It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)

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It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Fri May 31, 2019 11:10 am
  • https://theathletic.com/994511/2019/05/ ... ule-of-53/

    Charles Reep is known as both the founding father of soccer analytics and the man who “helped ruin decades of English soccer.”

    Beginning in the 1950s, Reep published a series of papers examining the sequences that lead to scoring a goal. Reep found that most goals were scored after a series of three or fewer passes, which led to his recommendation: Teams should avoid long passing sequences by kicking the ball far down the field and trying to chase it down. Eventually, this advice became a cornerstone of English coaching.

    The problem? Possession is fluid in soccer. Most goals were scored after short sequences because the vast majority of possessions were short sequences. When one accounts for the prevalence of each sequence length, it turns out that maintaining possession of the ball is associated with an increase in the likelihood of scoring a goal. The error in logic is akin to stating that motorcycles are safer than cars because there are fewer fatal accidents involving motorcycles, ignoring that motorcycles constitute a small percentage of vehicles on the road.

    In other words, Reep’s advice was exactly backward. Reep’s contention that “passing for the sake of passing can be disastrous” was misguided.

    We now turn to the Seahawks, whose actions suggest that they view passing with the same disdain that Reep did. And — like English soccer during the long-ball era — the Seahawks’ devotion to running the football appears to be based on bad math.


    The article goes into the same kind of 'cart before horse' errors as we see specifically with the NFL and even more specifically with the Seahawks. Worth a read and even a subscription in my estimation. The Athletic does some really good work that compliments Fieldgulls and other Seahawks centric outlets and supplements our own thoughts here.
    mrt144
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  • mrt144 wrote:https://theathletic.com/994511/2019/05/31/not-adding-up-brian-schottenheimers-rule-of-53/

    Charles Reep is known as both the founding father of soccer analytics and the man who “helped ruin decades of English soccer.”

    Beginning in the 1950s, Reep published a series of papers examining the sequences that lead to scoring a goal. Reep found that most goals were scored after a series of three or fewer passes, which led to his recommendation: Teams should avoid long passing sequences by kicking the ball far down the field and trying to chase it down. Eventually, this advice became a cornerstone of English coaching.

    The problem? Possession is fluid in soccer. Most goals were scored after short sequences because the vast majority of possessions were short sequences. When one accounts for the prevalence of each sequence length, it turns out that maintaining possession of the ball is associated with an increase in the likelihood of scoring a goal. The error in logic is akin to stating that motorcycles are safer than cars because there are fewer fatal accidents involving motorcycles, ignoring that motorcycles constitute a small percentage of vehicles on the road.

    In other words, Reep’s advice was exactly backward. Reep’s contention that “passing for the sake of passing can be disastrous” was misguided.

    We now turn to the Seahawks, whose actions suggest that they view passing with the same disdain that Reep did. And — like English soccer during the long-ball era — the Seahawks’ devotion to running the football appears to be based on bad math.


    The article goes into the same kind of 'cart before horse' errors as we see specifically with the NFL and even more specifically with the Seahawks. Worth a read and even a subscription in my estimation. The Athletic does some really good work that compliments Fieldgulls and other Seahawks centric outlets and supplements our own thoughts here.


    I know there are some soccer purists on the board who will vehemently disagree but after watching too much soccer it is my feeling that most soccer goals are the result of happy accidents. That is not to say that there aren't some spectacular plays on goal but that they are often the result of random, not planned, events.

    As for whether we should pass more or not, we have the highest paid QB in the league, we should use every skill he possesses. And, that is not to say that we should go to a pass-happy offense, a balanced attack will always be the best offense when it sets the opposing defense on its heels. But that is predicated on the offense not only being balanced but less predictable.

    What I AM saying is that we should have a passing attack that is capable of completing first downs and marching down the field when the opposing defense has stifled our running attack, e.g., the Cowboys' game. That, in turn, will open up the running game.
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  • pfft, soccer isn't a sport!!
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  • Interesting. I'm only going off the snippet, as I'm not going to subscribe, but it does sound like they are tackling an interesting question. I've often thought most of our statistics are used in faulty ways. For example, the "when player X rushes for over 100 yards the team wins most of the time". Well, sure, but that's because when you have the lead, you tend to win. When you have the lead, you also protect that lead by running. So I certainly think there is room in sports for some smarter analysis than it has traditionally received.

    Not 100% sure the article is getting to that though (but again, just based on the snippet). There are benefits to being different in football. If everybody else is passing, then there can be strategy gains to being a running team. Not that it surprises anybody, but that the teams are built differently. If 31 teams are built to defend the pass because 31 teams are pass happy, then there is an advantage (on offense) to being built to run.

    Being balanced isn't necessarily better though. Having a "type" and then being able to deviate from that type and trick the opponent can have benefits. I think back to the Alexander years when the Seahawks ran the ball with a higher YPC to the right than to the left, despite having Jones and Hutch on the left side.
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  • Chukarhawk wrote:pfft, soccer isn't a sport!!


    No truer statement has ever been uttered!
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  • HawkGA wrote:Interesting. I'm only going off the snippet, as I'm not going to subscribe, but it does sound like they are tackling an interesting question. I've often thought most of our statistics are used in faulty ways. For example, the "when player X rushes for over 100 yards the team wins most of the time". Well, sure, but that's because when you have the lead, you tend to win. When you have the lead, you also protect that lead by running. So I certainly think there is room in sports for some smarter analysis than it has traditionally received.

    Not 100% sure the article is getting to that though (but again, just based on the snippet). There are benefits to being different in football. If everybody else is passing, then there can be strategy gains to being a running team. Not that it surprises anybody, but that the teams are built differently. If 31 teams are built to defend the pass because 31 teams are pass happy, then there is an advantage (on offense) to being built to run.

    Being balanced isn't necessarily better though. Having a "type" and then being able to deviate from that type and trick the opponent can have benefits. I think back to the Alexander years when the Seahawks ran the ball with a higher YPC to the right than to the left, despite having Jones and Hutch on the left side.


    Ill post the whole thing after someone assures me they subscribed. It is a bit chart heavy though.
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  • Aggregate score, away goals, pfft.
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  • mrt144 wrote:
    HawkGA wrote:Interesting. I'm only going off the snippet, as I'm not going to subscribe, but it does sound like they are tackling an interesting question. I've often thought most of our statistics are used in faulty ways. For example ..................................


