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2022 Best Case Scenario for Tua

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Galant, Jan 25, 2022.

  1. Dolfanalyst

    Dolfanalyst Active Member

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    What's said above is exactly why there is comparatively little variation among offensive lines throughout the league -- they're the biggest position group on the field, and therefore in comparison to smaller position groups on the field, deficiencies in one player in the unit have a stronger probability of being balanced by strengths in another player in the unit, and vice-versa. This is why the best offensive line in the league isn't all that much better than the Dolphins' line, in comparison to the difference between the best and worst teams at other positions on the field.

    If you have just one QB, his weaknesses can't be balanced by the strengths of your "other QB" on the field (because there isn't one). If you have five linemen however, there is far more probability for balance among the group.
     
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  2. cbrad

    cbrad .

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    Sure you can. Once you have any performance metric for that line, there will be an average for that metric. That's just logic. For example, if you took PBWR or RBWR as your desired metric (this is just an example) you'll have averages for those metrics. And of course you can aim for that. This will be true whether it's one player we're talking about or a unit composed of many players dependent on each other.
     
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  3. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    You have a really warped view of these things. Have you played organized football at any level? Do you have experience playing as a lineman, or coaching linemen?

    Key played offensive line. I know he understands the position. He knows what it takes to be successful. Stats don't know these things.
     
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  4. mlb1399

    mlb1399 Well-Known Member

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    I played OL in college. I can tell you one thing, whatever stats suggest, if you can’t protect your QB and have some semblance of a run game things aren’t going to go well. Tua missed 4.5 games because Davis let a DE(AJE) kill him. Im convinced had Tua stayed healthy, we would have won 10 games.
     
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  5. Sceeto

    Sceeto Well-Known Member

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    Nah. It's shou.
     
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  6. Dolfanalyst

    Dolfanalyst Active Member

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    The greatest offensive lineman in the history of the NFL couldn't possibly know how much offensive lines vary throughout the league over full seasons unless he was able to measure it in some way and determine it mathematically, because humans aren't capable of performing that number and complexity of mental/mathematical operations with accuracy. Expertise in playing offensive line has nothing to do with determining with some precision how much variation there is in offensive line play throughout the league over a full season.

    A person with offensive line expertise could certainly tell us whether the Dolphins' line is good or bad over small samples of play, like early in the game against Buffalo when Tua was hurt for example, but the "eye test" he would use to determine that would fail miserably when determining how much variation there is across the league in offensive line play over full seasons. Humans just aren't capable of doing that accurately.

    What you all don't seem to get is that I'm not saying offensive lines aren't important or don't play a significant role in the game of football -- I'm saying they don't vary from team to team over full seasons anywhere near as much as do other positions on the field. Again, the difference between the best and worst QBs in the league over full seasons is far greater than the difference between the best and worst offensive lines in the league.

    Imagine a hypothetical scenario in which every QB was exactly as good as every other QB in the league. If that were true in reality, QB play couldn't possibly cause differences in winning among teams. The Green Bay Packers wouldn't be better than the New York Jets because of (in large part) the difference between Aaron Rodgers and Zach Wilson, because there would be no difference between Aaron Rodgers and Zach Wilson.

    Now apply that to offensive lines and adjust some and you have the reality of the situation in the league at present -- the differences among offensive lines throughout the league aren't all that big over full seasons. When you watch the Dolphins' offensive line struggle you (presumably) imagine that the best team in the league is far better. It isn't as far better as you believe (again over full seasons), and it doesn't take expertise in offensive line play to determine that. Experts in offensive line play certainly have their expertise, but they don't have expertise in determining that with precision unless they use the proper methods. Likewise a HoF punter could tell you everything there is to know about punting, but he still wouldn't be able to tell you with precision how much better the best punter is than the worst one in the league over a full season unless he used the proper methods to do so.

    I would rely on someone like KeyFin to tell me how to judge what a lineman or an offensive line unit did on a single play or in a single game. The "eye test" in conjunction with his expertise would make that a reliable method for a small, circumscribed assessment of that nature (and in fact I may ask him to do that someday). I wouldn't rely on him to tell me with precision how much better the best offensive line in the league was than the worst one over a full season.
     
  7. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    I'm not entertaining hypothetical situations, when we can simply look at ACTUAL situations.

    You can't argue that QBs aren't really affected by oline play, while at the same time arguing that the oline is important.
     
  8. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    Shouright... Oh man. Could be him.
     
  9. Dolfanalyst

    Dolfanalyst Active Member

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    We're measuring actual situations -- how all 32 teams' offensive lines play over full seasons, and determining the variation among them on the basis of that. That variation is small in comparison to the variation at other positions.

