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Logic

Interesting chart showing Bills as 6th most intelligent 4th down decision-making team in 2018

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Posted (edited)

Stumbled across this on Twitter today.

In a nutshell, the chart shows how often teams made the decision on 4th down that matched what the New York Times 4th Down bot (which is built based on what decisions analytics suggest give a team the best statistical chance at winning) suggested. The higher you are on the chart, the more often you made a "good" choice on 4th down. This chart is just for the 2018 season. It shows the Bills as the 6th "smartest" or "most frequent makers of correct decisions" on 4th down.

I find it interesting because so many people claim that McDermott is an awful 4th down decision maker. At least one source, the one mentioned here, disagrees.

 

 

Edited by Logic
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The main reason the Bills rank so high is because Allen on a QB sneak is automatic on 4th & a yard or less. 

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21 minutes ago, Albany,n.y. said:

The main reason the Bills rank so high is because Allen on a QB sneak is automatic on 4th & a yard or less. 

The Bills ranked 31st in their 4th down conversion rate in 2018.  I think what this states is they were good at making the right decision on 4th and 5 or less yards.  

I think one of the reasons McD and Beane re-did the O-line is they did not win the line of scrimmage on most short yardage runs, with the exception of Allen and his sneaks.  I expect them to be much better with some of the beasts they brought in....

 

https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/fourth-down-conversion-pct

 

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Posted (edited)

Hopefully with an upgraded offensive line to go with our athletic 6'5" -- 240 lb quarterback, we will have even more success on 4th and short.  It's also easier to go for it on 4th down when you know you have a great defense to help bail you out if you don't get it.

 

Edited by Inigo Montoya

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1 hour ago, Logic said:

Stumbled across this on Twitter today.

In a nutshell, the chart shows how often teams made the decision on 4th down that matched what the New York Times 4th Down bot (which is built based on what decisions analytics suggest give a team the best statistical chance at winning) suggested. The higher you are on the chart, the more often you made a "good" choice on 4th down. This chart is just for the 2018 season. It shows the Bills as the 6th "smartest" or "most frequent makers of correct decisions" on 4th down.

I find it interesting because so many people claim that McDermott is an awful 4th down decision maker. At least one source, the one mentioned here, disagrees.

 

 

 

 

Nope.  They were actually awful on 4th down conversions, even if the robot told them to "go for it".  

 

Next to last in conversions (an anemic 38.9%).  At some point, a HC has to say "we're not really very good at this, even if it seems like the right call"...and punt.

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9 minutes ago, Mr. WEO said:

 

 

Nope.  They were actually awful on 4th down conversions, even if the robot told them to "go for it".  

 

Next to last in conversions (an anemic 38.9%).  At some point, a HC has to say "we're not really very good at this, even if it seems like the right call"...and punt.

 

Do you think our team fares much different that way though? If not, I’d rather take the shot, honestly.

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7 minutes ago, NoSaint said:

 

Do you think our team fares much different that way though? If not, I’d rather take the shot, honestly.

 

 

13 teams were over 60%, so the Bills are far worse than most teams.

 

They were better at converting under Rex Ryan....

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3 minutes ago, Mr. WEO said:

 

 

13 teams were over 60%, so the Bills are far worse than most teams.

 

They were better at converting under Rex Ryan....

 

Im not arguing they were good at this. Just wondering aloud if being bad precludes it from being an ok decision.

 

Would they have fared better punting?

 

And substantially enough so that it outweighs my own preference to at least take a shot if you are a talent deficient team? There’s little I hate more than grinding out 17-13 games on the way to 6-10. At some level I’d rather take the shots and risk a few blowouts in exchange for stealing a few wins.

 

If if we were a loaded team that just couldn’t do it for due to some quantifiable weakness, then I’d be apt to be more conservative... 

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2 hours ago, Logic said:

Stumbled across this on Twitter today.

In a nutshell, the chart shows how often teams made the decision on 4th down that matched what the New York Times 4th Down bot (which is built based on what decisions analytics suggest give a team the best statistical chance at winning) suggested. The higher you are on the chart, the more often you made a "good" choice on 4th down. This chart is just for the 2018 season. It shows the Bills as the 6th "smartest" or "most frequent makers of correct decisions" on 4th down.

