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The peril of ignoring analytics


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I think Coach McD is great and I hope he is our HC for years to come. But he badly stubbed his toe in the biggest game of his HC career because he ignored analytics and reverted to his (natural) conse

We have eyes and have discussed this for a week now, but thanks for making another thread about it!

I don't think he went conservative bc he reverted to his "nature." I think he went conservative and took the points bc he thought the offense wouldn't convert the TD.

I work in an analytics organization.  We support many internal and external clients.  We generate what we call "insights" rather than decisions or strategy based on analytics and data.  Its one input into the process.  The idea is to supplement your management team's abilities and experience with data and statistics.  Not replace it.

 

My thinking is the debate over the strategy to be more aggressive or not is irrelevant.  Not taking a FG at halftime would result in getting 7 or getting 0.  What was the probability of getting 7 there given the circumstances?  Greater than 50%?  Would that be enough for you to gamble?  The problem is we don't really know for sure what the probability of each outcome is here.  Would it have made a difference in the outcome?  Why debate a series of hypothetical situations that cannot be proven or disproven using the analytics tool some cite as supporting their claims? 

 

My conclusion is the Chiefs just have more talent than the Bills do on their starting 22.  I don't think this is debatable.  I think its supported by facts and data.  You can use analytics or just your own common sense and tell me how many Chiefs would you select position by position to fill out a 22 man starting line up?  Maybe 15 Chiefs and 7 Bills?  Or something close to that.  I'd be hard pressed to say anyone would select a majority of Bills players if they were being objective about it.  That's why they lost.  No amount of strategizing is going to over come that gap.  We need to upgrade the starting line up and close the talent and speed and skill gap to defeat and compete consistently with that team. 

Edited by All_Pro_Bills
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you guys can talk Analytics till your blue in the face... None of those Analytics support being more aggressive on either side of the ball. The questions on how to beat KC is easy.. Top 3 defense with a run game LIKE what Miami had OR... you out gun them. Like the Raiders did.

 

Now.. we all THOUGHT going into this year we had a top 3 defense. Then these same Analytics you guys speak of told us Josh Is playing amazing ball and our defense is struggling. 

 

Now..

 

If you want to put ANYTHING on McD' through out this year its "wth is up with our defense" this year? the answer is easy... We spent $104 mil on Defense this year 17% of that on failing Defensive Tackles that for most of the games could not shed a block if they were paid to do so... oh wait they were... and on the Edge ? Addison who could only manage ONE SACK this year and Hughes through the regular season only put up 4.5 sacks. That was our problem.

 

In short. We spent $104 mil on defense expecting our defense to take us home while our offense just gets the job done.. Instead reverse roll.

 

tell me folks.. If we had Miami's Defense with our Offense.. Who in the heck you think would of won that game? We expected our defense do be as good as Miami's defense and the grape didnt make it out of the gate...

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15 hours ago, NewEra said:

This could’ve been put in the 273 other threads about the game that are still being discussed.  In fact, I think you wrote something very similar in other threads.  Look at my thread!

 

Except I'm not looking through any of those super general long threads that I haven't been engaged with from the start...I'm looking in a smaller very specific thread that caught my attention...guessing I'm not alone.

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44 minutes ago, HardyBoy said:

 

Except I'm not looking through any of those super general long threads that I haven't been engaged with from the start...I'm looking in a smaller very specific thread that caught my attention...guessing I'm not alone.

Oh yeah, my bad.  I suppose you were looking for one of those threads about analytics that contains zero analytics.  You hit the mother load here!!  Enjoy!

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16 hours ago, Motorin' said:

I don't think he went conservative bc he reverted to his "nature." I think he went conservative and took the points bc he thought the offense wouldn't convert the TD.

 

if MCD didn’t think the offense can convert the TD’s against the worst red zone defense he needs a new OC, and if he also thinks his soft zone D will stop KC’s offense at that point in the game he’s simply hoping.  

2 hours ago, All_Pro_Bills said:

I work in an analytics organization.  We support many internal and external clients.  We generate what we call "insights" rather than decisions or strategy based on analytics and data.  Its one input into the process.  The idea is to supplement your management team's abilities and experience with data and statistics.  Not replace it.

 

My thinking is the debate over the strategy to be more aggressive or not is irrelevant.  Not taking a FG at halftime would result in getting 7 or getting 0.  What was the probability of getting 7 there given the circumstances?  Greater than 50%?  Would that be enough for you to gamble?  The problem is we don't really know for sure what the probability of each outcome is here.  Would it have made a difference in the outcome?  Why debate a series of hypothetical situations that cannot be proven or disproven using the analytics tool some cite as supporting their claims? 

