Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Math Software Entertainment Technology

Buffalo Bills Going the Moneyball Route With Analytics 94

Nerval's Lobster writes "Can data-analytics software win a Super Bowl? That's what the Buffalo Bills are betting on: the NFL team will create an analytics department to crunch player data, building on a model already well established in professional baseball and basketball. 'We are going to create and establish a very robust football analytics operation that we layer into our entire operation moving forward,' Buffalo Bills president Russ Brandon recently told The Buffalo News. 'That's something that's very important to me and the future of the franchise.' The increased use of analytics in other sports, he added, led him to make the decision: 'We've seen it in the NBA. We've seen it more in baseball. It's starting to spruce its head a little bit in football, and I feel we're missing the target if we don't invest in that area of our operation, and we will.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Buffalo Bills Going the Moneyball Route With Analytics

Comments Filter:
  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @05:51PM (#42454673)

    I for one hope the new Browns owner decides to go down a similar path, for a decade the Browns have squandered draft choices and money on flop after flop. Since they're in the market for a new GM and head coach now would be the perfect time to inject such a new system into the front office.

  • by Snap E Tom ( 128447 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @06:11PM (#42454959)

    Football is fundamentally different from baseball and basketball. It has a lot more strategy, deception, teamwork, and on-the-fly communication between players. Something that happens innocently on one side of the field often has tremendous consequences on the other side. All this is very hard to quantify in a statistical model. For example, if your star receiver is shut down for a game, that might be because he's drawing double or triple coverage. Sure, his stats are low, but your slot and split ends can now have a field day.

    The San Francisco 49ers tried a sabermetrics in their crappy years this past decade. Pioneered by the head of player personnel Paraag Marathe, they fielded a bunch of .500 and sub .500 teams before they moved him more to the business end of things and went with more traditional executives at talent evaluation.

  • Re:Too late? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by icebike ( 68054 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @07:00PM (#42455567)

    Good example.

    Too often the quarterback takes a bum rap for butter fingers down field, just like pitchers gain poor ERAs due to bad defense that allows easily defended ground balls to become runs scored, or pitchers that have bad win/loss records while playing with a horrible bunch of hitters.

    Entire new measurements must be defined for football. How do you measure if the pass was catch-able by a competent receiver? Is it anything within arms length? Or is it more complex, taking into account direction of player motion? What about defensive coverage? Every one of these has to be assigned some form of measurement and then you have to start digitizing game tapes. It will take years to develop anything approximating what baseball has, but its probably long past due.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn