Welcome to PatsFans.com

Football Outsider Record Projections

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by BradyFTW!, Aug 16, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    31,081
    Likes Received:
    587
    Ratings:
    +1,782 / 16 / -6

    Stats in football are very misleading. It isn't like baseball where stats are hard and fast. Based on stats last year, the Pats had a top rated defense. They were near the top in points and yards allowed. The reality is that they were closer to middle of the pack.
     
  2. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    5,194
    Likes Received:
    8
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0 / -0

    The problem here is you lump every single statistic into this mythical beast called "stats". Baseball is further along with sabermetrics because of the huge sample sizes that they have to work with. But the basic/simple traditional statistics in Baseball have huge flaws as well (BA, ERA etc...).

    Based on Football Outsiders "stats" for example, the Patriots had a very mediocre/middle-pack defense last year. You can (almost) always find one or two statistics to support any opinion, but that is an indication of the person(s) using the statistics not the statistics themselves.

    For example, Points Allowed tells you exactly how many points opponents scored per game. It does NOT directly tell you how well the defense played, and anyone using it alone to prove something is a flaw in their statistical analysis not the statistic itself nor statistics in general.

    FO's statistics are much more in depth than simple yardage/points accumulations and are much more accurate in depicting how well a unit actually played.
     
  3. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    10,030
    Likes Received:
    68
    Ratings:
    +174 / 3 / -1

    When people say that predictive models in sports are "useless," what they are really saying is that reality seldom produces an "average" (or "mean") outcome. And, in that sense, they are right.

    The mean output of any predictive model is always accompanied by a distribution of possible outcomes around that mean. Statisticians derive a "Standard Deviation" to describe the range of divergence from the mean of the possible outcomes at different levels of confidence, usually described as 68.2% (one sigma), 95.4% (two sigma) or 99.6% (three sigma).

    So, if FO says a team is most likely to have 10.3 wins in a particular season, it's really important to understand the Standard Deviation around that mean.

    For example, if the StDev is 0.2, then the model is saying that in 68.2% of possible outcomes, the team wins between 10.1 and 10.5 games; that in 95.4% of outcomes, the team wins between 9.9 and 10.7 games; and that in 99.6% of outcomes, the team wins between 9.7 and 10.9 games. In other words, if you trust the model, you'd be pretty comfortable betting a few bucks straight up on a 10 win season, since the model effectively says that there is a 99.6% chance that it will win between 9.7 and 10.9 games.

    But, if the Standard Deviation is a lot higher, say 1.0, then the model is saying that in 68.2% of possible outcomes, the team wins between 9.3 and 11.3 games; that in 95.4% of outcomes, the team wins between 8.3 and 12.3 games; and that in 99.6% of outcomes, the team wins between 7.3 and 13.3 games. In that case, you might keep your money in your pocket or look for some odds from your betting partner. And, you would want to find another model.

    I'll just leave it there, but it's not even that simple, as the "shape" of the distribution of possible outcomes also comes into play.
     
  4. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    31,081
    Likes Received:
    587
    Ratings:
    +1,782 / 16 / -6

    FO is better than most, but there are still plenty of flaws in their point system. A game like the Pats vs. Titans last year will skew any statistical analysis over a season. Baseball doesn't have this problem because one game doesn't affect the overall statistics in a 162 game season as it does in a 16 game season.
     
  5. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    5,194
    Likes Received:
    8
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0 / -0

    I guess we can just throw out all statistics and just go by our eyes (which have far more inherent flaws than even basic statistics).

    Good stuff. I think I just get a little irked when people so easily dismiss statistics as lies. People are so much more forgiving of human error than mathematical and statistical error. We should get a little contest going here and compete against FO's model. Fans vs. Statistics, the duel!
     
  6. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    31,081
    Likes Received:
    587
    Ratings:
    +1,782 / 16 / -6

    Stats have their purpose, but they can be very misleading even if you have a stat formula like the DVOA. People throw around the DVOA and other lesser stats formulas as if they are the be all and end all. The problem is especially in the NFL a lot of stats can be very misleading including stats that are used to calcalculate the DVOA.

    Use whatever you want, but I find that, although Football Outsider seems to be the best stat service out there, they can be wrong a lot because of the inherent flaw in some of the data. Personally, I use my eye, stats, and expert analysis to make my decision. I don't think any one of those sources are infalible on their own. My guess is that when Belichick analyzes opponents and players does not go on stats alone or his eyes alone.
     
  7. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    5,194
    Likes Received:
    8
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0 / -0

    I think DVOA does a very good job at portraying how the units performed in a given year. I'm not really inclined to look into any predictive models though.

    What inherent flaws are there and are there examples of them being wrong a lot?