I find it interesting because so many people claim that McDermott is an awful 4th down decision maker. At least one source, the one mentioned here, disagrees.

 

 

The x axis isn't labeled.  

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, NoSaint said:

 

Im not arguing they were good at this. Just wondering aloud if being bad precludes it from being an ok decision.

 

Would they have fared better punting?

 

And substantially enough so that it outweighs my own preference to at least take a shot if you are a talent deficient team? There’s little I hate more than grinding out 17-13 games on the way to 6-10. At some level I’d rather take the shots and risk a few blowouts in exchange for stealing a few wins.

 

If if we were a loaded team that just couldn’t do it for due to some quantifiable weakness, then I’d be apt to be more conservative... 

I also prefer aggressive, so I think the solution is to fix the offense. In a season like 2018, my attitude is why the h not? The personnel you're working with certainly factors into the coach aggression meter, but start forming good habits. I'd rather see a young coach develop the habit of going for it when the situation dictates. Looks like McDermott did a pretty good job with that last season. Let's not play for ties anymore either; not a fan of that.

Edited by LSHMEAB
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It's an interesting chart. I'd like to see the Bills be more aggressive in this measure.

 

But the Bot recomments going for every 4th and 1. Including your own 9 yard-line. I'm not that aggressive, not if the game's close or especially if you're ahead with some time left. If you don't make it there the opponent get the ball at a place where any team would get 4.5 expected points. 

 

I agree that NFL teams are too conservative in this decision. I think the Bot errs a bit on the other side.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, oldmanfan said:

The x axis isn't labeled.  

 

 

It's the ranking. 

 

1st to 32nd.

 

 

Which means that this is based entirely on how aggressive each team was rather than how successful. In fact, they didn't even look at how successful each team was in those situations.s

Edited by Thurman#1

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5 hours ago, NoSaint said:

 

Im not arguing they were good at this. Just wondering aloud if being bad precludes it from being an ok decision.

 

Would they have fared better punting?

 

And substantially enough so that it outweighs my own preference to at least take a shot if you are a talent deficient team? There’s little I hate more than grinding out 17-13 games on the way to 6-10. At some level I’d rather take the shots and risk a few blowouts in exchange for stealing a few wins.

 

If if we were a loaded team that just couldn’t do it for due to some quantifiable weakness, then I’d be apt to be more conservative... 

 

The bot bases it's decisions, I'm assuming, on the likelihood of all teams succeeding at 4th down at a certain distance.

 

If you are a team that is really bad at 4th down conversions, you shouldn't look at the odds as pertaining to your team.  You should punt.

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5 hours ago, Mr. WEO said:

 

 

13 teams were over 60%, so the Bills are far worse than most teams.

 

They were better at converting under Rex Ryan....

Sure, but it's a pretty small sample size. Teams don't go for it on 4th down all that often. Differences between them are murky from the small sample size.

 

It's better to make the right decision in the long run. If your team isn't good enough, well that sucks and you'll lose games regardless of whether or not you punt it on 4th down.

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the NYT? i'm pretty sure this is fake news.

 

tomato.gif

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5 hours ago, Mr. WEO said:

 

The bot bases it's decisions, I'm assuming, on the likelihood of all teams succeeding at 4th down at a certain distance.

 

If you are a team that is really bad at 4th down conversions, you shouldn't look at the odds as pertaining to your team.  You should punt.

 

Right.

 

but even being below that average conversion rate, one would assume many of those would still be mathematically acceptable decisions. If I gave you 4-1 odds on calling a coin flip, even with a slightly weighted coin you’ll probably make some money. I’d assume the bills are using their own research which I would assume is more personalized and not just using the NYT bot.

 

it also ignores my point that I’m a fan of the underdog taking extra shots. If we are overmatched in talent (and with the dead money we created no other argument can be made)... I kind of prefer hoping they convert 1-2 above average in a game and steal a win here and there even if it means missing them all in another week and a 7 point loss becomes a 14. 

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I think we as fans should realize last year was a time to test things out and see what works. Go for broke, because we knew we were outmatched on our oline and needed every opportunity to run game clock and keep the other offense off the field. This year we will see a much more normal play calling and risk taking as long as our offense has improved as dramatically as it should. We played for broke last year with low expectations and a rookie QB

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1 hour ago, NoSaint said:

 

Right.

