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Old 09-17-2007   #1
keyser
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Default Stats can mislead

This is a kind of random post about something I found interesting... Generally, I like stats, but when looking over them after this last game, I was reminded just how misleading they can be. Here are some of stats for the Carolina game:

1st downs: Houston - 19, Carolina - 17
3rd down efficiency: Houston - 6/14, Carolina - 7/13
Total Yards: Houston - 346, Carolina - 344
Penalties: Houston - 5/40, Carolina - 5/35

True, other stats like turnovers (3-1) give a better picture, but from the above, you'd think this was a lot different game than it was...
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Old 09-17-2007   #2
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

Quote:
Originally Posted by keyser View Post
This is a kind of random post about something I found interesting... Generally, I like stats, but when looking over them after this last game, I was reminded just how misleading they can be. Here are some of stats for the Carolina game:

1st downs: Houston - 19, Carolina - 17
3rd down efficiency: Houston - 6/14, Carolina - 7/13
Total Yards: Houston - 346, Carolina - 344
Penalties: Houston - 5/40, Carolina - 5/35

True, other stats like turnovers (3-1) give a better picture, but from the above, you'd think this was a lot different game than it was...
That is why we watch the game. I believe there was a 150 yard delta between each team at the beginning of the 4th quarter.

You did not have to look at the scoreboard, because the lack of fans in the stands midway through the 3rd quarter said it all.
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Old 09-17-2007   #3
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

Yea the stats make the game look closer than it actually was. The Texans dominated the game. I think that long TD where Steve Smith broke tackles helped their (especially Delhomme's passing) stats.
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Old 09-17-2007   #4
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

That 70+ yard play to Smith really helped pad delhommes stats.

In garbage time.

YKW's influence must be strong, indeed. "Delhomme, go for the stats only when the game is totally out of reach! They'll play a soft zone and you can look great, while still being a loser!"
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Old 09-17-2007   #5
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

I think we all can agree stats are misleading. Just remember a good portion of the year in 06, D. Carr was sitting pretty with his completion percentage. If you were to take the stats for the first 3 quarters it might tell a different story.
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Old 09-17-2007   #6
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

Quote:
Originally Posted by keyser View Post
This is a kind of random post about something I found interesting... Generally, I like stats, but when looking over them after this last game, I was reminded just how misleading they can be. Here are some of stats for the Carolina game:

1st downs: Houston - 19, Carolina - 17
3rd down efficiency: Houston - 6/14, Carolina - 7/13
Total Yards: Houston - 346, Carolina - 344
Penalties: Houston - 5/40, Carolina - 5/35

True, other stats like turnovers (3-1) give a better picture, but from the above, you'd think this was a lot different game than it was...
Check out the time of possession. Huge difference in that stat. Two games in a row with time chewing drives is a good way to go into the Colts game.
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Old 09-17-2007   #7
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

The only stat that really matters is scoreboard!
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Old 09-17-2007   #8
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Check out the time of possession. Huge difference in that stat. Two games in a row with time chewing drives is a good way to go into the Colts game.
That was the huge stat difference against the Colts last year as well.
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Old 09-17-2007   #9
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

When you get up like that you inevitably pull back a little and try to eat up the clock. That always gives the other team drives in garbage time that make things look closer than they were. We should know that considering we got most of last seasons offensive production in garbage time. As much as I respect Smith and the game he has I have to say that even his long TD with the incredible effort he gave was a garbage time stat. He gets points for not giving up but the game was still (mostly) out of reach when he did it.

Jake Delhomme is used to producing when the game is still in question. He didn't do so well once we pulled away from them. The Panthers should have put their "garbage time specialist" in the game and he would have lit it up.
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Old 09-17-2007   #10
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

I think it was infantrycak that had a website that charted "big plays" - turnovers, special teams, that sort of thing. It was a great link, and I think the theory would hold true here. For the second week in a row, the Texans won the big plays.
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Old 09-17-2007   #11
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

It is on Football Outsiders. It will be updated in a day or two hopefully.
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Old 09-17-2007   #12
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

Yeah, I'm waiting to hit Football Outsiders and Cold Hard Facts sites after they've had a chance to update their stats.
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Old 09-17-2007   #13
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
The only stat that really matters is scoreboard!
and the number of big W's you have.
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Old 09-17-2007   #14
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
That 70+ yard play to Smith really helped pad delhommes stats.

In garbage time.
That actually worked out really well for me. Pad Smith's stats (he's on my fantasy team) while the Texans took out a division opponent.

Two small caveats: We lost to a divisional opponent and I still lost in my Fantasy league. Don't you hate it when you score more points than everyone else in your entire league except for the guy you happen to be playing. Pisser.
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Old 09-17-2007   #15
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Default Re: Stats can mislead

Some games, you have to look at the drive charts rather than the box score to see how the game truly played. Yesterday was a prime example.

While the game was truly up for grabs (until we went ahead 31-14), this is how they did:

Texans: 5 offensive possessions (not counting the kneel at the end of the half): 39 plays, 289 yards, 31 points, 1 turnover.

Panthers: 6 possessions, 26 plays, 111 yards, 14 points, 1 turnover

That means that the rest of the way, the teams did as follows:

Texans: 5 possessions, 22 plays, 58 yards, 3 points

Panthers: 6 possessions, 35 plays, 247 yards, 7 points, 2 turnovers

In fact, 165 of the Panthers' yards came on the last two drives. For the other 52 minutes, they had less than 200 yards in offense. That's getting it done.

Last edited by Hooston Texan; 09-17-2007 at 02:58 PM. Reason: Edited to change "primary" to "prime" because I'm a grammar geek.
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