    You don't seem to get that the closer the league's offensive lines come to playing at the same level, the less of an effect they can have on how teams differ from each other in other areas (like QB play).

    Take two offensive lines for example and confine it to that -- if the Jets and Packers' offensive lines were to play exactly the same, they couldn't possibly cause the difference in QB play between Aaron Rodgers and Zach Wilson.

    Now pan back to the league at large and realize that the differences among all the league's lines, over full seasons, aren't all that big. Now how much of a difference among teams in QB play and passing efficiency can they possibly cause? Not much.
     
  10. cbrad

    cbrad .

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    Yeah there's a flaw in this logic. It's true that the more you "average" the less variance there will be. That's called the sampling distribution in statistics and you can even predict by how much the standard deviation will decrease (divide by square root of N).

    However, that's independent of the effect the unit has. For example, you can't know how much effect the OL vs QB has, say on win%, just from saying performance metrics for the OL are averaged while those for the QB are not. Try that argument on the punter for example. The punter is a single person so yes variation in ability will be greater than for the OL. But clearly you can't infer from that that the influence the punter has on win% must be greater than the influence the OL, DL or WR or DB units have.

    In other words you can have huge variation in ability for a position that's irrelevant, or minor variation for a position that is highly relevant, and that minor variation could have a much bigger effect as a result.

    The only way to estimate the effect is through correlations or modeling things like I was saying Amazon is trying to do (they have ulterior motives of course.. they want to control the data and improve algorithms they use elsewhere by testing them on different data sets, like from sports). One can't estimate the relative effects without doing that.
     
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  11. Sceeto

    Sceeto Well-Known Member

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    Guy/shou. Call him whatever.
     
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  12. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity

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    You guys realise what you're arguing about, right? Everyone agrees the OL needs to improve. The difference is that some would spend high picks or multiple picks or a ton of money on the improvement, and the others would spend less. One side looks for a massive improvement the other thinks we'll be okay with a smaller improvement.
     
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  13. Phil Hutchings

    Phil Hutchings Well-Known Member

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    Where would Dan Marino have been without a great OLine?

    With his dodgy knees, he wouldn’t have put up the numbers he did, that’s for sure.

    The five in front of the QB not only protect him, but open up running lanes for the backs.

    The OLine might be the most important unit on a football roster.
     
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  14. Dolfanalyst

    Dolfanalyst Active Member

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    The Cincinnati Bengals, in the Super Bowl with the second-worst offensive line in the league in pass block win rate, at 49%.

    The 2021 Dolphins: 47%.
     
  15. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    How did they play in the playoffs, though?
     
  16. cbrad

    cbrad .

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    Very good against the Raiders (PBWR = 73.9%):
    https://sports.yahoo.com/bengals-vs-titans-4-things-115515477.html?src=rss#:~:text=The Bengals were shockingly good,the season average of 48.8.
    Really bad against the Titans (PBWR = 42%):

    Not sure what the final numbers are today. I'm not on Twitter, but Seth Walder seems to post that stuff. Anyway, an hour into the game the PBWR for the Bengals was terrible at 38%:

    Moral of the story is we need a franchise QB.
     
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  17. hitman8

    hitman8 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, franchise QBs can overcome average offensive lines. But if you don't have an elite franchise QB (and we don't), then you better build a good online. Again 3 out of the four teams left in the playoffs before today had olines ranked in the top 7.

    We cannot afford to continue neglecting the oline like we have for years. Yes, by all means get a franchise QB and receiver, but don't neglect the oline, or the running game.
     
  18. cbrad

    cbrad .

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    We're going in circles. You're saying (correctly) that we don't have an elite QB so we need a good OL. I'm saying the chances of winning a SB without a true franchise QB is too small to settle for a non-elite QB, so why build your strategy around having a non-elite QB?

    Note that the 2 SB teams now have the #2 and #6 ranked QB by passer rating and they're #7 and #8 by points scored. Also note that they're well below average in rushing Y/C: #23 and #24, and that both have average defenses: #15 and #17 by points allowed. One has a great OL and the other has a terrible OL.

    So once again the SB will be decided by great passing teams and QB's that played elite in the year they won the SB. THAT is the blueprint.
     
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  19. hitman8

    hitman8 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not building my strategy on not having a franchise QB, I'm the first one saying we need to get one. However saying oline and running game are not important is a mistake.

    All I'm saying is do not neglect the oline, especially if you accept the reality we don't have a franchise QB right now and no real avenue available to get one at this point. Building a good foundation with a good oline and running game right now will help compete better with what we have now, until we get our hands on a franchise QB.

