Friday, July 27, 2012

Turnover Margin and Predictions

Joe Fortenbaugh with a cool article.  Usually the kind of thing I like to research and I’m a little surprised I hadn’t thought it of it before.

I disagree with some of his conclusions (of course) because I think he looks too much at single seasons without looking at spreads of seasons for anomalous numbers.

First the link:  

Now the chart:

odds chart

From this it is easy to look at 3-4 year spreads and ask “what number doesn’t fit”.  For example, Kansas City’s +9 in 2010 was out of character for them and corresponded with a somewhat improbable playoff run.

Looking at 2011 we see that Fortenbaugh highlighted Jacksonville’s jump, but the real anomaly was 2010, not 2011.  2011 was corrective.

So looking at this, the teams who I would expect to be “corrective” in 2012 would be (in order of confidence):

San Francisco     -15.5
Philadelphia      +13.5
Pittsburgh          +12.5
Tampa Bay         +11

I would normally expect Baltimore to improve by about +6 but the loss of Suggs may mitigate this improvement a bit.  I’ll leave it to you guys to decide whether last year’s dip was merely normal variation or a combination of weak offensive line play and aging playmakers.  You’ll recall Reed’s somewhat bizarre INTsplosion in a half season in 2010.  It could be that +2 is closer to the new normal for the Ravens.

I would like to point to Arizona.  A team I already thought was a bit remarkable, going 8-8 with no quarterback and trying to overcome heavy losses from the ’10 offseason.  Additionally we see that their TO margin also dove.  While this could directly correspond to their personnel problems, it could also point to a team that suffered bad luck and might be worth a couple more wins.

Finally, looking at Denver.  This is an interesting team.  Made the playoffs (and won a game!) last year with an absurd run of 4th quarter comebacks.  Now they’ve replaced their awful QB with an all-time great.  It is impossible to predict exactly what Peyton will be, but it is fairly easy to project that he will be better than Ortonbow.  This is a team that could take dramatic steps forward, given the right Manning, similarly to Minnesota in Favre’s penultimate season.

Not predicting, just predicting.


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