    Ill post the whole thing after someone assures me they subscribed. It is a bit chart heavy though.


    Let's not revisit that mistake!
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    Reference link >>> http://seahawks.net/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=20981#p267096
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  • Jville wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:
    HawkGA wrote:Interesting. I'm only going off the snippet, as I'm not going to subscribe, but it does sound like they are tackling an interesting question. I've often thought most of our statistics are used in faulty ways. For example ..................................


    Ill post the whole thing after someone assures me they subscribed. It is a bit chart heavy though.


    Let's not revisit that mistake!
    ** Posting Complete Articles or Videos **

    Seahawks.NET/NET Nation does NOT allow complete articles posted from outside sources. Just a short paragraph or so with a link to the rest of the article IS ALLOWED.

    You may NOT post premium or subscription based articles in their entirety, no exceptions. You may NOT post video containing a game or movie in its entirety, no exceptions. We don't want to hear from any more lawyers.


    Reference link >>> http://seahawks.net/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=20981#p267096


    Shoot! Well I tried guys!
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  • What is soccer? Is that really a thing?
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  • mrt144 wrote:https://theathletic.com/994511/2019/05/31/not-adding-up-brian-schottenheimers-rule-of-53/

    Charles Reep is known as both the founding father of soccer analytics and the man who “helped ruin decades of English soccer.”

    Beginning in the 1950s, Reep published a series of papers examining the sequences that lead to scoring a goal. Reep found that most goals were scored after a series of three or fewer passes, which led to his recommendation: Teams should avoid long passing sequences by kicking the ball far down the field and trying to chase it down. Eventually, this advice became a cornerstone of English coaching.

    The problem? Possession is fluid in soccer. Most goals were scored after short sequences because the vast majority of possessions were short sequences. When one accounts for the prevalence of each sequence length, it turns out that maintaining possession of the ball is associated with an increase in the likelihood of scoring a goal. The error in logic is akin to stating that motorcycles are safer than cars because there are fewer fatal accidents involving motorcycles, ignoring that motorcycles constitute a small percentage of vehicles on the road.

    In other words, Reep’s advice was exactly backward. Reep’s contention that “passing for the sake of passing can be disastrous” was misguided.

    We now turn to the Seahawks, whose actions suggest that they view passing with the same disdain that Reep did. And — like English soccer during the long-ball era — the Seahawks’ devotion to running the football appears to be based on bad math.


    The article goes into the same kind of 'cart before horse' errors as we see specifically with the NFL and even more specifically with the Seahawks. Worth a read and even a subscription in my estimation. The Athletic does some really good work that compliments Fieldgulls and other Seahawks centric outlets and supplements our own thoughts here.

    Maintaining possession is absolutely meaningless unless you are threatening to score. That means that creating chances quickly and getting the ball back quickly would be the optimal way to increase your scoring likelihood. Tactically that translates to an aggressive high press while counterattacking quickly into space, not maintaining possession.

    My guess is the data actually shows that teams with better players are better at maintaining possession which leads to an increase in scoring likelihood... because they have better players. Unfortunately, that doesn't tell us anything about what the best strategy from an analytic perspective is.

    I didn't pay for the article, but I'm sure the only 'bad math' is being used against the Seahawks.
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  • DomeHawk wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:https://theathletic.com/994511/2019/05/31/not-adding-up-brian-schottenheimers-rule-of-53/

    Charles Reep is known as both the founding father of soccer analytics and the man who “helped ruin decades of English soccer.”

    Beginning in the 1950s, Reep published a series of papers examining the sequences that lead to scoring a goal. Reep found that most goals were scored after a series of three or fewer passes, which led to his recommendation: Teams should avoid long passing sequences by kicking the ball far down the field and trying to chase it down. Eventually, this advice became a cornerstone of English coaching.

    The problem? Possession is fluid in soccer. Most goals were scored after short sequences because the vast majority of possessions were short sequences. When one accounts for the prevalence of each sequence length, it turns out that maintaining possession of the ball is associated with an increase in the likelihood of scoring a goal. The error in logic is akin to stating that motorcycles are safer than cars because there are fewer fatal accidents involving motorcycles, ignoring that motorcycles constitute a small percentage of vehicles on the road.

    In other words, Reep’s advice was exactly backward. Reep’s contention that “passing for the sake of passing can be disastrous” was misguided.

    We now turn to the Seahawks, whose actions suggest that they view passing with the same disdain that Reep did. And — like English soccer during the long-ball era — the Seahawks’ devotion to running the football appears to be based on bad math.


    The article goes into the same kind of 'cart before horse' errors as we see specifically with the NFL and even more specifically with the Seahawks. Worth a read and even a subscription in my estimation. The Athletic does some really good work that compliments Fieldgulls and other Seahawks centric outlets and supplements our own thoughts here.


    I know there are some soccer purists on the board who will vehemently disagree but after watching too much soccer it is my feeling that most soccer goals are the result of happy accidents. That is not to say that there aren't some spectacular plays on goal but that they are often the result of random, not planned, events.

    As for whether we should pass more or not, we have the highest paid QB in the league, we should use every skill he possesses. And, that is not to say that we should go to a pass-happy offense, a balanced attack will always be the best offense when it sets the opposing defense on its heels. But that is predicated on the offense not only being balanced but less predictable.

    What I AM saying is that we should have a passing attack that is capable of completing first downs and marching down the field when the opposing defense has stifled our running attack, e.g., the Cowboys' game. That, in turn, will open up the running game.


    You're wrong.. unless you think points in hockey and basketball are also happy accidents.soccer is extremely managed and controlled but with a great deal of fluidity.

    Football is far more deliberate. Planning is methodical as the game is not fluid. Everything is planned, scripted and surveyed.

    Two different games and hard to find comparisons.

    Soccer is also the best sport in the world, so comparisons are not fair to American football
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Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Fri May 31, 2019 11:17 pm
  • Ben Baldwin AND The Athletic: two sources I don't bother to read.
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Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Fri May 31, 2019 11:42 pm
  • Uncle Si wrote:
    DomeHawk wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:https://theathletic.com/994511/2019/05/31/not-adding-up-brian-schottenheimers-rule-of-53/

    Charles Reep is known as both the founding father of soccer analytics and the man who “helped ruin decades of English soccer.”

