Team EPA Visualizations

For some reason I gravitate to graphs and visualizations. It's just the way my brain works. Here's an interesting way to look at team Expected Points Added (EPA). On the horizontal axis is offensive EPA and on the vertical axis is defensive EPA. Negative EPA is good on defense, so the best, most balanced teams would be in the lower right quadrant. The basket cases will be in the top left quadrant.

The teams are color coded by division. Hover over a team to highlight its division and see the numbers.

Football fits neatly into flat graphs like this because it's easily broken down in 2-dimentions -- offense & defense, run & pass. Any stat can be thrown into a simple plot like the one above--WPA, SR, efficiency, whatever we want. Here's an example of offensive run and pass EPA per Play. Better running teams are up, and better passing teams are to the right. Balanced teams would be along a diagonal from bottom-left to top-right.

Green Bay sure looks lonely out there.

My thanks to Jack for turning me on to Tableau.

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4 Responses to “Team EPA Visualizations”

  1. Keith Goldner says:

    This visualization is awesome. I need to check out Tableau, love Jack's graphs too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Odd that Run and Pass EPA aren't better correlated. It looks to me like teams such as GB, NYG, and Ten need to pass a lot more, while MIN should run more.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I mean, those can all be explained situationally except NYG. GB really can't pass a lot more, they are perfectly aware they are built to throw a ton and a large portion of their running is clock killing. Ten is in denial that CJ is terrible right now so there gonna be trying to run it more than the stats indicate they are capable of. For Minny I don't think its a lack of awareness that they're better running as much as its a "once you're down you can't really run anymore" thing. Coughlin likes to be a "running team" even though Jacobs is at best a mediocre talent with Bradshaw out and they're obviously loaded at WR. So yeah, the Giants definitely should be more pass heavy.

  4. Brian Burke says:

    Good observations. Run/pass EPA and WPA don't correlate, but SR does. There's a ton of randomness in play-to-play outcomes. A couple big fumble returns or int returns can sway the numbers a bunch.

    And that's correct about bad passing teams needing to pass more. The worse they are at passing, the more they fall behind, the more they need to pass, playing to their weakness.

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