We are currently in the midst of an unheralded surge in the use of football analytics. There is a growing focus on statistics and numbers, similar to the baseball analytics boom that we saw in recent years. In an effort to try and find out how these analytics affect the sport and its outcome, I have decided to look at some of them myself. In this blog post, I will give a brief explanation of my thoughts on this topic.
What Is Football Analytics?
Football analytics is the analysis of sport by using statistical methods. It has been around for a long time but it really started to take off after the publication of Moneyball in 2003. Since then, more and more teams have started using football analytics to improve their chances of winning games.
One reason why football analytics is so popular is that it allows you to find out what variables impact on a game’s outcome before anyone else does. For example, you could say that playing against Man City is likely to increase your chances of winning because they have one of the best defences in Europe. This means that if you play against them your chances are increased even further than normal because they are strong at defending against counter attacks (which happen often).
Another way football analytics helps teams win games is with data analysis
There has been a significant surge in the use of analytics and the interest in analytics in sports. The reason is that the data is available, there are people who know how to analyze it, and teams are willing to make decisions based on it. Football, as with many sports, has undergone a revolution. People are now pouring through play by play data searching for variables that impact the score. Examples of these variables include: when to go for it on 4th down, when to go for 2 point conversions, and what plays work best at various points in the game.
What this means is that fans can have a better idea of what their team is doing, why they are doing it, and if they are doing the right thing. It also means that teams will be more likely to do the right thing over time. This will lead to more parity among teams. However, this does not mean that every team will be equally good every year because some teams have more resources than others. Teams with more resources will still have an advantage because they can afford better talent and better coaching staffs. Over time though we should see more parity among teams because most teams have similar access to analytics and similar access to coaches who understand them.
The key question then becomes: “what analytics
It’s what everybody wants to know. What makes a team win? Is it the best coach? The top players? Or should we be looking more closely at all the variables that impact the score and how they impact it?
In a sport with so much information and so many variables, I found myself pouring through all of it. I wanted to understand what made a team successful and if any of these variables were actually worth the time and effort to track.
After hours of going through articles, blogs, reports and statistics I found myself in a bit of an abyss. The more I read the more confused and overwhelmed I became. I was just not getting anywhere fast enough.
So, I started back at square one.
First, I had to put my pre-existing beliefs aside as best as possible. We all have them and they can cloud our judgement when looking at data or information.
Next, I needed to figure out what variables impacted the outcome of the game and how they impacted it. This is where things got complicated fast as there were over 100 variables that could potentially impact the outcome of a football game!
To make sense of this plethora of information, I needed to start prioritizing certain variables over others to see which were most important for predicting success
In the past decade, sports analytics has become increasingly popular. The rise of big data has allowed teams to take a data-driven approach to scouting and player performance analysis.
There are several key metrics that are available for each player that can be used to analyze the impact of each player on the game. The goal of this report is to determine which variables have a significant impact on how many points a team scores.
We will utilize data from a Kaggle dataset that contains over 200 variables for each NFL play from 2009 – 2017 seasons. The following variables will be analyzed:
* Play category (Passing, Rushing, etc.)
* Yards gained
* Field Position (Yard line)
* Down number (1st, 2nd, etc.)
* Distance needed for first down
* Quarter number (1, 2, 3, 4)
* Score differential at time of play
Football is a sport that has long been dominated by tradition and gut feeling, with little thought to how teams could use data to better inform their decisions and gain the upper hand. In the last few years, though, this has begun to change. Teams are now using data analytics to help them understand which plays are most likely to get them a first down or touchdown. This is good for football because it allows teams to make decisions based on objective evidence instead of just hunches or opinions.
In his book “Moneyball”, Michael Lewis described how the Oakland Athletics were able to use data analysis in baseball to find undervalued players who could contribute more than their cost would suggest. This was done by looking at statistics such as on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG) instead of batting average (AVG). While some baseball fans scoffed at this idea initially, many other teams soon adopted similar strategies and became competitive with bigger payrolls like New York Yankees.
In recent years there have been several articles written about football analytics and how they can be used by teams to gain an advantage over their competitors. Some examples include ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight website which published “The Hidden Value Of The Football Analytics,” written by Ben Falk; Pro Football Focus’
There has been a lot of hype and hoopla surrounding the rise of “advanced football statistics” or “football analytics” lately. The term “analytics” is not a new one, but it’s been gaining popularity in the NFL.
In recent years, teams like the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, and Green Bay Packers have shown that they are willing to spend money to gain an edge with statistics. Even teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals were willing to give up future draft picks to acquire players that were at the top of their statistical profiles.
The rise of football analytics has brought about a fundamental shift in how fans view the game. Nowadays, fans don’t just watch the games; they analyze them. They go beyond box scores and look at every single play of every single game. They examine every down, every drive, and every yard.
The NFL is no stranger to the analytics movement that has swept the sports world. However, it has been a slow growth in comparison to other sports such as basketball and baseball. Football is a much more complex game with many more moving parts than baseball or basketball. This makes it a difficult sport to quantify through statistics. Although football is slower to pick up on the analytics trend, there have been significant strides taken in recent years.
In 2005, Bill Belichick said that “analytics are for losers.” He then proceeded to hire Ernie Adams as his director of football research who was responsible for creating the first ever football analytics program at a professional level. The Patriots have been at the cutting edge of football analytics ever since, and all their success has opened doors for other teams to follow suit and embrace analytics.