Why do NFL teams run so often? (no, seriously: why?)

Thanks to Yurko, Ventura, and Horowitz (2018), we now have reliable estimates for the expected points added (EPA) and win probability added (WPA) of every NFL play from 2009 through 2017. A consistent pattern that has emerged from this data is that on average, rushing lowers a team’s chance of scoring (as measured by EPA) and winning (as measured by WPA). And yet, on 1st and 10, NFL teams ran the ball 53 percent of the time in 2017. In order for rushing so frequently to…

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Bryan’s 2017 Awards

The 2017 NFL season is in the books, so it’s time to award postseason honors to the players and coaches who make the game worth watching. Unlike major publications (Associated Press, Sporting News, PFWA, etc.), I include postseason performance in my evaluations. Generally, unless a player is absolutely disastrous, I only weigh the playoffs heavily if it is favorable to a player. The legendary Dr. Z used to set a 75% rule for receiving award recognition, meaning that a player had to appear in at…

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Bryan’s 2017 All Pro Team

As always, this is not the official GridFe All Pro team. These are my picks and don’t reflect on the opinions of the other humans on the site. I do my best to synthesize tape and stats within the context of each player’s circumstances. For example, if two cornerbacks performed similarly, but one played behind significantly superior pass rushers, I went with the guy who I thought did it with less help. I’m not saying that’s the right way to do it, but it’s my…

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