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Old 12-24-2018, 09:48 PM
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Xenos Xenos is offline
Madness? This is Chargers
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,551
Default Analytics Revolution in the NFL

Thought this was interesting and wanted to share. I recommend reading the entire article.

He became interested in how teams win games when he was in college and became convinced of two things, both of which would foreshadow the modern NFL. The first is that an offensive emphasis on passing correlated to wins. The second is more complicated than it sounds. Sharp found that third-down efficiency, long the obsession of announcers and old-school coaches, was not the key to an effective offense. He found that it was better for teams to scrap third downs entirely and move the chains by gaining the necessary yardage on first and second down.
“I don’t think their strategy was to avoid third down, but I think there was just more aggressiveness. It’s about calling efficient plays,” Sharp said. “You always hear TV announcers, it drives me crazy, they’ll say on second-and-short, ‘Good time to take a shot down the field,’ and there’s a lot of risk in that. The interception rate is higher than it is on a regular play, the success rate converting it is low. Run a play that gets you the first down and take a shot on the next first-and-10 if you want.”
There is some evidence that teams are coming around to Sharp’s ideas about early-down aggressiveness. The leaguewide yards per attempt average on first down is 7.4, up from 7.1 in 2017. On second down, it’s 7, up from 6.5 last year. On third down, yards per attempt has actually dipped slightly, from 6.2 in 2017 to 6.0 now. This season, the Rams and Chiefs lead the NFL in first downs, yet are 26th and 31st, respectively, in third-down attempts. Sharp pointed to the Chargers as a team that did not pass enough on first down and did not call efficient plays on early downs last year. This season, Philip Rivers’s yards per attempt average on first down has climbed from 8.1 to 9.7; the 11-3 Chargers are enjoying their best season in years.

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Unleash the Rivers!!!
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