    Of course, statistics are only one piece of the puzzle and should never be used strictly as infallible. Note that my only beef was that you said statistics were -useless- in football. I'm sure BB uses just about everything he has at his disposal, including decades of experience that the human brain may subconsciously process and display as a "gut feeling" :D
     
  8. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    17,363
    Likes Received:
    282
    Ratings:
    +939 / 13 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    It's not stats that are misleading: you're just picking misleading stats. According to DVOA, the Pats had the 16th ranked defense in the NFL: the very definition of middle of the pack. Even before I saw that stat, my eyes told me that that was the case. Where it's more difficult, I think, is where your eyes don't totally match up with the stats. For example, Brady had the highest DVOA of any quarterback in the NFL last year, because he faced a historically hard group of pass defenses. I watched every Pats game multiple times, and it never would have occurred to me that Brady was the top QB in the NFL in 2009. But hey, that just goes to show you how much strength of schedule affects QB play. It's the polar opposite of 2008, where Cassel was identified as being not nearly as good as his stats, because he faced one of the easiest defensive schedules in the NFL (we did draw the NFC west...).

    Stats can be done pretty accurately in the NFL, as long as situational elements are corrected for. Like the 59-0 Titans game, as you mentioned before; any statistic that adjusts for strength of opponent and score discrepancy will appropriately devalue the stats amassed in that game (DVOA does that).
     
  9. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    17,363
    Likes Received:
    282
    Ratings:
    +939 / 13 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    Some other interesting observations from Aaron Schatz on the Patriots:



    • Patriots fans thought their team was fading at the end of games, and they were right. The Patriots had the best offensive DVOA in the league through the first three quarters, then ranked 18th in the fourth quarter and overtime.
    • The Patriots led the league in time of possession per drive, the only team that held the ball for more than three minutes of game time in an average drive.
    • Tom Brady faced only three pass rushers on a league-high 10 percent of passes.
    • The Patriots allowed 9.6 yards per pass on running back screens; only the Jets gave up more average yards on screens.

    Also, in case it isn't clear by now, all of FO's rankings point to the Pats being a better-than-10-win team last year, specifically, based on all other statistics, it's saying that they should most likely have won 11-12 games, but got more bad breaks than good ones. All of which makes them a candidate to rebound this year.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  10. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Messages:
    42,761
    Likes Received:
    623
    Ratings:
    +2,086 / 88 / -82

    Disable Jersey

    Well, they were one bad call in the Colts game from being an 11 win team, so there it is.
     
  11. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    20,986
    Likes Received:
    274
    Ratings:
    +750 / 16 / -7

    #3 Jersey

    Actually, what makes it so "misleading" is that the Titans actually got better after their shellacking at the hands of the Patriots.

    If they had continued along on their 0-for pace, the Patriots' victory wouldn't have looked as statistically dominant.
     
  12. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    17,363
    Likes Received:
    282
    Ratings:
    +939 / 13 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    And even still, the Titans were bad enough for long enough that it didn't look hugely impressive. Their defensive DVOA was 12.7%, which was 27th in the league. And as you alluded to, they were the least consistent team in the league according to variance ratings. I'm not sure if that gets accounted for in measuring strength of schedule on opposing team DVOAs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  13. RyanP421

    RyanP421 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    huh?

    You use too many commas which make your sentences too hard to read.
     
  14. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    6,357
    Likes Received:
    128
    Ratings:
    +299 / 22 / -15

    Except for one other confirming stat. 10 and 6 ! That is not middle of the pack.
     
  15. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    6,357
    Likes Received:
    128
    Ratings:
    +299 / 22 / -15

    The doomster, sky-is-falling types, just can't get enough Gloom & Doom.

    It has finally penetrated their thick skulls that Seymour leaving, created a big hole that affected the Patriots Defense in 2009. I have been saying that to the winds, seemingly forever. Meanwhile all I have heard is endless drivel about "lack of pass rush" and lousy OLBs,and only 31 sacks.

    The reality is you can't accumulate sacks on 3rd and 2s. Despite the constant wailing, the OLBs positions produced 18 sacks. That is above the standard quota, and actually higher than some of the SB clubs. But the DL line fell off from about 10-12 to only 5. The ILBs blitzed for exactly none, when they usually produced about 5, as well. What secondary blitz sacks? What interior pressure? How do you stop the step-up, into the pocket? They didn't in 2009.

    Y'all won't like the Truth but the OLB "problem" was solved with the acquistion of Derrick Burgess and a TC, and the return of TBC. BB spent the entire offseason not getting OLB FAs, but trying to solve the Seymour hole. Damione Lewis and Gerard Warren are products of that search.

    And why was there a hole? It wasn't because the talent wasn't there when he left. It was that Belichick planned to replace Seymour with a pair of RDEs, and platoon the under-sized Wright and Greene, to keep them fresh. And then Greene got dinged, and Wright got worn out and over-whelmed.

    Yes it hurts that Ty Warren went on IR, but there is a solution. Now there is someone to spell Wright at RDE; and there is someone to take T Warrens place. And neither is a slouch. Either GWarren and DLewis are more than adequate to platoon, with Wright. The other is more than adequate to platoon with Pryor and/or Brace at LDE. It is even possible that one or both don't need the assistance of a platoon mate.