    Unless your strategy is to tank once again, building a competent oline should be one of your goals.

    SF got very close to the Superbowl with a non elite QB and a top 3 oline. The rams oline is #7 in the NFL.

    I just cannot accept your premise that oline play is not important.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2022
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  20. cbrad

    cbrad .

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    So when I posted before, specifically in response to your post (see post #132), that we should spend high picks on OL and RB you took that as "neglecting the OL and running game"?

    What precisely are you arguing against given what I posted?
     
  21. ExplosionsInDaSky

    ExplosionsInDaSky Well-Known Member

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    We definitely need a mainstay at the quarterback position. We also need a competent offensive line that can run and pass block effectively. You also need your defense to make plays and get key stops when needed, you need your special teams to do their jobs, you need your field goal kicker to make his field goals and you need your coaches to call the right plays and put you in the best position to succeed. You need all these things to win. Watching these playoffs we've seen teams win with each and every thing that I just listed. From where I'm sitting we first and foremost need to hire the right coach. Hopefully we land Harbaugh and then we can go from there. We also need stability...a mainstay at the quarterback position. You can't tell me that Joe Burrow hasn't lifted the entire Bengal organization onto a cloud high up in the sky. This was a two win team just two years ago. A franchise quarterback makes all the difference. However, that franchise quarterback shredded his knee just a year and a few months ago due to horrible O line play. They go hand in hand. Your line needs to hold up, but your quarterback has to make plays. We've seen the difference between great quarterbacks and average quarterbacks in this postseason. Average quarterbacks like Jimmy Garapolo and Ryan Tannehill throw interceptions at the worst times during tight games. Great quarterbacks like Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and Joe Burrow take their teams down the field and score with only a minute in the game to spare. I just watched Jimmy G go backwards and end the game with a pick with 1:46 remaining on the clock. Now if Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Brady, Mahomes, or Burrow have that kind of time...Best of luck to the defense trying to stop them with that kind of change remaining. Mac Jones, Ryan Tannehill, our own Tua....You'd be lucky if they get you in field goal range. Most likely the game is ending on an interception or a turnover on downs. Now in regards to Tua. We have to give him one more year. My faith in him is shrinking, but we have to give him one more shot at this in hopes that he finds his rhythm as a pro and the game slows down for him. He's shown enough to at least have that shot. We should build a complete team around him in the mean time so that if he isn't the answer, the next quarterback that steps in isn't working with complete trash.
     
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  22. hitman8

    hitman8 Well-Known Member

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    The only thing I'm arguing against is the idea that olines and running games are not important. I agree with you on spending picks on oline and RB (but with someone other than Grier making those picks). I never argued against that.

    My argument is more with Dolfanalysts singular focus on stats to somehow prove that oline play is not important.
     
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  23. cbrad

    cbrad .

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    Let him make whatever argument he wants. As far as I'm concerned what the stats reveal is relative importance. There's no question the OL is "important". Proof: get rid of it and see what happens. You'd probably lose every game. Same with QB, same with DB, etc.

    The question isn't whether something is important or not. The question is what is more important. That's where correlations to win% come into play. Passing efficiency, especially in the last 20 years or so, is one of the best predictors of winning a SB. OL play isn't. RB also is not.

    So don't take this as saying we shouldn't improve OL or RB etc. Clearly I never argued that. All I'm saying is you can improve that all you want and the chances of winning a SB don't increase that much. But by all means if you can improve it without taking away focus on acquiring a true franchise QB then do so because it does help, obviously. Hope that helps.
     
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  24. hitman8

    hitman8 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, we need to build a complete team.
     
  25. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    Right. He conveniently leaves off that is Joe Burrow behind that line.
     
  26. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    How'd the Bengals burn almost the entire 4th quarter clock? Through the run game and great blocking. And how do they get away with below average pass blocking? They run the ball effectively in a balanced offense with an amazing young QB.

    But again, we've already discussed this. I'm placing you on ignore now before I slip up and tell you how I really feel.
     
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  27. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Brad, you know I love you man. But the only way to estimate the effect is by looking at actual plays and seeing what happened.

    For instance, Jimmy G on 3rd down and long. One minute left with no timeouts. He takes the snap and there's someone in his face almost immediately from the left guard whiffing badly. He tries to scramble to his right, but the end has already beaten the right tackle. So he tries to do the Mahommes thing, even as someone grabs him from behind. He semi breaks one tackle, tries to dodge a second, but he has nowhere to go. So he throws a side-armed, off balance pass as he's hitting the ground, which is tipped and intercepted.

