But his Super Bowl Analysis got me wondering about the data. He uses a stat called SRS, Simple Ranking System, from pro-football-reference.com. They have a nice linear algebra explanation of it on their blog. Mr. Silver used this stat to consider whether good defense or good offense was more conducive to winning. By looking at the top 20 in each category, he concludes defense is the key. Or more of a key than offense.
|Always fabulous and frequently mathy Foxtrot.|
I got hooked, which is why I say, "Curse you, Nate Silver."
Turns out my idea about the differences was only mildy predictive. I took NFC Offense - AFC Defense and compared to AFC Offense - NFC Defense. ("How is that different from NFC Total SRS - AFC Total SRS?" I would ask students if I had them this semester.) Here's the Google spreadsheet.
There's definitely some things to notice there. My next thoughts were to compare defenses, offenses, and finally to look where those two agree.
Bad news for Baltimore. When a team is favored in defense and offense, they've won about 3/4 of the time. So Raven fans you should be getting 3:1 odds when most people are feeling it's pretty close. Looking at these numbers, you could consider it the 4th or 5th biggest upset should Baltimore win. No 68 Jets or 07 Giants, but significant.
What do you notice about the data?