 

but even being below that average conversion rate, one would assume many of those would still be mathematically acceptable decisions. If I gave you 4-1 odds on calling a coin flip, even with a slightly weighted coin you’ll probably make some money. I’d assume the bills are using their own research which I would assume is more personalized and not just using the NYT bot.

 

it also ignores my point that I’m a fan of the underdog taking extra shots. If we are overmatched in talent (and with the dead money we created no other argument can be made)... I kind of prefer hoping they convert 1-2 above average in a game and steal a win here and there even if it means missing them all in another week and a 7 point loss becomes a 14. 

 

I'm not against a poorly scoring team taking shots either.  But the theory of the thread is misleading.  It suggests that the Bills offense makes intelligent choices when faced with a certain scenario (4th down) compared to the success in that scenario for all teams.

 

In reality, the Bills aren't any good at executing the choice successfully, so it perhaps makes the argument that for the worst teams at doing this, the more "intelligent" choice is to punt and flip the field.

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15 hours ago, Logic said:

Stumbled across this on Twitter today.

In a nutshell, the chart shows how often teams made the decision on 4th down that matched what the New York Times 4th Down bot (which is built based on what decisions analytics suggest give a team the best statistical chance at winning) suggested. The higher you are on the chart, the more often you made a "good" choice on 4th down. This chart is just for the 2018 season. It shows the Bills as the 6th "smartest" or "most frequent makers of correct decisions" on 4th down.

I find it interesting because so many people claim that McDermott is an awful 4th down decision maker. At least one source, the one mentioned here, disagrees.

 

 

 

There it is again... Bill and Panthers...  

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15 hours ago, Logic said:

Stumbled across this on Twitter today.

In a nutshell, the chart shows how often teams made the decision on 4th down that matched what the New York Times 4th Down bot (which is built based on what decisions analytics suggest give a team the best statistical chance at winning) suggested. The higher you are on the chart, the more often you made a "good" choice on 4th down. This chart is just for the 2018 season. It shows the Bills as the 6th "smartest" or "most frequent makers of correct decisions" on 4th down.

I find it interesting because so many people claim that McDermott is an awful 4th down decision maker. At least one source, the one mentioned here, disagrees.

 

We ranked 31st (of 32 that would be) in converting 4th downs.  We were ahead of Rosen and Arizona.  

 

I'm not sure what "good decisions" means, but in terms off converting 4th downs, we sucked, royally.  

 

In other unfavorable news, we ranked 30th in Scoring %, that is the percentage of drives resulting in offensive scores. 

 

We ranked 29th in drives ending in offensive TOs.  

 

28th in average number of plays/drive. 

 

30th in average number of plays/drive. 

 

26th in average time/drive

 

30th in average number of points/drive 

 

 

1 hour ago, buffalobloodfloridahome said:

I think we as fans should realize last year was a time to test things out and see what works. Go for broke, because we knew we were outmatched on our oline and needed every opportunity to run game clock and keep the other offense off the field. This year we will see a much more normal play calling and risk taking as long as our offense has improved as dramatically as it should. We played for broke last year with low expectations and a rookie QB

 

Let's hope so, but it's still a very hefty climb to merely average.  

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this analysis is problematic. all it actually shows is how the team's decisions lined up with an algorithm. that's it. you cannot draw any more conclusions than that.

 

there is nothing that shows the bot is correct. maybe the bot is wrong 100% of the time. that would mean we are one of the worst decision makers (for example).

 

analysis is fun, but far too many people draw conclusions from it when there is no basis for it. decision making is far more complicated than making a decision tree and following it.

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7 hours ago, MJS said:

Sure, but it's a pretty small sample size. Teams don't go for it on 4th down all that often. Differences between them are murky from the small sample size.

 

It's better to make the right decision in the long run. If your team isn't good enough, well that sucks and you'll lose games regardless of whether or not you punt it on 4th down.

 

That is correct. 

 

The range for 4th-down attempts runs from a high of 25 (Denver) to a low of 8 (Chargers).  

 

29 teams rank between 23 and 12 attempts/game.  That's on the magnitude of approximately 1/game.  

 

We had 18, converted 7.  

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Not much relevance to this.  Maybe in the middle of the field but there is no way any NFL HC is going for it on 4th and 1 deep in their own side of the field.

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