 

My conclusion is the Chiefs just have more talent than the Bills do on their starting 22.  I don't think this is debatable.  I think its supported by facts and data.  You can use analytics or just your own common sense and tell me how many Chiefs would you select position by position to fill out a 22 man starting line up?  Maybe 15 Chiefs and 7 Bills?  Or something close to that.  I'd be hard pressed to say anyone would select a majority of Bills players if they were being objective about it.  That's why they lost.  No amount of strategizing is going to over come that gap.  We need to upgrade the starting line up and close the talent and speed and skill gap to defeat and compete consistently with that team. 

 

the only way to beat a more talented team is out execute it, out coach it, and be smartly aggressive.  The Bills did none of these things. 

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16 hours ago, WIDE LEFT said:

Went conservative because O was terrible? O marched ball down the field for 3 points on first possession- McD played his soft soft conservative zone from the very first play KC had the ball. What game were u watching? 

The Bills first drive ended in a long fg and the drive should have ended in an easy interception. They also had to convert a 4th down along the way. 

Edited by dave mcbride
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16 hours ago, WIDE LEFT said:

You have to love how concerned some folks are about policing the website to insure there is nothing posted that remotely touches on previous discussions. God forbid anything like the biggest Bills game in decades is continually discussed

 

We just don't appreciate that your need for attention leads you to post a thread about something already being discussed. Post your thoughts there. 

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17 hours ago, WIDE LEFT said:

I think Coach McD is great and I hope he is our HC for years to come. But he badly stubbed his toe in the biggest game of his HC career because he ignored analytics and reverted to his (natural) conservative form. I am not talking about the field goal decisions, although they were terrible and unsupported by analytics as well. What I am referring to here is the overall strategy he employed in this game.

 

Analytics for years now has consistently demonstrated that the “strategy” of controlling the clock via run game etc so as to keep a great QB on the sidelines is a losing strategy. Not a shred of evidence that it ever works, despite many in the WNY media touting this strategy. Far more troubling is McD playing softest zone, force them to take lots of plays and lots of time to score. Of course, this strategy also keeps your offense on the sideline for a long time. It’s a strategy designed to shorten the game. It’s a strategy that prevents your O from producing a lot of points. 

 

Herein is the monumental failure. Mahomes has lost only 9 games in his career. The average score of the 9 teams that beat him was 36 points. The only way any team has beat him was to outscore him. McD employed the complete opposite of the only strategy that has ever been consistently successful v KC. Look, we would have probably lost anyway, but we did not go down swinging, because our head coach went with his gut, instead of the hard evidence that analytics provides. 

 

 

 

 

 

You say that "Analytics for years now has consistently demonstrated that the “strategy” of controlling the clock via run game etc so as to keep a great QB on the sidelines is a losing strategy. Not a shred of evidence that it ever works, despite many in the WNY media touting this strategy."

 

Fine, where is the evidence that it never works. There is none, of course, since the word "never" makes your contention there obviously wrong. But let's pretend you'd said it in a reasonable manner, something like, "There is no evidence that teams that use the strategy of controlling the clock win at a higher rate." 

 

Where's the evidence for that? 'Cause I've search for about an hour now and I don't find anything. But hey, it's only an hour, I could definitely have missed something. You're totally sure of this, so you must have something.

 

Teach me, I'm willing to learn. Where do the analytics say this?

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1 hour ago, dave mcbride said:

The Bills first drive ended in a long fg and the drive should have ended in an easy interception. They also had to convert a 4th down along the way. 

Exactly.  It was a 10 play, 42 yard drive that needed a dropped INT and a 4th down conversion in order to kick he longest FG in Arrowhead postseason history.  Buffalo had to earn every yard on that drive.  Converting a 4th and 3 was hardly a given, and even if they did, there’s no guarantee the drive would have ended in anything better than a FG attempt.  Spagnuolo did a great job of tightening up in the red zone.

 

Its easy to say that McDermott should have done things differently given that we know the outcome of the game, but it seems wholly unlikely that going for it there or at the end of the half would have changed the outcome of the game.  Absolute best case scenario is that both drives end in TDs, and the Bills score 8 more points.  That changes nothing.  Worst case is Kansas City has a short field after the first drive, scores a TD rather than dropping that pass, and goes into halftime up 28-0 and receiving the second half kickoff.

 

The Bills were able to capitalize on a couple of unforced errors to take a 9 point lead before the Chiefs hit their stride.  Once that shifted, there wasn’t much that was going to change things.  Hell, the Texans were up 24-0 last year after a similar start before Kansas City scored TDs on 7 straight possessions, and their fans spent all offseason playing the what if game regarding coaching decisions.  Bill O’Brien is an idiot, but there was no button he was going to push that was going to stop that buzzsaw just like McDermott wasn’t going to use analytics to change the outcome of last week’s game.

