Defying FO: Can The Texans Buck Advanced Statistical Analysis

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by CloakNNNdagger, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Messages:
    17,083
    Likes Received:
    1,376
    .................And Make The Playoffs?

    Evidently, Football Outsiders 2010 Almanac has given the Texans 5.6 projected mean wins.

    This writer summarizes each on of the five reasons that FO thinks the Texans will be worse than they were last year.

    [Clink LINK)
     
  2. DiehardChris

    DiehardChris You betcha!

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,808
    Likes Received:
    398
    Location:
    Back in Houston
    Rivers McCown wrote it for SBNation. He's a newish voice on the Houston Texans blogger scene, and he's KILLING it. You guys should bookmark that site and keep reading his stuff for sure.
     
  3. JB

    JB Old Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    28,220
    Likes Received:
    790
    Location:
    Willis
    Yep! I follow him on twitter so I can read all his stuff. Classic!
     
    DiehardChris likes this.
  4. m5kwatts

    m5kwatts Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,970
    Likes Received:
    159
    These are some flaws in the formula I've detected:

    -Does strength of schedule really mean anything? We all know the Steelers had the toughest schedule when they won the Super Bowl a few years ago. And so often we see teams (including our Texans) play down to their competition.

    -Weather is impossible to factor in this formula. On any given weekend the weather conditions can weaken an opponents' assumed advantages over another. (Hate to use the Steelers again as an example but) Did FO factor in the weather when the Steelers beat the winless Dolphins 3-0 on MNF in the mud? Of course not.

    -Injuries are a part of the formula. One thing I thought was interesting was when the article asserted that "the Texans WILL have more injuries in 2010 compared to 2009." Thats an outrageous claim with no tangible evidence other than league trends to back it up. I don't care what stats you use, injuries to an NFL team cannot be predicted with calculated numbers.

    -Numbers don't always tell the truth in the NFL. Clearly this formula relies on statistical evidence. But how often does statistical evidence tell the truth about what's happening on the field? Guys get tackle stats for merely being in the area of a play. Another example, say player A goes unblocked on a snap and gets a sack. And lets say Player B was the one tying up the blockers who allowed Player A to get the sack. Well lets say Player A signs with another team in the offseason. He carries all the credit for that sack with him to the next team when it really belong with player B. But Football Outsiders says "Wow player A got a sack that makes his new team that much better in our formula." Thats a glaring flaw.
     
    Cjeremy635 likes this.
  5. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Messages:
    17,083
    Likes Received:
    1,376
    Certainly, I don't know for sure. But one thing they may be looking at is how many of the base roster is coming back off of 2009 injuries.........making them higher risk for reinjury in 2010.
     
  6. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    13,582
    Likes Received:
    528
    It's utterly useless to use data from the previous year to predict the future.
    Teams don't have the same players they did.
    They are coaching changes that will affect the level of play of some team
     
  7. TheRealJoker

    TheRealJoker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    3,793
    Likes Received:
    272
    Location:
    Conroe
    "-Injuries are a part of the formula. One thing I thought was interesting was when the article asserted that "the Texans WILL have more injuries in 2010 compared to 2009." Thats an outrageous claim with no tangible evidence other than league trends to back it up. I don't care what stats you use, injuries to an NFL team cannot be predicted with calculated numbers."

    I somewhat disagree with this part of your post. Sure, freak injuries are unpredictable. But depending on how tough a coach runs a training camp, and how good the S&C/training staff are, also plays a role in the team's injuries.
     
  8. gtexan02

    gtexan02 Working?

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    15,785
    Likes Received:
    1,243
    Location:
    Boston
    How many wins did they project for us last season?
     
  9. steelbtexan

    steelbtexan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    14,000
    Likes Received:
    560
    7-9

    I called it.

    Make fun of me later, but I dont want to hear the usual excuse why the Texans didn't make the playoffs Uncle BoB.
     
  10. m5kwatts

    m5kwatts Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,970
    Likes Received:
    159

    Neither of these were mentioned as factors in the formula but I agree they would make sense. This is what the article says about injuries:

    The bold part is what I'm objecting to. So because we were the 8th healthiest team in football last year, what goes up must come down and we'll be an injury-nagged team this year? Thats quite a reach.

