away, and the unavailability of the rugby Six Nations on Rogers Cable in Toronto, we’re in the middle of the dullest part of the sports calendar outside of July/August, which makes this the perfect time to broaden our sports horizons and wade into the fascinating world of … cricket! The other day, an article in the Economist caught my eye. In short, a new system of instant replay is revolutionizing Continue reading

Brother Conor explains Linsanity

I didn’t have a whole lot to say in the post-NFL apocalyptic sports world today, so I’m leaving it to Brother Conor to bring you up to speed:

Hey there. Taking the reins for a moment so that Tyler stays ahead of the curve on the NBA’s answer to Tim Tebow. It’s Jeremy Lin-mania! Linsanity! Though I’m a political theorist by training, I’ll bow to the blog’s raison d’être and lead with the stats. Last night, Jeremy Lin dropped 28 points on the Jazz, and in just 45 minutes on the floor! Here’s a rough equation to put this in context:

(28 points x “end of NFL season media desperation” x “hype machine”) / “small sample size” = “Lin will score twenty-twelve billion points this year” + “Lin will play until he’s 65”

The math is pretty clear. Last night, Jeremy Lin limned the court with the unmistakable brilliance of a legend made good on his potential.

It’s early days to extrapolate the rest of his career, but here are some minimum baselines Continue reading