The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Of course, statistics has little to say about Murphy's Law

Everyone knew it was coming. Second-and-1 on the 1-yard line. Marshawn Lynch was waiting in the backfield, poised to do what he was put on this Earth to do: Get a touchdown—this touchdown. The football gods had telegraphed how they wanted the game to end, directing a floating ball straight into Jermaine Kearse's hands. Beast Mode was going to drag the New England team kicking and screaming into the end zone if he had to. But the play call came in, Russell Wilson attempted a doomed pass that Malcolm Butler intercepted, and it was Seattle that punched and screamed its way off the field.

That's right. On the 1-yard line, QBs threw 66 touchdowns with no interceptions prior to Wilson's errant toss.3 Not mentioned: They also scored four touchdowns on scrambles (which Wilson is pretty good at last I checked). That's a 60.9 percent success rate.

Just for comparison's sake, here's how more than 200 runs fared this year in the same situation:

So overall, runs do a bit worse than passes (57.1 percent vs. 60.9 percent).

Via Robert Anstett on MyFaceGooglePlusSpaceBook, A Head Coach Botched The End Of The Super Bowl, And It Wasn’t Pete Carroll | FiveThirtyEight

I don't watch much football (if at all), but even I knew that last Seahawks play was not the right call. But actually, it may not have been the most idiotic thing for the Seahawks to do. The article goes deep into the math behind Pete Carroll's call.

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