 

Andy Reid has been building his team for 8 seasons now.  He’s got a QB playing as well as anyone in history, and that QB is surrounded by elite weapons.  What’s more is he’s got the best defense he’s had since he arrived in Kansas City coached by a guy who has won multiple championships as DC.  McDermott’s had 3 years.  He’s added his version of Mahomes and Hill, but he’s still missing a Kelce and a Chris Jones.  You don’t overcome that by coaching circles around your opponent, especially when the guy standing 55 1/2 yards away is Andy Reid.  The Bills still have some roster improvements to make before it’s a fair fight.

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, WIDE LEFT said:

But history has proven you can’t make a great O like KC “inefficient”. When the only teams that have ever beaten Mahomes have averaged 36 points, it might be obvious to even somebody like u that u don’t beat this team in 13-10 games. Not happening- never has - pretty obvious to all but the oblivious

 

 

Hogwash. You say you "can't make a great O like KC "inefficient." That's pure nonsense. 

 

Was KC's great O efficient when they scored 23 against the Chargers this year? Or the 2nd time they played the Chargers when they only scored 21? Or 22 against the Broncos? Or 17 against the Falcons? In what Bizarro world is scoring 17 against Atlanta, who allowed an average of 25.9 PPG this year "efficient"? It's not. Or the 22 they scored against the Browns?

 

Or last year when they scored 13, 24, 24, 24, 23 and 23 points in games against, respectively, Indy, Houston, Green Bay, the Chargers, the Pats and the Broncos. Unsurprisingly, they lost 3 of those 6 games. Hold KC to lower points and you can beat them. And it's certainly not impossible to hold them to lower points.

 

More nonsense. You say "u don't beat this team in 13-10 games." Bullcrap. Indy beat them 19-13 last year. With Mahomes under center. Now, obviously, they couldn't have done that by limiting them to few effective drives, since you've said that's impossible. Wooooopsy! That's exactly what they did, holding the Chiefs to 9 effective drives, really ten but the tenth started 0:04 seconds before halftime deep in Indy territory and was a one kneel-down drive. Indy won that game doing precisely what you say can't work.

 

 

 

Oh, and by the way, none of this is analytics, anymore than anything whatsoever you have said has. It's just sensible argument. 

 

So, again, where are the analytics that make all these great claims?

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13 minutes ago, Thurman#1 said:

 

 

 

Hogwash. You say you "can't make a great O like KC "inefficient." That's pure nonsense. 

 

Was KC's great O efficient when they scored 23 against the Chargers this year? Or the 2nd time they played the Chargers when they only scored 21? Or 22 against the Broncos? Or 17 against the Falcons? In what Bizarro world is scoring 17 against Atlanta, who allowed an average of 25.9 PPG this year "efficient"? It's not. Or the 22 they scored against the Browns?

 

Or last year when they scored 13, 24, 24, 24, 23 and 23 points in games against, respectively, Indy, Houston, Green Bay, the Chargers, the Pats and the Broncos. Unsurprisingly, they lost 3 of those 6 games. Hold KC to lower points and you can beat them. And it's certainly not impossible to hold them to lower points.

 

More nonsense. You say "u don't beat this team in 13-10 games." Bullcrap. Indy beat them 19-13 last year. With Mahomes under center. Now, obviously, they couldn't have done that by limiting them to few effective drives, since you've said that's impossible. Wooooopsy! That's exactly what they did, holding the Chiefs to 9 effective drives, really ten but the tenth started 0:04 seconds before halftime deep in Indy territory and was a one kneel-down drive. Indy won that game doing precisely what you say can't work.

 

 

 

Oh, and by the way, none of this is analytics, anymore than anything whatsoever you have said has. It's just sensible argument. 

 

So, again, where are the analytics that make all these great claims?

Lotta good points here.  If the Bills could have had Kansas City rest their starters in the AFCCG like they did in week 17 against the Chargers, that would have helped a lot.  If they could have convinced Reid not to play Mahomes and Hill and Fisher like those games last year, that would have been a master stroke.  How would you suggest McDermott go about that (speaking from an analytics standpoint, of course)?

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1 hour ago, Thurman#1 said:

 

 

 

Hogwash. You say you "can't make a great O like KC "inefficient." That's pure nonsense. 

 

Was KC's great O efficient when they scored 23 against the Chargers this year? Or the 2nd time they played the Chargers when they only scored 21? Or 22 against the Broncos? Or 17 against the Falcons? In what Bizarro world is scoring 17 against Atlanta, who allowed an average of 25.9 PPG this year "efficient"? It's not. Or the 22 they scored against the Browns?

 

Or last year when they scored 13, 24, 24, 24, 23 and 23 points in games against, respectively, Indy, Houston, Green Bay, the Chargers, the Pats and the Broncos. Unsurprisingly, they lost 3 of those 6 games. Hold KC to lower points and you can beat them. And it's certainly not impossible to hold them to lower points.