    Beginning in the 1950s, Reep published a series of papers examining the sequences that lead to scoring a goal. Reep found that most goals were scored after a series of three or fewer passes, which led to his recommendation: Teams should avoid long passing sequences by kicking the ball far down the field and trying to chase it down. Eventually, this advice became a cornerstone of English coaching.

    The problem? Possession is fluid in soccer. Most goals were scored after short sequences because the vast majority of possessions were short sequences. When one accounts for the prevalence of each sequence length, it turns out that maintaining possession of the ball is associated with an increase in the likelihood of scoring a goal. The error in logic is akin to stating that motorcycles are safer than cars because there are fewer fatal accidents involving motorcycles, ignoring that motorcycles constitute a small percentage of vehicles on the road.

    In other words, Reep’s advice was exactly backward. Reep’s contention that “passing for the sake of passing can be disastrous” was misguided.

    We now turn to the Seahawks, whose actions suggest that they view passing with the same disdain that Reep did. And — like English soccer during the long-ball era — the Seahawks’ devotion to running the football appears to be based on bad math.


    The article goes into the same kind of 'cart before horse' errors as we see specifically with the NFL and even more specifically with the Seahawks. Worth a read and even a subscription in my estimation. The Athletic does some really good work that compliments Fieldgulls and other Seahawks centric outlets and supplements our own thoughts here.


    I know there are some soccer purists on the board who will vehemently disagree but after watching too much soccer it is my feeling that most soccer goals are the result of happy accidents. That is not to say that there aren't some spectacular plays on goal but that they are often the result of random, not planned, events.

    As for whether we should pass more or not, we have the highest paid QB in the league, we should use every skill he possesses. And, that is not to say that we should go to a pass-happy offense, a balanced attack will always be the best offense when it sets the opposing defense on its heels. But that is predicated on the offense not only being balanced but less predictable.

    What I AM saying is that we should have a passing attack that is capable of completing first downs and marching down the field when the opposing defense has stifled our running attack, e.g., the Cowboys' game. That, in turn, will open up the running game.


    You're wrong.. unless you think points in hockey and basketball are also happy accidents.soccer is extremely managed and controlled but with a great deal of fluidity.

    Football is far more deliberate. Planning is methodical as the game is not fluid. Everything is planned, scripted and surveyed.

    Two different games and hard to find comparisons.

    Soccer is also the best sport in the world, so comparisons are not fair to American football



    Only in places that don't have American Football. If it were then Networks would be paying the billions a season in advertisement and Merchandise Money etc to have it air on Television.

    Also the argument that Soccer is new to the USA is empty, they have been trying to introduce it successfully for 40 plus years now.
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Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:42 am
  • The Athletic has some decent pieces. The M's writers are pretty good and I think Michael Shawn-Dugar does a decent job at providing observations, you just have to account for the natural overconfidence found in every similar writer who is trying to portray authoritative knowledge.

    This article by Ben Baldwin isn't particularly good. Most of the article is a legitimate but very commonly stated piece about separating causation from correlation. It's completely true that there's nothing magical about a specific number of completions and runs, or the exact numbers that define explosive plays that Pete likes to repeat. The counter argument from the Seahawks side is that having a goal is better than just not having one because the answer is unknown and it's all too complicated to plan.

    The poor part of the article is when Baldwin goes on to claim there isn't much correlation between running and winning - which is entirely besides the point if you believe the bit about correlation and causation not being linked. The chart he is using shows a small positive correlation, which he massages for his message as "there isn’t much of a relationship between rush attempts and team success." Note that it doesn't show a negative correlation at all, which is what you would expect if running was truly bad for success.

    The terrible part of the article is when he then leverages that lack of a strong correlation to jump to the causative conclusion that the Seahawks run too much. His real take is tacked on at the end: "Bad math has driven bad decision-making, with detrimental results on the field." But nowhere has he made the case for that, the rest of his article is only cautioning against mixing correlation with causation which is the very thing he is doing with that conclusion!??

    Of course with today's journalism all that's needed to write a good piece is to have a conclusion that people like. All you really have to know about self professed "data analytic experts" like Baldwin can be found from his twitter:
    Last edited by AgentDib on Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:58 am
  • Uncle Si wrote:Soccer is also the best sport in the world

    Soccer is the most accessible sport in the world; all you really need to play is the ball. That makes it an extremely popular global sport, in much the same way that the accessibility of the McDonalds hamburger has led to them selling billions over the years. Most people would agree that Popular and Best are often wildly different.

    Golfing in exotic locales probably has the strongest argument for best sport to participate in. The likelihood of people pursuing it seems very tightly related to their ability to do so and rises sharply with income brackets. Or perhaps the best participant sport is Yachting.
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It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:49 am
  • pmedic920
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  • Seeing a yank talk about "Soccer" is like watching them talk about culture. They are aware of it, the rest of the world likes it but they are so lacking in their own country they don't quite get it.
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  • Comparing soccer strategy with football? Kind of like comparing cricket to baseball or formula 1 to drag racing. In other words not really.
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  • UK_Seahawk wrote:Seeing a yank talk about "Soccer" is like watching them talk about culture. They are aware of it, the rest of the world likes it but they are so lacking in their own country they don't quite get it.


    The best thing about being a "yank" and culture is that while our history is comparatively short, most "yanks" have ancestors from lots of places and WE get to bask in the culture of those ancestors as well as our own. :D
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  • chris98251 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:
    DomeHawk wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:https://theathletic.com/994511/2019/05/31/not-adding-up-brian-schottenheimers-rule-of-53/



    The article goes into the same kind of 'cart before horse' errors as we see specifically with the NFL and even more specifically with the Seahawks. Worth a read and even a subscription in my estimation. The Athletic does some really good work that compliments Fieldgulls and other Seahawks centric outlets and supplements our own thoughts here.


    I know there are some soccer purists on the board who will vehemently disagree but after watching too much soccer it is my feeling that most soccer goals are the result of happy accidents. That is not to say that there aren't some spectacular plays on goal but that they are often the result of random, not planned, events.

    As for whether we should pass more or not, we have the highest paid QB in the league, we should use every skill he possesses. And, that is not to say that we should go to a pass-happy offense, a balanced attack will always be the best offense when it sets the opposing defense on its heels. But that is predicated on the offense not only being balanced but less predictable.

    What I AM saying is that we should have a passing attack that is capable of completing first downs and marching down the field when the opposing defense has stifled our running attack, e.g., the Cowboys' game. That, in turn, will open up the running game.


