Posted by Evil2009
I want to know if the Patriots have any more of a chance (or less) than their on-field play shows, and what their specific strengths and problems might be.
My proposed power rating revision:
I break a football game into the team’s basic game, a clock-watching asymmetrical game late in the fourth quarter, and a few empty points and meaningless gestures at the end of some games. I’m moving to two power rating statistics: a more inclusive power index plus a game winning drive index.
My standard power index will now cover much of the fourth quarter, as long as the game isn’t getting out of hand.
My revised dividing line between the basic and time-dependent game won’t be the end of the third quarter. It will be based on the number of 8 point scores that the losing team needs to tie the game. There isn’t a firm dividing line but I need one, so here’s a reasonable line: A team that needs three scores will be said to abandon its basic game 15 minutes before the end of the game. A team that needs two scores will be said to abandon its basic game 10 minutes before the end of the game. A team that needs one score will be said to abandon its basic game 5 minutes before the end of the game. In a tie game, one team or the other will be said to start hoarding the seconds 2 minutes before the end of the game. By rule, once the standard game is officially declared over by hitting a time limit or by one team getting further ahead, no score changes can put the standard game back into play again. There will be only one standard game differential.
My rule will be, the first time that this line is crossed, that’s the stopping point for the standard power index.
In addition to the standard power index, I want to record a game-winning drive index. May John Elway smile down on me from the broadcast booth or from wherever he hangs out. I specifically want to differentiate the game-winning drives, and the teams which allow game winning drives, from several types of meaningless and empty points that teams sometimes create at the end of the game.
Piling-on points beyond the end of the standard game don’t count. For the Patriots-Tennessee game, this might go all the way back to halftime. Neither will single touchdowns count when the losing team needed two scores to win, but didn’t bother to play for two scores. I remember a New England - Pittsburgh game around 2003 where the Steelers called a timeout with a handful of seconds left because they wanted their touchdown, except the Steelers were at least three scores back. Only real wins and tie games at the end of regulation count for this second index.
If your team is three scores back and it comes back to win, it gets credit for three game-winning drives. At the same time, the other team gets a -3 in this rating category for letting your team run wild. If your team earns a tie game, the game-tying drive only counts for half of one game winning drive.
Coin flips in overtime are statistical noise and kind of bad football, because whoever wins the coin flip tends to win the game. A coin flip shouldn’t count in a power index unless the zebras are skillfully bought off to flip two-headed coins. Personally I’d have the kickoff receiving team always start from the 10 yard line, not from the 20, if they choose not to bring the ball out. A team that elects to receive and succeeds at a (short) game winning drive earns 0.3 game winning drives if they win. The other team can earn 0.7 game winning drives if they eventually win.
Right off, I expect Indianapolis to be the king of game-winning drives, and I expect Miami to be the goat.
At some point I need to combine these two indices to get a standard power index. First, let’s see how each index looks. I suspect that the base index will be pretty tried-and-true, while the winning drive index will operate on scanty data. We’ll see.