    And I have a discrepancy with their "healthiest football team" ranking. That doesn't measure the importance of the injured players. A team could be the healthiest team in the league for a year but lost their starting QB week 1 and lose 12 games that season because of it.
     
    drs23 likes this.
  11. DiehardChris

    DiehardChris You betcha!

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,808
    Likes Received:
    398
    Location:
    Back in Houston
    I assume that you also follow me on Twitter, else I'll get my feelings hurt.

    @HoustonDiehards :)
     
  12. JB

    JB Old Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    28,220
    Likes Received:
    790
    Location:
    Willis
    Of course I do!
     
  13. badboy

    badboy Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    25,311
    Likes Received:
    961
    Location:
    Clear Lake
    I am willing to read any thought process concerning the Texans as long as it appears logical, research was done and it does not appear someone is being a homer or attacker. Most of us realise the team could go 5-11 or 11-5. I think this is the best roster we have had and if our draft picks are what front office thinks they are and Smith does well on Oline, we could be very good. Sure there are question marks but that can be said every off season at this time. Right now I am not concerned about injuries that might occur or other teams. If the players can do what the game plan says and Kubes improves on penalty flag decisions and game clock management (and he should), we will go beyond round one of play offs. Our offense should be just as good if not better and the D should improve quite a bit imo. I think we can have a 6-0 or 5-1 start. I fear no opponent this season.
     
  14. Lucky

    Lucky Moderator

    Joined:
    May 1, 2004
    Messages:
    14,256
    Likes Received:
    1,455
    I like stats. A lot. They're good for telling you what happened. Not as good for telling you what will happen.

    One reason NFL football is so difficult to predict is the sheer lack of statistically significant events. There are only 256 regular season games in a NFL season. As opposed to 2430 in a MLB season. There's not a lot of data to make predictions from.

    Not to mention determining what data to use when running your models. Or if one set of data strongly affects another set. I had to laugh when I read this:

    Really? Starting a 1st round rookie CB was a major determining factor in these teams not making the playoffs? Only 12 of the leagues 32 teams make the playoff in a given year (37.5%). 4 of the 15 teams starting 1st round rookie CB made the playoffs (26.7%) So the 10.8% difference is because of the 1st round CBs? Hell, just start a 2nd round or later CB, then.

    There's a difference between losing Cushing for 4 games due to injury, and 4 games due to suspension. The Texans have the entire preseason to formulate a plan for this occurrence. The Texans know that they will be without Chester Pitts for the bulk of the season. Unlike last season. Does FO's modeling take that into account?

    An equally valid model could be concocted that shows the Texans are more likely than not to become a playoff team. Just by selecting and/or discarding data that does or does not support the model. Attempting to use numbers only in determining what has happened is a daunting task. Attempting to use numbers only in determining what will happen is folly. What do your eyes see? Well, nothing yet. There hasn't even been a preseason game played. But, from what I've seen in the past, and what maneuvers I've witnessed in the offseason, this does not look like a team more likely to lose more games than they win.

    I trust my eyes.
     
    drs23, gtexan02 and michaelm like this.
  15. michaelm

    michaelm vox nihili

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,919
    Likes Received:
    724
    Location:
    Spring, TX
    Agree with your entire post, but this sums it up nicely.
     
  16. The Pencil Neck

    The Pencil Neck Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    20,669
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Location:
    Moraira, Spain
    Last year, they projected us to get 6 wins.

    I love me some maths and I love me some statistics but I don't care how advanced the techniques are that you use, you gotta play the games. The biggest problem from projecting from last year's stats is that these are no longer last year's teams.

    I love Football Outsiders but I'm not worried about their predictions.
     
  17. sometexansfan

    sometexansfan Blue Bomber

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    17
    We had better or else... :bat:
     
  18. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Messages:
    17,083
    Likes Received:
    1,376
  19. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Messages:
    17,083
    Likes Received:
    1,376
    I communicated with Football Outsiders concerning the basis of their "Team Health" analysis.

    Dear Doc,

    A variety of factors, including the team's health over the past few
    years and the nature of the injuries (e.g. if the injury record is
    mostly traumatic injuries like a torn ACL as opposed to nagging ones
    like a sprained ankle).

    -Bill
     
  20. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss Salem Poor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    38,528
    Likes Received:
    1,672
    Location:
    Texas
    So, what do we use to make us believe (those of us that do believe) that our team will finish better than they did last year?
     

Share This Page