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Checkdowns: Brian Burke’s “Best Games of the Decade”

Posted by Neil Paine on August 19, 2009

This post is a little behind the curve (the feature originally came out in late June), but Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats has a cool application using his Win Probability model that measures the best comebacks and the "most exciting" games since the 2000 season. He talks about the methodology here, and the gist is that the greatest comebacks are ones where the winning team had the lowest WP at some point in the game. The most exciting games, on the other hand, play on the idea that back-and-forth games are very exiciting --therefore the "excitement index" is a measure of how much the WP graph has moved over the course of a game. I love the concept of win probability in all sports, and Brian's work on the topic in football has been very interesting, so I think this feature is one of the coolest ones on his site.