    You're wrong.. unless you think points in hockey and basketball are also happy accidents.soccer is extremely managed and controlled but with a great deal of fluidity.

    Football is far more deliberate. Planning is methodical as the game is not fluid. Everything is planned, scripted and surveyed.

    Two different games and hard to find comparisons.

    Soccer is also the best sport in the world, so comparisons are not fair to American football



    Only in places that don't have American Football. If it were then Networks would be paying the billions a season in advertisement and Merchandise Money etc to have it air on Television.

    Also the argument that Soccer is new to the USA is empty, they have been trying to introduce it successfully for 40 plus years now.


    You clearly need to do a bit more research on how , and how many, Americans watch soccer (a British term by the way, quoting it as condescending fails to acknowledge it's origin).

    It won't surpass football soon, but it is growing very quickly and will challenge it before you know it.

    The same cannot really be said about American football elsewhere. It draws crowds in England, sure, but that's about it.

    I love being a fan of both. I think Seahawks fans would really embrace the fan atmospheres at soccer games, if they tried it.

    Back on topic, not sure there is much data points that could be used by both sports. Hell, even analyzing specific data outside basic statistics us fairly new and innovative in soccer
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  • pmedic920 wrote:


    Could you imagine a football player faking an injury?

    I mean, other than Joe Nash and Joe Nash's backup, of course! :irishdrinkers:
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  • Baldwin is a 1-trick hack that made a career out of saying the run doesn't matter. The 2018 Hawks (as well as the 12-15, and 16-17 Hawks) proved him wrong and now he's desperately trying to hang onto the one broken theory he knows.
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  • Uncle Si wrote:
    chris98251 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:
    DomeHawk wrote:
    I know there are some soccer purists on the board who will vehemently disagree but after watching too much soccer it is my feeling that most soccer goals are the result of happy accidents. That is not to say that there aren't some spectacular plays on goal but that they are often the result of random, not planned, events.

    As for whether we should pass more or not, we have the highest paid QB in the league, we should use every skill he possesses. And, that is not to say that we should go to a pass-happy offense, a balanced attack will always be the best offense when it sets the opposing defense on its heels. But that is predicated on the offense not only being balanced but less predictable.

    What I AM saying is that we should have a passing attack that is capable of completing first downs and marching down the field when the opposing defense has stifled our running attack, e.g., the Cowboys' game. That, in turn, will open up the running game.


    You're wrong.. unless you think points in hockey and basketball are also happy accidents.soccer is extremely managed and controlled but with a great deal of fluidity.

    Football is far more deliberate. Planning is methodical as the game is not fluid. Everything is planned, scripted and surveyed.

    Two different games and hard to find comparisons.

    Soccer is also the best sport in the world, so comparisons are not fair to American football



    Only in places that don't have American Football. If it were then Networks would be paying the billions a season in advertisement and Merchandise Money etc to have it air on Television.

    Also the argument that Soccer is new to the USA is empty, they have been trying to introduce it successfully for 40 plus years now.


    You clearly need to do a bit more research on how , and how many, Americans watch soccer (a British term by the way, quoting it as condescending fails to acknowledge it's origin).

    It won't surpass football soon, but it is growing very quickly and will challenge it before you know it.

    The same cannot really be said about American football elsewhere. It draws crowds in England, sure, but that's about it.

    I love being a fan of both. I think Seahawks fans would really embrace the fan atmospheres at soccer games, if they tried it.

    Back on topic, not sure there is much data points that could be used by both sports. Hell, even analyzing specific data outside basic statistics us fairly new and innovative in soccer

    Tbf, we have been hearing that soccer popularity has been growing in the US for 40 years. And it may grow, but will always be a distant 4th at best.
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  • pmedic920 wrote:


    Do you want to see thousands of hours of soccer players breaking bones, tearing ligaments, scarring themselves, concussions? Or even more hours of fantastic athletic display and unparalleled fan support?

    Expand your mind a bit... or at least your argument.

    And yeah, football players flop and fake injuries every week.
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Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:38 am

Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:28 am
  • Tical21 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:
    chris98251 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:
    You're wrong.. unless you think points in hockey and basketball are also happy accidents.soccer is extremely managed and controlled but with a great deal of fluidity.

    Football is far more deliberate. Planning is methodical as the game is not fluid. Everything is planned, scripted and surveyed.

    Two different games and hard to find comparisons.

    Soccer is also the best sport in the world, so comparisons are not fair to American football



    Only in places that don't have American Football. If it were then Networks would be paying the billions a season in advertisement and Merchandise Money etc to have it air on Television.

    Also the argument that Soccer is new to the USA is empty, they have been trying to introduce it successfully for 40 plus years now.


    You clearly need to do a bit more research on how , and how many, Americans watch soccer (a British term by the way, quoting it as condescending fails to acknowledge it's origin).

    It won't surpass football soon, but it is growing very quickly and will challenge it before you know it.

    The same cannot really be said about American football elsewhere. It draws crowds in England, sure, but that's about it.

    I love being a fan of both. I think Seahawks fans would really embrace the fan atmospheres at soccer games, if they tried it.

    Back on topic, not sure there is much data points that could be used by both sports. Hell, even analyzing specific data outside basic statistics us fairly new and innovative in soccer

    Tbf, we have been hearing that soccer popularity has been growing in the US for 40 years. And it may grow, but will always be a distant 4th at best.


    It's a distant 2nd... not 4th. Soccers viewership is difficult to quantify as many fans watch virtually through streaming sites because their favorite teams are international.

    That said, a mid-season PL game drew 15 million American viewers on NBC on Super Bowl Sunday two years ago. That doesn't include the streaming numbers.

    Not worth debating, if you don't like it that's cool. It's just a bigger sport here than I think many realize.
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Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:29 am

Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:51 am
  • The parallels between the analysis of both sports is fair point to contrast; I just don't think the data is good enough to tell us anything. So drawing conclusions under the guise of superior math is not only wrong, it's kind of stupid.
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Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:56 am
  • A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.
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Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:13 pm
  • Popeyejones wrote:A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.


    Thank you for the summary I couldn't bring myself to do. You nailed it!
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Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:14 pm

Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:59 pm
  • The ignorance regarding soccer insane. I hope some of you know that there are other countries in this world outside of the USA. It’s only played by the whole world and at a high level in a lot of countries.

    It actually crowns a real “world” champion since the whole world can participate in it. Not just 1 country.

