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Archive for the 'Simple Rating System' Category

Super Bowl notes: Stat of the Year and Updated SRS Standings

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 26, 2011

My vote for Stat of the Year, courtesy of Big Lead superstar/PFR family member JKL: the Packers haven't trailed by more than seven points at any point this season. Let's take a look at Green Bay's six losses:

  • In Chicago, the Packers got up 7-0 and 10-7, trailed 14-10, took a 17-14 lead, and lost 20-17.
  • In week five in Washington, the Packers led for most of the game before the Redskins scored 10 fourth quarter points to force overtime. Washington won 16-13. Yes, Washington beat this team.
  • In week twelve, the Packers lost another close one in Atlanta. The teams exchanged scores all game, alternating with a Falcons field goal, Packers field goal, Falcons touchdown, Packers touchdowns, Falcons touchdown, Packers touchdown, Falcons field goal.
  • In Detroit, playing the majority of the game without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers lost 7-3.
  • The next week, a loss in New England without Rodgers looked disastrous in the standings but respectable on the field. The Packers got up 3-0 and then 10-7 and 17-7. Two Patriots touchdowns made it 21-17, but Green Bay responded with another touchdown. The Patriots scored last, winning 31-27.

The Packers never trailed by a score in any of their 13 victories, either. Even trailing early wasn't an impediment to a big game, like when the Falcons went up 7-0 in the playoff game. So how rare is it for a team to go an entire season without trailing by more than 7 points? As you could guess, extremely.

34 Comments | Posted in Simple Rating System, Statgeekery

The Rivers Index, Playoffs Edition (2001-2010)

Posted by Neil Paine on January 21, 2011

Back in November, I developed what I called "The Rivers Index" (so named for Philip Rivers), a metric that measured how many games a QB should have won based on nothing more than his own passing performance. Today, I'm going to apply that same concept to the last 10 years of playoff competition, this time using 10 years of data and adjusting for opposing defenses + weather.

124 Comments | Posted in Quarterbacks, Simple Rating System, Statgeekery

CFB: Auburn’s Place Among BCS Champions

Posted by Neil Paine on January 13, 2011

Note: This post was originally published at CFB at Sports-Reference, S-R's new College Football site, so when you're done reading, go over and check it out!

Whenever a team wins a championship, the temptation is always to compare them to other champions from the past, and the 2010 Auburn Tigers are no exception. Using the Simple Rating System (SRS), let's take a look at where the newest title-holders stand among BCS champs...

On Monday, ESPN asked its users to rank the BCS Champions from #1-13, coming up with this list:

Team Total Pts #1 Votes
2005 Texas 147,259 3,238
2004 USC 141,467 2,710
2009 Alabama 138,222 2,104
2001 Miami-FL 130,473 2,474
2008 Florida 119,697 1,071
2006 Florida 102,270 478
2010 Auburn 92,789 1,042
1999 Florida State 87,367 446
2002 Ohio State 82,755 629
2003 LSU 79,905 404
2000 Oklahoma 78,115 388
1998 Tennessee 74,067 525
2007 LSU 73,156 200

The SRS, though, comes up with a different ranking:

Year School Conf W L T SRS SOS
2001 Miami-FL Big East 12 0 0 26.169 5.741
2004 Southern California Pac 10 13 0 0 26.062 8.788
2008 Florida SEC 13 1 0 25.370 6.701
2005 Texas Big 12 13 0 0 24.977 5.686
2009 Alabama SEC 14 0 0 23.693 7.747
1999 Florida State ACC 12 0 0 23.495 6.208
2000 Oklahoma Big 12 13 0 0 21.555 5.812
2003 Louisiana State SEC 13 1 0 20.847 4.033
2010 Auburn SEC 14 0 0 20.648 7.031
1998 Tennessee SEC 13 0 0 19.955 4.955
2006 Florida SEC 13 1 0 19.661 7.886
2007 Louisiana State SEC 12 2 0 18.414 6.659
2002 Ohio State Big Ten 14 0 0 18.134 4.739

7 Comments | Posted in BCS, Best/Worst Ever, College, Simple Rating System, Statgeekery

What Does the Season Series Tell Us About Playoff Matchups?