    The left guard Laken Tomlinson got destroyed all three plays that final drive. PFF gives him a 75.9 grade, which is around 11th or 12th overall in the league. He's way above average...so that's all a team needs, right? But he's the biggest reason that final drive failed. Stats won't tell you that though because what actually happens is viewed as unimportant.

    It's easier to just take his season numbers, add in three additional pressures, and say, "Oh look, he's still way above average! He'd be an instant upgrade and it will all work out perfectly." Football is nowhere near that simple.
     
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  28. cbrad

    cbrad .

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    Every person can make up their own opinions on how much X vs. Y matters on some outcome. That's easy. The real test is how well you can predict win% because the more accurately you're modeling (in your brain) football the more accurately you can predict what happens. That's the general principle in science for testing theories: see which predicts better.

    Needless to say, the best predictors tend to be Vegas and algorithms, not the great majority of individuals who think they are properly analyzing a football play. Remember, these algorithms get about 67% right in predicting who wins games outright. First thing is to see if you can beat statistical methodology in predictive ability. If you can't, that's pretty good evidence they're utilizing even very sparse information about the game (i.e., game stats) far better than you can utilize much richer information (everything on tape).

    The only way to reliably estimate the effect of X vs. Y on some outcome is to model the process and test those models. That's true here and true in any evidence-based endeavor to determine the relative effects of X and Y.
     
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  29. Dolfanalyst

    Dolfanalyst Active Member

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    The highlighted portions above are exactly the argument.

    Keep in mind as well that there's a salary cap to consider, whereby allocating money in one direction precludes as much of it from being allocated elsewhere. Consider for example that the Jacksonville Jaguars just spent $51.5M on its offensive line, most in the league, and finished 3-14 (the Chiefs by contrast spent $18.6M on its offensive line, third least in the league, and finished 12-5). Obviously their investment of resources in the offensive line was far from sufficient in compensating for whatever other weaknesses they had as a team.

    There is nothing preventing the Dolphins and other teams from making that same mistake. The statistical information we're tossing around here is exactly what the team brain trust should be using to help it make such decisions and avoid such mistakes. Those decisions don't have to be driven exclusively by such statistical information, but to neglect it completely would be quite the indictment of this team's intelligence.
     
  30. hitman8

    hitman8 Well-Known Member

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    Dolphins, brain trust, intelligence, are not words that go well together. Nobody is saying ignore analytics completely, what I'm saying is don't follow it blindly and let yourself believe that olines and running games are not important.

    In fact I think the reality is the opposite of what you're saying. I'm pretty sure the dolphins decisions have been driven TOO MUCH by these same kinds of stats and analytics, as evidenced by their complete neglect and lack of importance placed on improving the oline and running game.

    In regards to salary cap and resources, throwing money at a problem is not the solution either. You need to invest in the right players and coaches, picking the right players through the draft and invest in the right FAs where necessary.

    A competent GM with actual football knowledge can do these things without breaking the bank. Unfortunately we have not had that for years.
     
  31. Dolfanalyst

    Dolfanalyst Active Member

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    They're actually doing a good job of things in my opinion if you consider the intent of the moves they've made. Top-notch QB (again the intent), top-notch receiving corps, comparatively less invested in the run game and offensive line, and lots of resources allocated to pass coverage, where the effect on pass defense has been shown to be greater than for the pass rush. They're following the formula for winning quite well, but the moves aren't panning out like intended. Tua plus a crippled receiving corps was quite the ball and chain on this year's team -- nothing was going to surmount that to the tune of any high-level competitiveness.

    Again compare that to Cincinnati's passing attack with roughly the same offensive line play and slightly worse play with regard to pass defense and you can easily see where the difference is between two teams that started rebuilding at roughly the same time -- pass offense. The Dolphins were 22nd in the league in pass efficiency in 2021 and Cincinnati 9th. Burrow and Chase and company are a whole lot better than what the Dolphins had going on. Again the intent was there with Fuller and company, but the crippled version of that was woefully insufficient.
     
  32. hitman8

    hitman8 Well-Known Member

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    They have not been doing a "good job". You just admitted the Dolphins have been following an analytics heavy formula and have utterly failed. Analytics does not makeup for lack of football knowledge and talent evaluation.

    And no, the Bengals do not have "roughly the same" oline as ours. Their oline is significantly better and they have a running game which we don't.

    Again, I refuse to adhere to your philosophy that we can continue to ignore the problem with our oline and running game. You are harping on about the Bengals who have phenomenal talents we don't, but ignoring the other three teams in the conference championships who had olines ranked in the top 7.
     