    Lastly, If you think the game isn’t highly sponsored or loaded with insane money and sponsorships etc - that couldn’t be further from the truth.
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  • Popeyejones wrote:A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.


    There is so much wrong here, if your scoring then your not getting more yards and completions, if your defense gives you short fields your offensive output will look worse then teams that have a bad defense and are passing and coming from behind.

    Say what you will, only Statistic that matters is Win / Loss. Everything else can be skewed for one reason or another and people taking snap shots of one aspect and not add in the others which is a shit ton of data and variables are not getting and presenting the whole picture.
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  • Enthusiastic Sounders fan, parent of two 4A all-state soccer playing daughters, one regional player of the year, both college all-conference players, past competitive club coach.

    Seanhawk wrote:Aggregate score, away goals, pfft.

    OK, so you're ignorant on this topic. I admit: I was ignorant at first. A few seasons back, the LA Galaxy advanced in the playoffs over the Seattle Sounders, based on the away goals rule, even though the 2-game series was tied 1-1 and the aggregate score was I think 3-3 between the two teams. At the time it seemed arbitrary.
    The short version is that these rules reward *attacking* exciting soccer, as opposed to boring bunker defense thuggery fests.
    It's much more interesting to watch. As a road team, it's to your advantage to play to score, rather than bunkering. Games with scores of 3-2 are generally (but not always) more interesting to watch than a 0-0 tie. It's not so different than recent years NFL rule tweaks limiting DB contact with receivers to create more passing offense. It can take a couple layers of examining cause/effect to understand how away goals and aggregate score make playoff games more open and exciting, but truly, they do.

    UK_Seahawk wrote:Seeing a yank talk about "Soccer" is like watching them talk about culture. They are aware of it, the rest of the world likes it but they are so lacking in their own country they don't quite get it.

    It's easy to lob insults, and try to pass oneself off as smug and superior. Are you an inferior NFL fan by "virtue" of your UK roots and cultural ties? Can you ever really "get" NFL football? I don't see how you're any less of a Seahawks fan than those of us who grew up in the Pacific NW as Seahawks fans. So let's dial back the unhelpful snobbery a bit. Wouldn't it be a better goal to help fans of all backgrounds grow in their understanding and appreciation of whatever game(s) they love as a fan? England has very little reason for football snobbery; the last men's World Cup win was 1966. I can appreciate great players like Michael Owen (so impressive as an 18 year old) without being from the UK, or, historically, underappreciated players like the amazing George Best. Even if (or because) he was Irish.

    TreeRon wrote:Comparing soccer strategy with football? Kind of like comparing cricket to baseball or formula 1 to drag racing. In other words not really.

    As a coach and fan, I can assure you that soccer has plenty, plenty, of strategies, on par with pretty much any sport, and many in common with football, even if lower-level details differ greatly. A primary difference is that there are very limited timeouts; strategy and tactics adjustments are primarily made on the fly during continuous action.

    I will grant that the soccer strategy comparison would be closest to basketball. Would you dispute that basketball has plenty of strategy, choices in the kinds of offenses and defenses a team plays, analyzing matchups for advantages to exploit, and so forth? Someone would dispute that only if they were very ignorant of basketball. For example, in 2005, the Seahawks had that dominant left side of the O-Line, with Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson. A clear matchup advantage and the stats for running over the left side showed it, IIRC. Basketball has matchup advantages and disadvantages to factor in. Soccer has all the same elements. The Sounders just brought back Joevin Jones, who is excellent on the left side, in getting the ball into the attack. Another commonality there, the front office acquiring players to match a team's style of play.

    Are the detailed strategies and tactics across sports the same? No, they're different games. There are many strategy elements that cross nearly all team sports boundaries. What does our opponent do well, and how can we take that away? What do we do well, and how can we impose our strength on our opponent? How can we keep the working relationships and culture of our team at a high-performing level? Are many of the foundational principles and approaches highly similar, at the core, across sports? Pete Carroll would certainly say they are. Pete credits John Wooden (in addition to Bill Walsh) as one of his primary coaching mentors.

    Now, back to the article. It would be reasonable to argue that misguided analytics approach has set back English soccer. The reason for that is taking the "findings" out of context. Like the "Vince Lombardi approach" to football coaching set American football coaching, and coaching in general, back a decade or two.IMO. The media and coaches glorified the whole Lombardi package, and he was great at many things, but not so much at other things. The media and many of that generation of coaches copied Lombardi's much of *syntax*, without understanding that he was successful because of his *substance* and despite much of his *syntax*, such as Lombardi's at-times abusive treatment of his players. Alabama college football coach Bear Bryant would deny his players water during grueling practices in 100 degree heat, because he thought it would "toughen them up".

    Similarly, the context of the analysis, British soccer, in the often-muddy, rainy venues like Wembley stadium appear to be the "context" for the analytics. Plug in different environment and playing conditions, and the efficacy of strategies suggested by those analytics, *surprise*, can change quite a bit, as the assumptions they are based on change. For example, this year's Apple Cup, featuring Mike Leach's "Air Raid" offense, was played in a snowstorm. The UW Husky defense pretty much grounded the Air Raid that day, and the snowy field conditions and poor footing, not to mention poor visibility, took away many advantages of the passing game. The better *running* team won that day.

    As a youth basketball coach, of 8 and 9 year olds, many new to basketball, my primary "analytic" was based around getting up a potentially makeable shot before a turnover could occur. So that argued for a fastbreak style, simple plays with short passing sequences leading to a shot, and working within the overall constraints of the setting and the players skill levels. It dictated the sequence of, and time spent on, working on different skills in practices. Contrast that to say, the Princeton-style offense used by some college teams, that involves extended passing sequences, and patiently waits for a mental lapse in the opponent's defense to exploit for an easy basket, often towards the end of the shot clock. The assumptions and environments are quite different.

    Pete and his coaching staff have their strategies they are committed to, many based on analytics, but many more based on firsthand knowledge and deep understanding of the game, and it's fun to watch them, more fun when they are successful. Seeing a Pete Carroll Seahawks team get the ball back with a lead and 5 minutes left in the game, and run out the clock with a pounding run offense, against an exhausted opposing defense, is a thing of beauty. Seeing a Seahawks team repeated go 3 and out, run, run, pass, is not so much a thing of beauty. As a fan and coach, I love seeing Pete and his coaching staff work Pete's strategy, and make adjustments (usually) based on what is working and what's not. Like all coaches, Pete on occasion gets into trouble when he fails to recognize that a given strategy or set of tactics is failing on a given day against a given opponent, and fails to switch to another approach with (we hope) a better chance for success. The Cowboys playoff loss this year comes to mind.
    Last edited by olyfan63 on Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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  • Popeyejones wrote:A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.