Posted by Neil Paine on January 12, 2011

All four of this weekend's playoff matchups feature rematches of regular-season games:

Patriots vs. Jets
Rk Tm Year Date Opp W# G# Day Result
1 NWE 2010 2010-12-06 NYJ 13 12 Mon W 45-3
2 NWE 2010 2010-09-19 @ NYJ 2 2 Sun L 14-28
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/12/2011.
Steelers vs. Ravens
Rk Tm Year Date Opp W# G# Day Result
1 PIT 2010 2010-12-05 @ BAL 13 12 Sun W 13-10
2 PIT 2010 2010-10-03 BAL 4 4 Sun L 14-17
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/12/2011.
Falcons vs. Packers
Rk Tm Year Date Opp W# G# Day Result
1 ATL 2010 2010-11-28 GNB 12 11 Sun W 20-17
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/12/2011.
Bears vs. Seahawks
Rk Tm Year Date Opp W# G# Day Result
1 CHI 2010 2010-10-17 SEA 6 6 Sun L 20-23
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/12/2011.

How much extra information (above & beyond the Simple Rating System) can we glean from these previous matchups of playoff foes?

10 Comments | Posted in Play Index, Simple Rating System, Statgeekery

Which Quarterbacks’ Offenses Exceed Expectations in the Playoffs?

Posted by Neil Paine on January 10, 2011

Curious after Peyton Manning & the Colts scored 16 points at home against the Jets on Saturday, I wanted to calculate how many points we should have expected them to put on the board, knowing the opponent and game location.

According to the Simple Rating System (SRS), the Jets' defense was +4.2 this season -- meaning they allowed 4.2 fewer PPG than an average team after accounting for strength of schedule. The average NFL team scored 22.0 PPG during the regular-season, so at a neutral site we'd expect an average team to score 17.8 PPG against the New York defense. And since the Colts were at home, 0.95 PPG (half the overall home-field advantage in 2010) should be added in as well, giving a final expectation of 18.8 PPG for a league-average team against the Jets at home. Since the Colts actually scored 16, we can score this performance as -2.8 points relative to average.

Additionally, we wouldn't have expected the Colts' offense to be average based on the regular season. Their offensive SRS was +3.7, which means Indianapolis "should have" scored 22.0 + 0.95 + 3.7 - 4.2 = 22.5 pts against the Jets at home. This yields a score of -6.5 pts relative to regular-season expectations.

Here's Peyton Manning's entire playoff career according to this methodology:

20 Comments | Posted in Best/Worst Ever, History, Quarterbacks, Simple Rating System, Statgeekery

PI Finds: Final 2010 Team Adjusted Rushing Yards per Attempt, SRS-Style

Posted by Neil Paine on January 6, 2011

As a follow-up to the 2010 team passing ratings I posted Tuesday, I ran the same process on team rushing performances. The formula for adjusted rushing yards per attempt was:

ARY/A = (Rush Yds + 18 * Rush TD) / Rush Att

(The 18 comes from Chase's post on the value of TDs.)

Using the PFR Team Game Finder, I plugged every team single-game rushing performance of the 2010 season into the formula above, then adjusted for strength of schedule and game location using an SRS-style recursive loop. The result was a set of ratings that best predicted every game according to these equations:

Home ARY/A = Lg Avg  ARY/A + .5*HFA + Home Rush Offense Rating + Away Rush Defense Rating

Away ARY/A = Lg Avg ARY/A - .5*HFA + Away Rush Offense Rating + Home Rush Defense Rating

Here were the ratings (again, negative is good for defenses):

4 Comments | Posted in PI Finds, Play Index, Simple Rating System, Site Features, Statgeekery

PI Finds: Final 2010 Team Adjusted Net Passing Yards per Attempt, SRS-Style

Posted by Neil Paine on January 4, 2011

Taking into account opponent and game location, which 2010 teams had the best passing offenses and defenses according to Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt? Let's use the PFR team Game Finder and Doug's SRS methodology (or, if you prefer, Chase's Rearview Adjusted Yards Per Attempt methodology) to find out...

With the team game finder, I called up every team passing performance of the 2010 season. Using the CSV option, I dumped the results into Excel and was quickly able to create a table listing the home and road teams' passing stats for each game of the season:

2010 Game-by-Game Passing Stats

From there, I set up an SRS-style recursive loop where every game's home and road ANY/A are predicted by the following formulae:

Home ANY/A = Lg Avg  ANY/A + .5*HFA + Home Pass Offense Rating + Away Pass Defense Rating

Away ANY/A = Lg Avg ANY/A - .5*HFA + Away Pass Offense Rating + Home Pass Defense Rating

Here were the results (negative is good for defenses):

4 Comments | Posted in PI Finds, Simple Rating System, Site Features, Statgeekery

Four of the NFL’s Six Worst Teams (by SRS) Are in NFC West

Posted by Neil Paine on December 19, 2010

This one doesn't need a whole lot of explanation... According to the home-field-adjusted Simple Rating System, the NFC West contains four of the six worst teams in the entire league:

Rank Team Games Offense Defense Overall
1 NWE 14 12.59 0.54 13.13
2 GNB 14 2.34 7.29 9.63
3 PIT 14 0.82 7.54 8.36
4 SDG 14 3.49 3.28 6.77
5 PHI 14 7.88 -1.51 6.37
6 ATL 14 4.23 1.98 6.21
7 RAV 14 1.51 4.35 5.86
8 NYJ 14 0.00 5.07 5.08
9 NYG 14 1.83 1.97 3.80
10 CLT 14 3.55 -0.27 3.28
11 OTI 14 -0.30 3.36 3.06
12 NOR 14 2.22 0.17 2.39
13 CHI 13 -3.25 5.29 2.04
14 MIA 14 -2.79 4.17 1.38
15 DET 14 1.48 -0.65 0.83
16 KAN 14 -1.33 1.36 0.03
17 CLE 14 -3.43 3.34 -0.09
18 RAI 14 2.11 -2.70 -0.59
19 MIN 13 -3.27 2.01 -1.26
20 HTX 14 2.30 -3.80 -1.50
21 DAL 14 3.85 -5.52 -1.67
22 JAX 14 0.04 -2.37 -2.33
23 BUF 14 0.13 -2.93 -2.81
24 TAM 14 -2.31 -0.54 -2.86
25 CIN 14 0.07 -3.39 -3.32
26 WAS 14 -3.00 -0.94 -3.94
27 RAM 14 -5.88 -0.64 -6.52
28 SFO 14 -5.80 -0.96 -6.76
29 SEA 14 -3.40 -5.92 -9.32
30 DEN 14 -1.44 -8.20 -9.65
31 CRD 14 -5.43 -6.43 -11.86
32 CAR 14 -9.28 -4.40 -13.68
Lg PPG: 22.14
HFA: 1.81

24 Comments | Posted in Simple Rating System

PI Finds: Patriots Shellack Jets

Posted by Neil Paine on December 8, 2010

In honor of the Patriots' vicious beatdown of the Jets Monday night, here are some stats from the Team Game Finder...

New England's romp featured the 2nd-biggest margin of victory in any 2010 game:

Points
Rk Tm Year Date Opp W# G# Day Result PF PA PD
1 OAK 2010 2010-10-24 @ DEN 7 7 Sun W 59-14 59 14 45
2 NWE 2010 2010-12-06 NYJ 13 12 Mon W 45-3 45 3 42
3 DET 2010 2010-10-10 STL 5 5 Sun W 44-6 44 6 38
4 GNB 2010 2010-11-07 DAL 9 9 Sun W 45-7 45 7 38
5 ATL 2010 2010-09-19 ARI 2 2 Sun W 41-7 41 7 34
6 NYG 2010 2010-11-07 @ SEA 9 8 Sun W 41-7 41 7 34
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/8/2010.

It also tied the 2nd-biggest rout in Monday Night Football history:

Points
Rk Tm Year Date Opp W# G# Day Result PF PA PD
1 BAL 2005 2005-12-19 GNB 15 14 Mon W 48-3 48 3 45
2 MIA 1986 1986-11-24 NYJ 12 12 Mon W 45-3 45 3 42
3 NWE 2010 2010-12-06 NYJ 13 12 Mon W 45-3 45 3 42
4 SEA 2005 2005-12-05 @ PHI 13 12 Mon W 42-0 42 0 42
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/8/2010.

