Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football

By Wayne Winston | Go to book overview

22
A STATE AND VALUE ANALYSIS OF THE 2006
SUPER BOWL CHAMPION COLTS
By winning the Super Bowl, the 2006 Indianapolis Colts brought great joy to the Hoosier state. In this chapter we will use the state and value approach described in chapter 20 to answer many interesting questions about the Colts' offense, such as the following:
1. On any down and yards to go situation, is running more or less effective than passing? For example, on first and 10, is running more effective than passing?
2. Are runs more or less effective than passes overall?
3. Was Joseph Addai a more effective runner than Dominique Rhodes?
4. Who is better: Marvin Harrison or Reggie Wayne?
5. Is it better to throw deep or short?
6. 6. Are the Colts more effective running right, left, or up the middle?
ESPN.com and NFL.com give complete play- by- play logs for each NFL game. For each play we are given the following information:
the down before the play
yards to go for a first down before the play
the yard line before the play
whether the play was a run or pass
the ball carrier on a running play
behind which offensive line position (left end, left tackle, left guard, middle, right guard, right tackle, right end) the carrier ran on a running play
the quarterback and intended receiver on a passing play
whether the pass was deep or short
the final result of the play, down, and yards to go for a first down and new yard line after play is completed

For example, here is the entry for the key play in the 2008 Super Bowl:

-151-

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