    The data doesn't really support their conclusion that running is bad. It only shows us what happened. It doesn't tell us why it happened. In other words, the data is domain specific but the domain it covers doesn't exist outside of a rigidly organized construct. It has very little applicable transfer to predicting real world success.

    It's a tricky concept because non-linearities are hard thing to wrap your head around. People see that two variables are casually linked and assume that a consistent input in one variable will provide a predictable result, but that's not how complex system works.
    knownone
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  • Uncle Si wrote:
    Tical21 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:
    chris98251 wrote:

    Only in places that don't have American Football. If it were then Networks would be paying the billions a season in advertisement and Merchandise Money etc to have it air on Television.

    Also the argument that Soccer is new to the USA is empty, they have been trying to introduce it successfully for 40 plus years now.


    You clearly need to do a bit more research on how , and how many, Americans watch soccer (a British term by the way, quoting it as condescending fails to acknowledge it's origin).

    It won't surpass football soon, but it is growing very quickly and will challenge it before you know it.

    The same cannot really be said about American football elsewhere. It draws crowds in England, sure, but that's about it.

    I love being a fan of both. I think Seahawks fans would really embrace the fan atmospheres at soccer games, if they tried it.

    Back on topic, not sure there is much data points that could be used by both sports. Hell, even analyzing specific data outside basic statistics us fairly new and innovative in soccer

    Tbf, we have been hearing that soccer popularity has been growing in the US for 40 years. And it may grow, but will always be a distant 4th at best.


    It's a distant 2nd... not 4th. Soccers viewership is difficult to quantify as many fans watch virtually through streaming sites because their favorite teams are international.

    That said, a mid-season PL game drew 15 million American viewers on NBC on Super Bowl Sunday two years ago. That doesn't include the streaming numbers.

    Not worth debating, if you don't like it that's cool. It's just a bigger sport here than I think many realize.

    In the most-watched contest of last season, about 1.72 million across all platforms saw Manchester United’s 3-2 defeat of Manchester City on April 7.
    Tical21
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  • Popeyejones wrote:A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.

    EPA is shite. It isn't an efficiency metric. You aren't trying to score a touchdown on every play. Its skewed towards being clutch. DVOA is a far better efficiency metric.

    Russell had by far his best year, the Seahawks had an outstanding year despite mediocre talent, and everyone wont stop saying they should have passed more. Its unbelievable really. It's like nobody watched any of the past three seasons.

    Baldwin skews all his stats to match his narrative. Omitting 4th quarter and 4th down runs? Wtf is that? I can make stats look how I want too.

    Theres no correlation between running success and play-action success, except Russ was far more efficient and completed at a 3% higher rate last year than the previous two. That's where the "no correlation" crowd goes silent and goes back to try to skew their spreadshseets.
    Tical21
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  • Tical21 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:
    Tical21 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:
    You clearly need to do a bit more research on how , and how many, Americans watch soccer (a British term by the way, quoting it as condescending fails to acknowledge it's origin).

    It won't surpass football soon, but it is growing very quickly and will challenge it before you know it.

    The same cannot really be said about American football elsewhere. It draws crowds in England, sure, but that's about it.

    I love being a fan of both. I think Seahawks fans would really embrace the fan atmospheres at soccer games, if they tried it.

    Back on topic, not sure there is much data points that could be used by both sports. Hell, even analyzing specific data outside basic statistics us fairly new and innovative in soccer

    Tbf, we have been hearing that soccer popularity has been growing in the US for 40 years. And it may grow, but will always be a distant 4th at best.


    It's a distant 2nd... not 4th. Soccers viewership is difficult to quantify as many fans watch virtually through streaming sites because their favorite teams are international.

    That said, a mid-season PL game drew 15 million American viewers on NBC on Super Bowl Sunday two years ago. That doesn't include the streaming numbers.

    Not worth debating, if you don't like it that's cool. It's just a bigger sport here than I think many realize.

    In the most-watched contest of last season, about 1.72 million across all platforms saw Manchester United’s 3-2 defeat of Manchester City on April 7.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/worldsocce ... story/amp/
    Tical21
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  • Uncle Si wrote: Not worth debating, if you don't like it that's cool. It's just a bigger sport here than I think many realize.


    I don't believe that, I think there are just more soccer fans here who attend games. Attendance figures skew the actual interest. Give me some television ratings.

    I gotta give you kudos for your perseverance though Si, lol.

    https://awfulannouncing.com/soccer/no-q ... tings.html
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  • Tical21 wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.

    EPA is shite. It isn't an efficiency metric. You aren't trying to score a touchdown on every play. Its skewed towards being clutch. DVOA is a far better efficiency metric.

    Russell had by far his best year, the Seahawks had an outstanding year despite mediocre talent, and everyone wont stop saying they should have passed more. Its unbelievable really. It's like nobody watched any of the past three seasons.

    Baldwin skews all his stats to match his narrative. Omitting 4th quarter and 4th down runs? Wtf is that? I can make stats look how I want too.

    Theres no correlation between running success and play-action success, except Russ was far more efficient and completed at a 3% higher rate last year than the previous two. That's where the "no correlation" crowd goes silent and goes back to try to skew their spreadshseets.


    As I recall in #4 I'm referencing DVOA, not EPA, so this argument doesn't really apply. AFAIK this is a finding that's been replicated regardless of which positive outcome you put on the left hand side (winning, DVOA, EPA, etc)

    Regarding EPA, it's probablistic based on down, distance, and field position. Saying it's just measuring clutchness doesn't make much sense, given that as far as we can tell, to the degree that clutchness exists at all, if it does exist it doesn't exist enough to warrant talking about.
    Last edited by Popeyejones on Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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  • knownone wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.

    The data doesn't really support their conclusion that running is bad. It only shows us what happened. It doesn't tell us why it happened. In other words, the data is domain specific but the domain it covers doesn't exist outside of a rigidly organized construct. It has very little applicable transfer to predicting real world success.

    It's a tricky concept because non-linearities are hard thing to wrap your head around. People see that two variables are casually linked and assume that a consistent input in one variable will provide a predictable result, but that's not how complex system works.