11 Comments | Posted in PI Finds, Play Index, Simple Rating System, Site Features, Totally Useless, Trivia

Team ANY/A through 12 weeks — and Matt Cassel

Posted by Chase Stuart on November 30, 2010

The San Diego Chargers are on a four game winning streak, lead the league in yards gained, yards allowed, net yards per pass and net yards per pass allowed. So don't feel bad if you haven't done a good job of following the Kansas City passing game the past three weeks -- I hadn't either.

Then I noticed that Dwayne Bowe had 14 touchdowns, the third most through 11 games in the last 50 years. And Matt Cassel -- who ranked 25th in ANY/A last season -- ranks 5th in that metric in 2010. He's thrown 22 touchdowns and against just 4 interceptions. Here's a list of all players in the past 50 years with 20+ touchdowns and no more than 5 interceptions through 11 team games:

                                                                                          
                                               Pass                                       
Rk           Player Age Year  Lg  Tm  G  W L T  Cmp Att  Cmp%  Yds TD Int  Rate  Y/A  AY/A
1         Tom Brady  33 2010 NFL NWE 11  9 2 0  236 356 66.3% 2703 23   4 105.8 7.59  8.38
2       Matt Cassel  28 2010 NFL KAN 11  7 4 0  195 323 60.4% 2307 22   4  99.7 7.14  7.95
3       Brett Favre  40 2009 NFL MIN 11 10 1 0  248 358 69.3% 2874 24   3 112.1 8.03  8.99
4     Aaron Rodgers  25 2009 NFL GNB 11  7 4 0  249 380 65.5% 3136 22   5 104.9 8.25  8.82
5         Tom Brady  30 2007 NFL NWE 11 11 0 0  284 392 72.4% 3439 39   4 127.9 8.77 10.30
6        Drew Brees  25 2004 NFL SDG 11  8 3 0  206 313 65.8% 2458 21   3 108.0 7.85  8.76
7    Donovan McNabb  27 2004 NFL PHI 11 10 1 0  224 350 64.0% 2892 23   5 105.8 8.26  8.93
8       Rich Gannon  35 2001 NFL RAI 11  8 3 0  236 360 65.6% 2626 21   4 101.9 7.29  7.96
9     Roman Gabriel  29 1969 NFL RAM 11 11 0 0  176 325 54.2% 2212 22   3  94.3 6.81  7.74

Um, yeah. Last year, Jason wrote an article about how Cassel was so conservative that he'd be better off throwing more incomplete passes and interceptions. This year? Well, according to the raw numbers, he looks like a viable MVP candidate. Which, of course, shocked me as a sign that something was up.

11 Comments | Posted in Quarterbacks, Simple Rating System

LaDainian Tomlinson: Not Toast

Posted by Neil Paine on October 4, 2010

Sometimes you just gotta admit that you were wrong.

First of all, I was wrong to doubt the Jets before the season. In fact, after Sunday's 38-14 shellacking of Buffalo (admittedly not the greatest opponent, but one which at least played New England and Miami relatively close), I'm beginning to think New York is at worst the 2nd-best team in the NFL -- perhaps even the best if Ben Roethlisberger shows rust upon his return to Pittsburgh's lineup. Here are our Simple Ratings through week 4 (adjusted for a home-field advantage of 2.5 points, and obviously excluding Pats-Fins):

Rank Team Games Rating Rank Team Games Rating
1 PIT 4 13.72 17 HTX 4 -0.13
2 NYJ 4 12.60 18 CHI 4 -0.65
3 RAV 4 10.64 19 MIN 3 -1.07
4 KAN 3 9.45 20 SEA 4 -1.13
5 SDG 4 7.29 21 WAS 4 -1.21
6 OTI 4 5.85 22 RAM 4 -1.50
7 GNB 4 5.27 23 TAM 3 -2.61
8 ATL 4 4.99 24 DET 4 -3.29
9 CLT 4 4.27 25 NOR 4 -4.02
10 NWE 3 3.44 26 NYG 4 -6.08
11 CLE 4 2.75 27 JAX 4 -7.57
12 CIN 4 2.51 28 SFO 4 -9.18
13 PHI 4 2.30 29 RAI 4 -10.09
14 MIA 3 1.58 30 BUF 4 -10.28
15 DEN 4 0.85 31 CAR 4 -12.80
16 DAL 3 0.50 32 CRD 4 -13.58

In a year where it's looking like parity rules, the Jets are one of only a handful of teams that have separated themselves from the pack at all.

