The 1st Half and The Ravens
The Ravens and the NFL from 2009 to 2015 – projecting into 2016.
Training camps have started! What do people care about the most right now? WINS. Playoffs. If you can get a ticket to the post-season, you have a chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. It is all about the big picture right now in the world of real football (sorry fantasy guy…)
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
Forget about the minutia – games won’t start until Sunday Aug 7 at the Hall of Fame Game. Does your team have the goods to make the playoffs? Hope springs eternal. Right now playoffs are on the table for every team. Heck, 16-0 is on the table. Who will be the new teams in the playoffs and who will miss out that made it last year?
In the next few weeks, I will take a view at the Ravens 2016 season through a macro to micro examination of past performance, drill down to find area of necessary improvements and the likelihood they’ll happen. This week, we’ll start with the big picture.
The NFL is one of numerous new sports to bet on this week, with Harbaugh’s men backed at 7/4 to return to the playoffs in the 2016 season.
From 2009 thru 2015 seasons, how have the Ravens performed? Here is a summary:
Off = Q-score for the Offense for the entire season. Def = Q-score for the Defense for the entire season. Team = Q-score for the Team for the entire season. For a explanation of Q-Scores, please visit TheQ5. TheQ5 is a platform that creates intense drive data visualizations by stepping past the scoreboard and statistics and into drive performance and advanced analytics. The entire 2015 Ravens season in reviewed here.
The numbers do not lie – from wins to Q-Scores. Except for the offense in 2013, we see low marks across the board in 2015.
Examining the entire league from 2009 thru 2015, six teams had the dubious distinction of 2015 being their worst season in terms of Team Q-Score over the past 7 years. That list includes: SD, DAL, CLE, BAL, MIA and SF.
On the flip side, four teams can look back over the past 7 years and see that 2015 was the best Team Q-Score: ARI, CAR, CIN and KC.
First and foremost, this is a league of starting quickly for success. The second half comeback is so memorable because it doesn’t happen that often. You want to have the odds in your favor, don’t sit on a great play or idea – use it now. Score now. Score early. Don’t save your bullets for later. Let’s see what the data says…
A look back at the past 7 regular seasons of NFL games yields an interesting discovery.
When did the winning team score the go-ahead for good points? Almost 1135 of the 1792 regular season games (about 64%) the team leading at halftime maintained the lead throughout the rest of the game. This doesn’t say that 64% of the halftime leaders win the games – that group only has a lower bound at 64%. I did not calculate the size of that particular group. But again, the leader at halftime had taken the lead for good in 64% of the games. Extrapolate that out – it says that a 10-win season should happen if you are leading in every game at halftime. Obviously, easier said than done. You must come out of halftime playing well to protect that lead – taking the spirit of the opponent. Leave no doubt.
How did the Ravens do in 2015 with first half performance? Evaluating the entire first half performance in each game by Team Q-Score for every team leads to a ranking showing the Ravens at 27th. The others teams in the bottom of the ranking are shown below.
2015 Ranking Based on Team Q-Scores from the 1st half of all games:
Looking closely at the Ravens games and the scoreboards at halftime. The Ravens led in 3 games at halftime and won two of those games.
Easy to say that if a team has the lead at halftime, they have a very good chance to win. The more interesting issue is HOW teams get the lead and hold it.
Next week, I will begin examining game situations – not statistics – and examine how important they are in the final outcome of the game.