Saturday, August 18, 2007

Chapter 10 not applicable to preseason NFL

I've received a couple of emails asking about using the information in Chapter 10: NFL First Halves for preseason games. In my opinion, the data from the regular season is not applicable to the preseason.

The reason the data is useful for the regular season is that teams really do want to win regular season games. Both teams are motivated, whether they are favorites or underdogs. But in the preseason, the motivation factor can be very different from team to team, and it can depend on the quarter and half. A team could be very motivated to perform well in the 1st half as they are tuning up the starters for the regular season. Or they could be trotting the starters for just one quality series and planning on sitting them down afterwards.

In short: do not use the data in chapter 10 for the preseason. It is only useful for the regular season. In fact, a general rule that should be applied is: preseason NFL is not the same sport as regular season NFL. Attack the preseason as a completely different sport.