But the main purpose of this post isn't so much a mea culpa about the Jets in general, but rather one about a specific New York player... Back in April, I scoffed at NY's acquisition of LaDainian Tomlinson, calling him (among other things) "toast" and "completely washed up". I cited the fact that when a running back over age 30 posts a sub-3.5 YPC average, it almost universally means he's finished as a productive NFL player; in fact, among the 11 backs who had worse age-29 + 30 YPC averages than LDT did in 2008-09, all but Bill Brown & Dorsey Levens were totally out of the league by age 32. Simply put, 31-year-old RBs who play as badly as Tomlinson did in 2009 don't tend to play pro football much longer, much less contribute high YPC averages again.

15 Comments | Posted in Rant, Running Backs, Simple Rating System, Statgeekery

SRS Added to Standings, Teams and Franchise Pages

Posted by Sean on December 2, 2009

2009 NFL Standings / Packers Franchise Page

As you can tell, we are pretty fond of our Simple Rating System (SRS). While we use it a lot on the blog it hasn't been on the site proper. I've now added it (back to 1960) to the standings pages for each season, the franchise index pages, and the individual team pages.

Eventually, we get team performance leaders (Most TD's by a team) and we'll get it on there as well. Enjoy.

On a side note, we added links to Stubhub's ticket pages for each of the remaining games.

19 Comments | Posted in Announcements, General, P-F-R News, Simple Rating System, Site Features, Statgeekery

The Best 2-Game Stretches of the Decade (2000-08)

Posted by Neil Paine on November 3, 2009

5340416 SBXXXV RavensA few weeks ago, I threw out this crazy idea about how to isolate a team's peak performance by SRS:

"Obviously, we can't run the SRS on single-game samples, because it requires multiple opponents to 'work'. But what if we broke each team-season down into 15 to 19 'mini-teams' based on 2-game stretches of the season? Like, the Patriots' win over the Jets in Week 1 of the 2007 season would be part of the 'New England Games 1-2' team, and so would their win against the Chargers the next week. And that Chargers team would be part of the 'San Diego Games 2-3' team, who played 'Green Bay Games 3-4' the next week, who played 'Minnesota Games 4-5' the week after that... and so on and so forth. Now, every 'team' connects to every other team, just like in the regular SRS, but we've also isolated team performance down to the most specific time period possible using the SRS method."

As a follow-up, I calculated the best and worst 2-game stretches by teams this decade (2009 isn't included because not all teams have played the same # of games yet). Remember, the SRS is focused on measuring a team's point differential vs. the point differential you'd expect an average team to have based on the game's location and the strength of the opponent; this method takes it even further and is only concerned with the strength of the opponent at the time of the game, meaning wins against teams with mediocre records can still be positive for a team's SOS if they play them either before or after a strong performance. I think there's definitely some logic to this, because (as Chase pointed out in the post that inspired this series) every game features a different version of the same team; sometimes the differences are so small as to be imperceptible, but sometimes they're huge (think the '07 Giants early in the season vs. late), so it really does matter when you catch a particular opponent.

8 Comments | Posted in Simple Rating System, Statgeekery

Crazy Fun With SRS

Posted by Neil Paine on October 28, 2009

24959908_Jaguars_v_PatriotsBear with me while I throw two crazy SRS variations out there at you...

First: In the wake of Super Bowl XLII (while I was still weeping, if I recall correctly), Chase wrote this super-philosophical post about there not being a greatest team ever -- that the '07 Patriots might have been the GOAT early in the season when they were blowing the doors off of everybody, but by the time the Giants faced them in SBXLII, that team no longer resembled the team that was being billed as the most dominant ever a few months before. Likewise, the Giants were playing really well by the time January and February rolled around, and were far superior to the sorta mediocre version that trotted out on the field early in the season. So according to Chase's logic, it wasn't like you could really pinpoint "The 2007 Patriots" or "The 2007 Giants", because those two teams didn't actually exist.

20 Comments | Posted in Insane ideas, Simple Rating System, Statgeekery