  33. Dolfanalyst

    Dolfanalyst Active Member

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    Statistics regarding what makes teams most likely to win in the NFL aren't also personnel selection statistics with regard to specific players. The statistics that tell us QBs win in the NFL don't also tell us to draft Tua instead of Justin Herbert. The Dolphins could be following the blueprint for winning in the NFL to the letter while doing a poor job of talent evaluation within that framework.

    Post #188 addresses the rest of what you're saying.
     
  34. cbrad

    cbrad .

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    Yeah to be clear the analytics revolution that's slowly winning over GMs and HCs is specific to situations where there's a great deal of evidence the analytics are more accurate than traditional viewpoints. A great example is the more aggressive play calling you see throughout the NFL after stats showed the change in expected points scored after going for it more often on 4th and 1, etc. Another example is the general de-emphasis on the running game. These things have helped teams win which is why they're adopting them.

    But the kind of "ignore the eye test and rely on stats" for scouting that has worked so well in baseball (Astros got rid of almost 2/3 of their scouting department and vastly reduced the amount of in-person scouting because analytics has proven so successful) has yet to happen in football. Football is much more complex and will take more time for anything like that. So far, the only team to really try something similar was Cleveland from 2018. It's been a good start: they went from 1-31 in 2 years prior to 7, 6, 11 and 8 wins after implementing a stats based approach, but that's not going to convince most teams. Need a lot more evidence analytics is ready for that (it probably isn't yet).

    So we're nowhere at the point where stats are taking over scouting. But if history teaches you anything all that's needed for that takeover is more sophisticated analytics. I mean, when coaches care about all kinds of meaningless performance measures at the scouting combine (include that Wonderlic test that has no correlation to performance) there's clearly tons of room for improvement.
     
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  35. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Gase was probably the most analytics-driven coach we've had at the helm, and it's why we adopted things like running the ball on 3rd and long. Statistically, maybe you are better off running the football. But in reality, if you always run the ball or throw a screen pass on 3rd and long, other teams know it and shut it down. We saw that for two seasons and it was absolutely maddening.

    Now, you may say that teams prepared for our 3rd and long situations because of their own metrics. Sure, that's accurate (sort of...they watched film and saw the pattern). But what does that mean for the Fins? The metrics say run it, the defense is playing to stop the run...so what good are the metrics when they make you highly predictable?

    In the technology field I work in, the focus is on real-time metrics based on data unfolding in front of you. It could be applied to football but for that to happen, you have to know what actually matters and how to interpret that data. AI is getting there but at the same time, it will probably be a decade or more before its ready to be implemented for meaningful game-time decisions.
     
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  36. cbrad

    cbrad .

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    Stats tell you the exact opposite. EPA for running the ball on 3rd and long is almost always negative with the only exception for QB scrambles. So who knows where Gase got that. But it wasn't from statistical analysis (at least not the credible kind).
     
  37. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    He said in a press conference that, "Statistically, it was the safest play to gain free yardage." He explained that with the other team playing off the LOS and potentially blitzing off the corners, the standard off-guard run had the highest percentage of success. It was clearly a data-based answer...no idea where it came from though.
     
  38. cbrad

    cbrad .

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    Chalk it up to more incompetence on the part of Gase. He doesn't even know what kind of statistical analysis to trust (IF that was based on statistical analysis which I really doubt), and I wouldn't be surprised if he just made that up. Either way, a stats-based play calling would do precisely the opposite of what Gase said.
     
  39. Dolfanalyst

    Dolfanalyst Active Member

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    Something interesting from yesterday someone posted on another football board:

    1st half EPA/play:
    Mahomes: 0.660
    Garoppolo: 0.542
    Burrow: 0.244
    Stafford: 0.117

    2nd half+OT EPA/play
    Stafford: 0.420
    Burrow: 0.113
    Garoppolo: -0.018
    Mahomes: -0.780

    It's quite striking that Mahomes and the Chiefs' passing game played that poorly in the second half and in OT of that game. Burrow and company needed only play about average in the second half and OT to surmount it and overcome the 5% win probability they had sunk to late in the second quarter.
     
  40. cbrad

    cbrad .

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    Same thing happened when KC played Cinci late in the regular season. They bolt out to a lead and give it away in the 4th for 34-31 loss. KC needs to figure out how to play better with a lead. They really shouldn't change play calling once they're leading.

    The one sad thing about the KC loss is that the fantastic game against Buffalo is now almost an afterthought. Had they won the SB that one playoff game would have been remembered to a far greater degree. I still think it was one of the best playoff games ever. Still can't believe what Mahomes and co. did with just 13 seconds left in regulation.
     
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