    Absolutely agreed about complex systems. Taking that fact and just packing up and going home is a mistake though.

    The classic example of a complex system is weather patterns. Just because it rains in Seattle a lot doesn't mean it will keep on raining in Seattle a lot. If you think that means that everyone in Seattle should just throw away their umbrellas and raincoats because weather is a complex system you're kind of missing the point of the argument though.
    Popeyejones
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  • Popeyejones wrote:
    knownone wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.

    The data doesn't really support their conclusion that running is bad. It only shows us what happened. It doesn't tell us why it happened. In other words, the data is domain specific but the domain it covers doesn't exist outside of a rigidly organized construct. It has very little applicable transfer to predicting real world success.

    It's a tricky concept because non-linearities are hard thing to wrap your head around. People see that two variables are casually linked and assume that a consistent input in one variable will provide a predictable result, but that's not how complex system works.



    Absolutely agreed about complex systems. Taking that fact and just packing up and going home is a mistake though.

    The classic example of a complex system is weather patterns. Just because it rains in Seattle a lot doesn't mean it will keep on raining in Seattle a lot. If you think that means that everyone in Seattle should just throw away their umbrellas and raincoats because weather is a complex system you're kind of missing the point of the argument though.

    In my opinion, the author is using weather patterns to tell us which days are best to bring an umbrella abstract of the complexities within the system. It doesn't actually tell us what the most efficient strategy for not getting wet is, it tells us what the likelihood of getting wet on a particular day at some point in the past was. You can certainly model it and find a pattern that is the most efficient historically, but can it be applied practically with effective results?

    Here's a simple top down question: Can the passing game stay as efficient if more teams are using it and more teams adapt to defending it, or at some point do we arrive at the conjugate where the running game becomes more efficient than the passing game? If the author can't provide data to answer that question, they should not be accusing others of 'relying on bad math' because their own math doesn't prove that accusation to be true.

    Keep in mind, I don't have any problem with the article or the thought process the author is using, it's interesting. I just don't think it tells us anything more than an opinion with a bit more credibility because they have data to back up their opinion.
    knownone
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  • knownone wrote:Here's a simple top down question: Can the passing game stay as efficient if more teams are using it and more teams adapt to defending it, or at some point do we arrive at the conjugate where the running game becomes more efficient than the passing game? If the author can't provide data to answer that question, they should not be accusing others of 'relying on bad math' because their own math doesn't prove that accusation to be true.


    That's exactly my angle. Construct a team to pass more than run, and it leaves responding and adapting defenses susceptible to...that's right...the run. Everything's a moving target. It also creates a market imbalance in favor of run defenders becoming much cheaper and easier to attain. I just named two factors that were VERY heavily cited - positively - as key players in Pete and John's ascension to the top of the NFL ladder. When they were winning, that is. Funny how it all goes away when struggles happen.

    Another thing Baldwin doesn't grasp is that no coach, anywhere, in the history, present, or future of the NFL, will ever "play the numbers" on any given play call. They're not going to call a pass or a run based on "well, we need to be hitting a 60-40 ratio and we ran last time, so...". They don't think like that. They make their calls based on, not just game situation and down and distance, but the strength of their own personnel, what they know their OL and skill position players can and cannot do, what hamstring their OG thinks he might have just incurred, what that TE is struggling with, and just as important, what he knows of the defense and its strengths and weaknesses and who/where they want to be targeting. There are dozens of factors playing into a head coach's decisions on any given play. They think in the moment. They have to.

    So I'm not sure why people expect Pete to do otherwise.
    MontanaHawk05
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  • Echoes of Buddy Ryan ....... what goes around comes around.

    Or ...... is it what comes around goes around?

    ......... in any case trends trace a big circle.

    Collection and analysis of stats produce trailing indicators ..... past tense.

    The source of leading indicators is human resourcefulness ..... future tense.
    Jville
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Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:14 pm
  • mrt144 wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.


    Thank you for the summary I couldn't bring myself to do. You nailed it!

    Looks like you found another conclusion you agreed with.

    You wouldn't know it from the box scores but there was talent on the Kansas City defense last year. They were still winning games 42-37 and losing them 43-40 because offensive and defensive performance are linked in a complicated manner that even DVOA doesn't account for.
    AgentDib
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Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:45 pm
  • AgentDib wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.


    Thank you for the summary I couldn't bring myself to do. You nailed it!

    Looks like you found another conclusion you agreed with.

    You wouldn't know it from the box scores but there was talent on the Kansas City defense last year. They were still winning games 42-37 and losing them 43-40 because offensive and defensive performance are linked in a complicated manner that even DVOA doesn't account for.


    Kudos on identifying why I shared the article. I think it is worth sharing because I agree with it. I too, am a frail human. ;)


    Seriously though, the point of most analytical writing in sports is to provide critique and insight. The critique is of the stated public approach that our OC takes using some light data analysis to debase the logic of those stated reasons. Does this rationale make sense? Lets see if it does.

    What does KC have to do with the Hawks. I dont have a plan of action or any desire for change to be more like the Chiefs. What will be will be. It is out of our hands and we have no agency.

    This just helps explain what we see a bit more. Like running into stacked boxes. ;)

    FWIW I have tried on numerous occasions to find professionally written articles anywhere, but especially recently in the slack of off season, that paint Schotty in a positive light. I accept my prior statement but most articles are critique and insight but almost all apologetics rest in user chat. There are perilous few professional articles that come to the conclusion that "Schotty is blowing down the houses as OC with his stated approach" but I am looking.
    mrt144
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Re: It doesn't add up! (Athletic Article)
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:36 pm
  • knownone wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:
    knownone wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.

    The data doesn't really support their conclusion that running is bad. It only shows us what happened. It doesn't tell us why it happened. In other words, the data is domain specific but the domain it covers doesn't exist outside of a rigidly organized construct. It has very little applicable transfer to predicting real world success.

    It's a tricky concept because non-linearities are hard thing to wrap your head around. People see that two variables are casually linked and assume that a consistent input in one variable will provide a predictable result, but that's not how complex system works.



    Absolutely agreed about complex systems. Taking that fact and just packing up and going home is a mistake though.

    The classic example of a complex system is weather patterns. Just because it rains in Seattle a lot doesn't mean it will keep on raining in Seattle a lot. If you think that means that everyone in Seattle should just throw away their umbrellas and raincoats because weather is a complex system you're kind of missing the point of the argument though.

