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# A NFL running playoff thread

## Replies to: A NFL running playoff thread

• 8464 replies477 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,941 Senior Member
"So out of 87 games that went to overtime from 2010-2017, the results were:
45 first possession won
37 first possession lost
5 still tied after overtime
I.e. there was a first possession advantage in current NFL overtime during that time period."

That data shows 45 wins and 42 no wins. T test produces a p-value of .482579. The result is not significant at p < .05 That "first possession advantage" is not large enough to be significant. In other words an apparent advantage of that modest magnitude it could easily occur by random chance.

Since ties are valid results and are not wins, throwing out the ties and comparing only wins and losses is not correct. But if we try that anyway (45 wins vs 37 losses) just to see what it looks like, we still do not get a significant result ( p = .451092).

• 3380 replies8 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,388 Senior Member
^^^I like this poster! =D>
• 9076 replies32 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9,108 Senior Member
Hey, I know how to do statistics like that too!

Well... I used to, 35 years ago. I think.
• 4950 replies61 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,011 Senior Member
edited January 23
Also remember that professional football is not baseball or golf. It is played at high speed with an incredible amount of injuries.

Some of them career and life threatening.

Playing tired and not fully defending oneself is incredibly dangerous.

Especially head injuries with players perhaps disregarding personal safety of themselves or each other with emotions and ramifications of the game so magnified in OT.

You will not see rules changed guaranteeing each team will possess the ball. The human assets are too valuable.

The statistics are nearly equal. And less than 20 percent of the winners are first drives.

Also weather and wind are luck of the draw and losing team chooses direction that also can seem subject to chance.

So it should be each team possesses the ball in the optimal direction?

Lastly if you are being honest would this be a thing if patriots had not won?
And done so in a such a dominating display in OT.

Just be honest.

How many OT games have been played. Almost 100. First I am hearing this huge groundswell of opposition under the new rules.
edited January 23
• 455 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 458 Member
Until recently OT ended after any points, and that rule change didn’t come easily or without a lot of opposition. Giving each team a chance in OT, regardless of the first drive’s outcome, is a natural extension of this rule of fairness. In my opinion, it isn’t about probabilities - it’s about giving each offense an opportunity, so there are no regrets.
• 3380 replies8 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,388 Senior Member
edited January 23
Lastly if you are being honest would this be a thing if patriots had not won? And done so in a such a dominating display in OT.

I think if the Chiefs had won on the first possession in OT the entire Internet would have blown up. )
edited January 23
• 76099 replies663 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,762 Senior Member
Scipio wrote:
Since ties are valid results and are not wins, throwing out the ties and comparing only wins and losses is not correct.

While you have a valid point that the sample size is too small, it is not the case that "still tied" is the same as "lose".

If there is 0:01 left in the game, and one team is in field position where its kicker makes about half of field goal tries, there may be a ~50% chance of the offense team to win, a very small chance of the defense team to win (by turnover run back for a touchdown), and ~50% minus defense win chance for the game to be still tied. Which team would you rather be?
• 26529 replies172 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 26,701 Senior Member
Now to be fair, let’s present the Raiders, not Patriots’ fan’s, POV.

Here, let me fix this for you:

Now to be fair, let’s present the Rest of the World, not Patriot fan’s, POV.

(The Raider Nation is everywhere!)
• 3450 replies68 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,518 Senior Member
The OT college rules with each team starting at the 25 yard line seems more fair, if not more practical.
• 8464 replies477 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,941 Senior Member
"While you have a valid point that the sample size is too small, it is not the case that "still tied" is the same as "lose"."

It is the same if you are asking whether winning the overtime coin toss significantly increases your chance of winning the game vs not winning it - which is what is being asked in the first calculation.

Of course the ~50% chance of making a field goal might have a big influence on the outcome of a game because it directly affects the score of the game. Neither team can score during the coin toss, so it cannot directly affect the outcome of the game.
• 9076 replies32 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9,108 Senior Member
The OT college rules with each team starting at the 25 yard line seems more fair, if not more practical.

Is it more fair? In a study of 156 college overtime games from 2008-2013:

61.5% of the teams who play defensive first (that is, get the ball on offense second), win.

Seems like a pretty solid advantage to go second.

http://blog.minitab.com/blog/the-statistics-game/analyzing-college-football-overtimes

In another study of 328 games from 1996-2007:

55% of the teams that play defense first, win.

Also - 99% of the time (99%!) the coach will opt to play defense first after winning the coin toss. Clearly the coaches feel there is a major advantage to going on offense second.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/4731867_An_Analysis_of_the_Defense_First_Strategy_in_College_Football_Overtime_Games

This actually seems less fair than the way the NFL does it.
• 76099 replies663 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,762 Senior Member
Perhaps a more fair way if first-score-wins is used (which is presumed in order to reduce injury risks) would be to have team A choose a starting field position, then have the team B choose whether to be on offense or defense from that starting field position. Yes, a coin flip is still needed to determine who is team A and who is team B, but then team A will choose a starting field position that it believes is fair whether it starts on offense or defense, and team B will choose whichever it believes is not to its disadvantage. Sort of like having one person divide something followed by having the other person choose who gets which part.
• 1969 replies81 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,050 Senior Member
edited January 23
@sushiritto---I am NOT a raiders fan--Patriots fan since the 1960's---we benefitted greatly from the tuck rule, but I recognize that it was a dumb rule, but as long as it was a rule, calling it was appropriate.

On the subject of overtime, the Saints had the ball first in their OT game, and the Rams defense stopped them, and got the ball. The Chiefs defense could have done the same. If the Chiefs win the toss, march down the field and win, there is no story, no outrage, just jubilation that the Patriots lost.
edited January 23