    Actually Wright, Pryor, Lewis, and Warren are all capable of penetrating and re-creating the missing interior pressure. T Warren was never a sacker nor is Wilfork. Virtually all the interior rush and sacks came from Seymour. Now it willl be distributed, and harder to plan and anticipate. Wright will get his half dozen sacks, and the others should be able to generate another half dozen or more.

    The mediocre hole at the defensive line has been repaired, maybe not as well as hoped, but better than it was last season. When it was so "horrible", the Pats could only win 10 games.

    It is also why I rated the OLB corp as an A- that caused so much frivolity, amongst the doomsters.
     
  16. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Messages:
    42,761
    Likes Received:
    623
    Ratings:
    +2,086 / 88 / -82

    Disable Jersey

    It was largely the homers insisting that moving Seymour wouldn't be that big a loss.
     
  17. OldNEPatsFan

    OldNEPatsFan Practice Squad Player

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    To say the loss of Ty Warren isn't that big a deal is ludicrous. From 2004-2008 when Seymour and Warren played together Seymour had 200 tackles and 22.5 sacks. Warren had 294 tackles and 18.5 sacks. Warren average 1 sack less per season than Seymour and did a better job at stopping the run. None of the replacements they have on the team now are going to make up for the loss of these two players.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  18. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    17,363
    Likes Received:
    282
    Ratings:
    +939 / 13 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    If Green and Wright were platooning, who was the ideal fit on running downs? The Pats' biggest problem, as you alluded to, was that they weren't very good on first and second down, leading to a lot of third-and-shorts. This was largely because teams could reliably run for enough to get into third and short when needed. Good teams could, at least. And that was at least in part because, between Wright and Green, neither one can be trusted to hold up against an effective run-blocking line. We saw Wright get absolutely crushed on Reggie Bush's touchdown run last week, and I think we'll be seeing more of that if we expect to see much of him before third down.

    As far as OLBs are concerned, I'm right there with you. I don't think that they're the problem on defense. The problem is talent decay on the d-line and at ILB, which culminated last year with Bruschi's retirement, Mayo's injury, Guyton being thrust into a role that forced Mayo out of position, Seymour's trade, and Warren's persistent groin and hip injuries. We clearly lacked talent at DE and ILB, and it killed us on second down, in particular. Here's the stats to back it up:

    [​IMG]

    Before Ty Warren was IRed, I thought that a Warren-Wilfork-Warren line, with Mayo (healthy and in position) and Spikes behind them would turn that weakness into a strength. Gerard Warren was a bit of a wild card, but even if he couldn't get the job done, there were other candidates.

    With Ty Warren out, though, I'm a lot more uncertain. Even assuming best case scenario for Gerard, who steps in at the other side? I'm not a Mike Wright fan, for the reasons mentioned above. Brace has had health issues, but I'm at least intrigued by him. Damione Lewis didn't start in the NFL until he was 30, and hasn't shown anything up to this point to indicate that he should have. I like Deaderick, but if his weight's really in the 280s, but he seems to be a little small to ask him to be on the field before third down. And Pryor, at 6'1, isn't very well suited for gap control. At this point, I'm just really hoping that Brace turns out to be a revelation. We know he's slow, but if he can occupy blockers without giving ground, then he'll be exactly what we need. In that case, on passing downs they'll both probably sit, and I wouldn't be surprised if we went with a 4-2-5 nickel package.

    Even if RDE is better off now than it was in 2009, in 2009 it was a gaping chasm. We haven't replaced Seymour, and frankly we're not going to. He's a once-in-a-generation type player, and rather than worrying about replacing him the Pats just have to figure out how they're going to make up for his loss elsewhere. Replacing Guyton with Spikes is an excellent start. And FWIW, I do agree with you that the defense will be better than last year. I think it'll be above average this season, as opposed to average. And I do think that that's good enough to put the Pats in the conversation as a preseason SB contender, so I'm definitely not a doom and gloom type.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  19. WinstonSmith

    WinstonSmith On the Game Day Roster

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ratings:
    +5 / 0 / -0

    I like that they included the Pats' win-loss probability curve. I’m a fan of curves – boy do I love curves.

    The Pats’ record totals could fluctuate greatly because of their youth and reliance of certain JAGS on defense (who look pretty good to me so far), and a few geriatrics in critical positions. Overall I concur with their 3rd place preseason ranking – even sans Warren.

    I would not be shocked if this team finished around 8-8, but I also see a team that could have the highest potential ceiling in the league and that has a shot at becoming a special team. By special – I mean a team that puts together one of the all time seasons…and wins the super bowl. Before you call me a homer – or worse – please understand that I believe that the probability of any team being “special” this year is relatively low, It’s like having the most lottery tickets - most likely the Pats will finish with 10-11 wins and will ultimately fall short.

    I love this kind of season. It’s like a good book – you’re not quite sure how it will end but getting there should be a blast.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>