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Zeus - Probability and Risks in the NFL

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Halifax_Pats_Fan, Dec 1, 2007.

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  1. Halifax_Pats_Fan

    Halifax_Pats_Fan Rookie

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    Guys, I was listening to Sirius NFL Radio (Moving the Chains???? - forget the show actually) and they were saying that this 'consultant' has a software application that takes into consideration the law of probabilities in the NFL and apparently concludes that many teams in the NFL are too conservative on offense and on going for it on fourth down.

    Apparently BB and Polian met with this guy re: his findings and this app.

    One of the reasons I mention this is just because maybe more teams would look into this and take more risks against NE or other teams.

    I don't have a link, it is just what I heard on Sirius NFL Radio.

    Anyone else hear about this?
  2. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    owww....

    btw, did u mean BB and Pioli?

    or the colts GM Polian?
  3. Halifax_Pats_Fan

    Halifax_Pats_Fan Rookie

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    Polian....Colts
  4. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rookie

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    You mean, like, Andy Reid and the Eagles????
  5. PatsFanInVa

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    I guess it depends how good the program is, basically. And of course the parameters change as soon as enough people accept the validity of the program itself.

    But this particular program aside (I assume you were being facetious about BB and Polian consulting this specific oracle,) it seems likely that BB's feel for probability is one of his advantages in the league. Everybody thinks of him as such a grumpy old guy, but he's the ultimate innovator on the field. When the league accepts a set of principles, it's too hard to re-tool... so when you can be the trendsetter instead of a follower, you have a window of time while they try to catch up. BB grasps that innovating is an edge in itself, but only when your innovations lead to winning.

    PFnV
  6. SVN

    SVN Rookie

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  7. pheenix11

    pheenix11 Rookie

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    Too many teams in the NFL play not to lose rather than playing to win,

    I remember in the 2004 AFC Championship game there was a point late in the game when the Steelers were trying to come back and they had like 4th and 1 inside the 10 and Cowher shyt his pants and went for the field goal. Right then I said "this is why you choke in ever championship game Cowher" and I knew the Pats had that game. He was not playing to win.

    You have to go for the jugular in this league. I remember a quote I read, I forget who said it but it was "every time you kick a field goal you are that much closer to losing". That is the story of this Dynasty, holding teams to field goals instead of touchdowns.
  8. GameDay

    GameDay Rookie

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    ZEUS is old news. See this: (e. g.)

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060420232621.htm
    -------Excerpt-------------------

    New Computer Model Of Football Can Help NFL Coaches Call The Next Play, Evaluate Players

    ScienceDaily (Apr. 24, 2006) — It's a cliché in football that every fan thinks he's a coach. Now there's a computer that thinks it's a coach.
    "Just what I need," groans every harassed head coach. "Another critic."

    Not this time. Indiana University scientist Chuck Bower and two partners from the business world, Frank Frigo of Louisville, Ky., and Bo Durickovic of Austin, Texas, have created ZEUS, a computer model of football as it's played in the National Football League, based on years of NFL statistics. ZEUS runs on an off-the-shelf laptop, perfect for a football sideline or a coach's booth above the playing field.

    -------End excerpt-------------------

    Like Big Blue which finally beat humans (Kasparov), and the checker computer program that completely solves all moves, computer-aided strategy for games and sports should be beneficial. For many yrs, coaches archive opponents' tendencies (situational football for examples) to guess what would be the most likely plays from opponents, and hence can call a counterplay. This is known as Game Theory, which has been applied extensively by modern military. US Dept of Defense has been the major R&D supporter of this field. They are being applied everywhere, from finance (investment strategy), business, to insurance.

    ZEUS is probably the best and most scientifically rigorous software on NFL football. Since its appearance in 2006, I was surprised not to hear more about it. The main staple for Monday morning and armchair QB is to second guess coaches' decisions, and yes, there are many truly egregiously stupid decisions. On the other hands, too many fall into "perfect hindsight syndrome" and fail to appreciate the validity of some decisions. I also wonder if some coaches are just not up to appreciate this concept. I know that BB does based on previous report. (But not know if he uses ZEUS specifically).

    It should be noted however, like in any game strategy, randomization is the most important element. If an opponent detects your trend, you are done for. Something that we all know. We vary our routines, turning light on-off randomly; company performs random security check, random drug test... So, even if a coach knows that under 3rd down and 15 condition, a team is most likely to call some play, he better varies his counter play so that it doesn't tip his hand. Other coach for example, may see Vrabel in on 1st and goal, but must make decision whether it is for real or just a decoy. But then, T Brady is smart enough to make instant decision.

    That's the reason it's hard to substitute human intelligence. Our brain is still very well designed to make good decision (although comes with it is some evolution pre-programs that would be wrong and irrational in complex situations). In fact, only recently that a computer can beat human chess players, and that takes a very powerful machine. Instantaneous good decision in the field is so crucial and yet, so undervalued.

    That's why I always smiles when hearing fans belittling Tom Brady for the lack of physical attributes, like arm strength or dazzling mechanics ... They don't realize that one of the most important attribute is actually invisible, it's in the brain. That's why Bledsoe is Bledsoe and Brady is Brady.
  9. Pats Fanatic

    Pats Fanatic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    The Cowboys did the very same thing in the Pats game this year.
  10. Halifax_Pats_Fan

    Halifax_Pats_Fan Rookie

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    never said it was new, wondering if any other patsfans members have heard of this....
  11. makewayhomer

    makewayhomer Rookie

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    guys statistics are completely stupid, HUMANS play football, not computers.
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