Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Madden Data Project

I mentioned yesterday in the Madden post how weak the offensive A.I. was in the last two minutes of the half when a team was ahead.

It's true, but it's an unsupported claim, really, and I was kicking around ideas for how I could show this in a data sense. I came up with an idea that I think will work very well, but then I realized something more important in terms of the theory: the score doesn't dictate offensive strategy at the end of the first half.

There's a good reason for this. There's so much time left in the game that even if a team is ahead 21-0, they're still going to be aggressive. Individual teams might behave differently compared to each other, but those differences are based on team characteristics, not the score.

I think I can prove this, because I have a way to visually present the data that should demonstrate the proof very clearly.

Here's where you can assist, if you're so inclined. I need some very simple work done with play-by-play summaries for each NFL game this season. A week of games should take only 30-45 minutes of work to compile the raw data. If I can persuade a few volunteers to do this, then I can take the raw data and do the analysis.

If any of you guys want to help with this, please let me know and I'll assign you a week (or two, if you're so inclined). I think this would be very interesting, both in a data sense and a football sense.

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