 

More nonsense. You say "u don't beat this team in 13-10 games." Bullcrap. Indy beat them 19-13 last year. With Mahomes under center. Now, obviously, they couldn't have done that by limiting them to few effective drives, since you've said that's impossible. Wooooopsy! That's exactly what they did, holding the Chiefs to 9 effective drives, really ten but the tenth started 0:04 seconds before halftime deep in Indy territory and was a one kneel-down drive. Indy won that game doing precisely what you say can't work.

 

 

 

Oh, and by the way, none of this is analytics, anymore than anything whatsoever you have said has. It's just sensible argument. 

 

So, again, where are the analytics that make all these great claims?

The Bills defense couldn’t stop anything in that first half.... playing for the FG down 21-9 on 4th and 3 from KCs 6 was the nail in the coffin.

 

The Bills weren’t holding the Chiefs to ineffective drives. They were scoring at will. Pitch and catch down the field. 

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3 hours ago, RyanC883 said:

 

if MCD didn’t think the offense can convert the TD’s against the worst red zone defense he needs a new OC, and if he also thinks his soft zone D will stop KC’s offense at that point in the game he’s simply hoping.  

 

The Chiefs D has clearly been one of the best red zone D's in the playoffs. Do I wish the Bills would have scored a TD at the end of the half? Of freaking course. But I don't see McD taking 3 as a sign of him playing scared. I see that as McD reading the tempature of the game and seeing a shaky performance from the O against an aggressive D.

 

Going in down 9 at the half wasn't the nail in the coffin. The INT down 16 pretty much was though. We make it an 8 point game at the start of the 4th if we score there. But we'd have to get the 2 point conversion. And the 2 failed 2 point trys on 2 attempts are also pretty good evidence that McD wasn't wrong taking the fg's. 

 

I think McD goes for it on 4th right before the half and in the 3rd if he had more confidence in the O... If it were my choice, I would have run Yeldon on 3rd and 4th down in both of those goal to goal situations. But I don't blame him for taking 3. The worst possible outcome in that situation was getting stuffed on 4th down to end the half. 

Edited by Motorin'
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Despite the fact that we've seen the defense really shut down some opponents over the last few years, McDermott's scheme is designed to allow yards and move the sticks at times. They usually clamp down in the red zone and force a team to kick field goals. That may have been the strategy against KC. They may have thought, "They're going to get yards anyway so let's try and contain and then lock down as we get backed towards the red zone. Hold them to field goals or make them miss on 4th down and get the ball back." Sounds nice in theory but honestly KC can score on any given play. Because they're big stupid buttholes and I hate their stupid faces and their stupid Kermit the frog quarterback. I want both teams to lose the Super Bowl this year. 

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1 hour ago, Motorin' said:

 

The Chiefs D has clearly been one of the best red zone D's in the playoffs. Do I wish the Bills would have scored a TD at the end of the half? Of freaking course. But I don't see McD taking 3 as a sign of him playing scared. I see that as McD reading the tempature of the game and seeing a shaky performance from the O against an aggressive D.

 

Going in down 9 at the half wasn't the nail in the coffin. The INT down 16 pretty much was though. We make it an 8 point game at the start of the 4th if we score there. But we'd have to get the 2 point conversion. And the 2 failed 2 point trys on 2 attempts are also pretty good evidence that McD wasn't wrong taking the fg's. 

 

I think McD goes for it on 4th right before the half and in the 3rd if he had more confidence in the O... If it were my choice, I would have run Yeldon on 3rd and 4th down in both of those goal to goal situations. But I don't blame him for taking 3. The worst possible outcome in that situation was getting stuffed on 4th down to end the half. 

Also, the Chiefs were getting the second half kickoff.  With the FG, worst case scenario is that Buffalo is down 16 points the next time they touch the ball.  That’s not great, but it’s still within two scores.  If the Bills get stuffed and the Chiefs get a TD to start the second half, it’s a 19 point game before you see the ball again.  The game would effectively be over before the first Bills possession of the half.  I don’t know that there’s a right or wrong answer in that situation, but if the conversion attempts are any indication the FG was probably the right call.

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14 hours ago, ScottLaw said:

The Bills defense couldn’t stop anything in that first half.... playing for the FG down 21-9 on 4th and 3 from KCs 6 was the nail in the coffin.

 

The Bills weren’t holding the Chiefs to ineffective drives. They were scoring at will. Pitch and catch down the field. 

 

 

So your point is that our offense was spectacular? That we could have outscored them if only we hadn't run so much?

 

Could you real quick point out where I said that our defense performed well against KC? No? Well, if you're not going to say anything related to what I said, that's fine, but don't reply to me.

 

You don't reply to a guy and then pretend he said something he didn't.

 

We didn't have a "nail in the coffin." They were simply better than us in every phase of the game except STs.

 

 

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