    In my opinion, the author is using weather patterns to tell us which days are best to bring an umbrella abstract of the complexities within the system. It doesn't actually tell us what the most efficient strategy for not getting wet is, it tells us what the likelihood of getting wet on a particular day at some point in the past was. You can certainly model it and find a pattern that is the most efficient historically, but can it be applied practically with effective results?

    Here's a simple top down question: Can the passing game stay as efficient if more teams are using it and more teams adapt to defending it, or at some point do we arrive at the conjugate where the running game becomes more efficient than the passing game? If the author can't provide data to answer that question, they should not be accusing others of 'relying on bad math' because their own math doesn't prove that accusation to be true.

    Keep in mind, I don't have any problem with the article or the thought process the author is using, it's interesting. I just don't think it tells us anything more than an opinion with a bit more credibility because they have data to back up their opinion.


    I know it isnt quite kosher to answer a question with a question, but what if doing better than status quo isnt predicated on identifying a discrete equilibrium or optimal point (which is already more nuanced than the stated public rationale of our OC) but rather based on finding the team's own equilibrium for the talent in the stable. Know thyself.

    Instead of asking the team to conform to a specific paradigm like the Chiefs, the question could instead focus on 'are we optimizing our own passing game to the respective talents and game situatuon better or worse than other teams.' What are the limits of the league and how close are we to them? What is currently possible in the league and are the Hawks seizing their share from the table? This seems to be digestible and more straight forward.

    There would be a lot to unpack there. How do you build a framework to determine better or worse (there are some), in what ways are the Hawks better or worse, how do you identify the parts and components that contribute, how much film is needed to buttress data? A lot. But this is what the patchwork of current work strives for at least.

    There isnt a lot out there suggesting that the Hawks are in their own equilibrium or optimization which the article alludes to with the sum being less than the parts, I think at least

    I am excited to see what happens next season and how the team approaches it. There are changes happening about what is possible and valuable all the time in the league and we will see how the Hawks tap into that.
    mrt144
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  • mrt144 wrote:
    AgentDib wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.


    Thank you for the summary I couldn't bring myself to do. You nailed it!

    Looks like you found another conclusion you agreed with.

    You wouldn't know it from the box scores but there was talent on the Kansas City defense last year. They were still winning games 42-37 and losing them 43-40 because offensive and defensive performance are linked in a complicated manner that even DVOA doesn't account for.


    Kudos on identifying why I shared the article. I think it is worth sharing because I agree with it. I too, am a frail human. ;)


    Seriously though, the point of most analytical writing in sports is to provide critique and insight. The critique is of the stated public approach that our OC takes using some light data analysis to debase the logic of those stated reasons. Does this rationale make sense? Lets see if it does.

    What does KC have to do with the Hawks. I dont have a plan of action or any desire for change to be more like the Chiefs. What will be will be. It is out of our hands and we have no agency.

    This just helps explain what we see a bit more. Like running into stacked boxes. ;)

    FWIW I have tried on numerous occasions to find professionally written articles anywhere, but especially recently in the slack of off season, that paint Schotty in a positive light. I accept my prior statement but most articles are critique and insight but almost all apologetics rest in user chat. There are perilous few professional articles that come to the conclusion that "Schotty is blowing down the houses as OC with his stated approach" but I am looking.

    You're trying too hard. Russ had his most efficient season ever and we were a top 6 offense. With mediocre talent. If that isn't "blowing down houses", I'm not sure what is.
    Go ahead, pass a bunch more. Like in 16 and 17. See how far that gets you.
    Tical21
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  • Popeyejones wrote:
    Tical21 wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:A few different things, which I'm going to bullet point, just for ease of reading:

    *The basic gist of the article is that in the relationship between run plays + completions and winning, Schotty is confusing the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. He thinks that the play distributions he wants causes winning but it's the reverse: winning causes the play distributions he's trying to target. Worth noting is that he's not alone in this, as Bill Belichick has made the same mistake in the past.

    *The way you get around all of this cause and effect stuff is to look at expected-points-per play for running and passing, which is what people do. And the data on that is very clear: All things being equal pass plays are more effective than run plays. This is partially driven by innovations in passing attacks in the last 20 years, but also explains why almost all teams most of the time are now passing the ball much more than they used to.

    *Ben Baldwin isn't an outlier on any of this, so going after him for this is kind of missing the point. Many, many people have studied this, and I'm unaware of anyone who has seriously studied it and not come to the same basic conclusion as Baldwin does.

    *If you want to see the consequences of running so much on overall offensive effectiveness, the Seahawks are actually a great example. On a per-play basis last year the Seahawks had the 14th most effective offense in the NFL. That's very middle of the pack, but is only a problem because both in their passing attack AND in their running attack the Seahawks were actually really good. They had the #6 ranked passing attack AND the #6 ranked rushing attack. How do you end up with a Top 6 rushing attack AND passing attack but only end up middle of the pack for overall offensive attack? There's only one way: you're simply rushing the ball way too much and teams with inferior passing and rushing attacks are passing more than you and flying by you in overall offensive effectiveness.

    EPA is shite. It isn't an efficiency metric. You aren't trying to score a touchdown on every play. Its skewed towards being clutch. DVOA is a far better efficiency metric.

    Russell had by far his best year, the Seahawks had an outstanding year despite mediocre talent, and everyone wont stop saying they should have passed more. Its unbelievable really. It's like nobody watched any of the past three seasons.

    Baldwin skews all his stats to match his narrative. Omitting 4th quarter and 4th down runs? Wtf is that? I can make stats look how I want too.

    Theres no correlation between running success and play-action success, except Russ was far more efficient and completed at a 3% higher rate last year than the previous two. That's where the "no correlation" crowd goes silent and goes back to try to skew their spreadshseets.


    As I recall in #4 I'm referencing DVOA, not EPA, so this argument doesn't really apply. AFAIK this is a finding that's been replicated regardless of which positive outcome you put on the left hand side (winning, DVOA, EPA, etc)

    Regarding EPA, it's probablistic based on down, distance, and field position. Saying it's just measuring clutchness doesn't make much sense, given that as far as we can tell, to the degree that clutchness exists at all, if it does exist it doesn't exist enough to warrant talking about.

    Converting a 3rd and 7 is far better for your EPA than converting a 3rd and 3. Being inefficient benefits your EPA.
    Tical21
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