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Learn more about how analytics can give you the edge. Take advantage of the innovative new ways to squeeze the most out of every play. Find out how advanced analysis can help decision-makers at all levels make the right calls.
The relative merit of passing and running has been an ongoing debate for generations. Early attempts to quantify the risks and rewards of the two general tactics did what they could using yards as a measure of effectiveness, but they could never fully account for the all the situational factors and outcome variables. How to account for down, distance, field position, sacks, turnovers, penalties, first down conversions, and so on made the problem too complex. And that’s before we even start to think about score and time.
Since 2008, EPA and WPA has allowed us to account for all the primary situational factors while boiling all the outcomes into a single measure. We can also measure variance, an important consideration in game strategy. This analysis produced a complex result in which it appears offenses run too often in most situations but pass too often in others.
But those models can only answer questions within the box of what teams already do. They can’t consider what would happen when a team operates outside the boundaries of what has already happened in the past, at least not directly. For example, we could never estimate how often a hypothetical team would win by always passing and never running, which is probably something a team like the 2014 San Diego Chargers should at least consider.
Sunday's numbers are now available, including advanced stat box scores, top players of the week, team stats, and season leader boards.
Everyday during the month of October, I'll be marking the re-launch of AFA by highlighting a feature here at the site. To help re-build the AFA community, please spread the word. Tell your friends and follow AFA on Twitter, Facebook, or via RSS.
Today's feature is the AFA Podcast with host Dave Collins. The podcast is in its second full season, and we've got 30 episodes in the vault. If you haven't sampled it, it's primarily an interview show with a weekly guest who has been a significant contributor to football analytics. Past episodes have featured Virgil Carter, David Romer, Pete Palmer, Jeff Sagarin and Wayne Winston, plus other legends in the field.
The vast majority of the episodes are meant to be timeless and not focused on the league events of the day. So if you haven't been listening regularly, it's worth your time to work your way back through the catalog.
There are several ways to catch the podcast: RSS, iTunes, Stitcher, or here on the site (and in the archives). The latest episode can be played right here on the homepage. And the microphone icon in the upper right corner will take you to the library of past episodes at our podcast hosting site.
Search here for over 1,500 research and analysis articles at both the old site and the new site. Note: As Google re-indexes the old site, you may need to change the 'www...'. to 'archive...' in the link address to avoid a page not found error.
Brian Burke is on the podcast for an (almost) mid-season recap of the NFL season. Dave and Brian go team by team and dive into some of the more interesting 2014 team successes and failures.