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> Check out Baldy breaking down the 4th and 8
post Sep 30 2017, 07:31 AM
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QUOTE (nephillymike @ Sep 30 2017, 06:43 AM) *
There is no adjustment for the strength of the offense or defense. It is strictly based on the historical success rates of teams scoring points from a given starting point of a drive as well as the historical success rate of attaining a first down with X number of yards to go. Teams would need to put in adjustment factors for offense and defense, which is easy enough for teams to do.

Yes, it accounts for the other team's chance of scoring in almost all situations. For instance, for those drives starting at the 10 yard line, it uses net points expected from that drive which is those scored by the offense on those drives minus those scored by the defense from defensive TDs from fumble recoveries and INTs and safeties. That is why when you look at drives starting deep deep in your own territory, there is a negative points expectation.

The one thing it doesn't account for is punt return TD's. If you punt from your own nine and you get a net punt yardage of 36 yards, this analysis assumes the other team starts the drive from the 45 and assigns them expected points based on drives started there. It does not factor in the chance of scoring points via return TD.

This has the impact of UNDERSTATING the number of times you should go for it on 4th down. Punting from your own 9 would have a much greater % chance of a return TD then punting from their 42 as you will have a greater number of fair catches and coffin corner situations when punting from their 42.

Think of it like the 2point conversion chart. That tells you whether you should go for two based upon the historical success rates of teams scoring from the two point yard line. If your red zone offense sucks, off course you need to adjust for that. It is a starting point.

As I've said, the numbers are what the numbers are.

I remember reading a study a couple of years back on this. Can't remember who did it but it was one of the big-name college research teams--well-respected--and they came to a similar conclusion.

As you've said, a coach would adjust for certain factors during the game but, at the end of the day, the numbers can and should be used to help make decisions. Kinda like baseball....
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