A Harvard Guy Used His Harvard Brain To Predict The Outcome Of The 2015-2016 NFL Season

by 4 years ago

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

This is what we’ve reduced ourselves to. It’s the end of July and sports in July BLOW. Throughout the month, you have a few golf and tennis majors and then you have baseball. BASEBALL. I love golf and even I think these are DREADFUL sports option. Come to think of it, a helluva way to torture imprisoned terrorists would be to make them watch SportsCenter, on loop, during the month of July. A man can only watch so many highlights of the same routine double play before taking his own life becomes a pretty sweet option.

But the month is almost over and then August will pass like a fart in the wind and then FOOTBALL WILL BE BACK, BABY. Until then, we can quench our football thirst with off-the-field antics — like LeSean McCoy’s orgy party — and wild predictions made by some Harvard brain — using his fancy math equations — about who will be the NFL’s top teams for the 2015-2016 season.

According to Harvard Sports Analysis:

The biggest challenge obviously is to come up with a sound way to estimate team strength, an endeavor that’s demanding considering the amount of personnel turnover each offseason and the lack of advanced statistics to evaluate player interactions.The method that I came up with uses Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value statistic, the site’s best measure of trying to tease out individual talent. Then, using ESPN’s NFL depth charts, I aggregated each team’s per game approximate value of what I considered to be the ‘core’ makeup of an NFL team: QB, RB, 2 WR, TE, Top 2 OL, the Top-4 ‘Front Seven’ defensive players, and the Top-2 players from the secondary.

There were some exceptions to simply using last year’s AV. If a team had an absent starter that was injured or suspended for the majority of last year (e.g. Adrian Peterson), I used the player’s 2013 AV value.  And, if ESPN listed a rookie as a starter,

Ok. I’m just going to go ahead and stop you right there, Chico. No one — and I mean probably just me — has any idea what the fuck you are talking about or the attention span to read all this “E=MC2” bullshit you’re spewing. Let’s just get down to the findings, which, by the way are not looking too great for the San Francisco 49ers.



Here are the odds that your favorite team makes the playoffs.

Never change, Oakland. In a league full of parody, you remain the model of consistency.

[H/T Barstool Sports]

TAGSNFLNFL Predictions