The Percentages Fail!

November 8th, 2022

“Shove your calculator!”

Joe is borderline disturbed by a recent football fad that began maybe two years ago and now litters Twitter each and every NFL Sunday.

If the statheads say the percentages suggest to run/throw/kick/punt/whatever, and a coach doesn’t adhere strictly to them, then he’s the next lousy Lovie Smith.


The percentages never take into account what is going on in the field of play. It’s rear-view mirror logic. Besides, the statheads, what do they have to lose if they go on Twitter screaming? Is a stathead going to get fired if he is wrong?

Does he have to answer to 52 men who busted their tails all week for a head coach? Do the statheads have to answer to an impatient owner? No.

Per NextGen Stats on Sunday, types Kevin Patra of, when the Bucs turned the ball over on downs on their second-last possession, the percentages said the Bucs were cooked.

The Buccaneers had just a 5% chance of winning after they turned the ball over on downs with 1:52 remaining in the game, trailing 13-9. Tom Brady completed 5 of 6 passes for 54 yards and a TD on the Buccaneers’ game-winning drive.

Yup. The percentages never factor in skin and blood or anything physical. Don’t ever say the word “clutch” to a stat geek. They freak out like a vampire and try to shove a crucifix in your face.

And the percentages surely never factored in Brady.

27 Responses to “The Percentages Fail!”

  1. Bucanero Says:

    Absolutely! With his record setting 55th game-winning drive I don’t know if these guys know stats. I mean, hardly an outlier there Rick. Devin White has it right. Just got to give the ball back to Brady and magic will happen. Let’s go Bucs. Really excited for the Munich Bowl this week.

  2. D-Rok Says:

    To Brady: “You now only have a 5% chance to win this game.”

    Brady: “LOL. Hold my avocado water.”

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

    It’s similar to when they they say the ball traveled 38.1 yards. No one, but the statheads and AWS cares about that .1

    Did they say what the chance of winning was if we kicked a field goal and tried an onside kick or kicked off with under two minutes?

  4. Casual Observer Says:

    If they could only pretend that there was only a minute to go – throughout the game!

  5. D-Rok Says:

    I’d love to see the nerds go back and re-calculate the margin of error at only a 5% win probability.

    I’d guess it’d be 5 +/- 95%.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    That stat didn’t factor in Tom Brady….

    In the words of Tom Brady……”That was focking awesome”

  7. Marine Buc Says:

    I study “Game Theory Optimization” principles and modern poker theory and using these advanced statistical metrics in football seems a bit similar to how they are used in poker…

  8. DBS Says:

    Can just think of one stat nerd here going nuts with this here when i happened. Had to drive him to every site in the world looking for the stat to see what it was.

  9. D-Rok Says:


    It seems Coach Todd has been studying what you’ve been studying, also.

    He’s mastered the poker face.

  10. Jack dos Santos Says:

    Brady fired a clear shot across the bow of bowles on his lets go podcast. he was candid and didn’t mince words in how he clearly stated Bellichick always has his teams prepared. preparation and accountability always start at the top.

  11. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Frank Reich was just fired as Colts HC.
    He was one of those analytics guys, Colts owner said.

    That was one vote, against analytics, lol

  12. mark2001 Says:

    I could be wrong. But I kind of think all the distractions swirling around Tom melted away for those 42 seconds, and it was as it has always been for him… just about football and what he does. Complete concentration and a will to win took over. I don’t know if we have gotten beyond something. But I’m glad that Tom, once again, was able to have the pure joy in doing what he does. And it would be great to see more of it.

  13. mark2001 Says:

    Those numbers mean something significant in a Macro sense… based upon historically has been and is likely to occur in the future. But individual differences, the heart, skill, and determination of a player in a key position…. that variant… that anomaly…. can always step up and bite you in the rear if you put too much faith in the numbers.

  14. BucsMinisiterFuller Says:

    The stats didn’t say there was Zero chance, there was a 5% chance.
    That’s the way numbers work.

  15. Marine Buc Says:

    @ D-Rok


    Coach Todd would certainly be difficult to read at the table.

    I prefer to play against drunk wackos… Much easier to read for sure.

  16. mark2001 Says:

    The decent baseball pitcher that all of a sudden throws a perfect game or a no hitter in one of the most important games of his life. The goal tender in Hockey that “stands on his head” and wills his team to a 1-0 victory stopping 40 shots. A football comeback that defies the odds. Those are many of the memorable sports events we will never forget. And no one knows when it will happen. It may drive most betters crazy, but for us non-betters, it is one of the things one has to love about sports.

  17. Bucanero Says:

    I’ll say this, if Andy Dalton is your QB you better bet on analytics.

  18. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    4 outta 3 people, struggle with math.

  19. Thadeus Says:

    Next game Germany ? Seriously ? Why ? So f’ing stupid. No wonder people don’t watch the NWFL ( national WOKE football league )
    Fire Bowels and take Leftwich with you.

  20. Your Mom Says:

    As a nerd I’ll defend stat-based analysis to the end. But you have to appreciate it for what is going into the model, it didn’t say Brady, it said all teams. And it didn’t say 0, it said one out of 20. Guess what, he’s the one. Where’s the problem?

    And really, that defines stars. How well they do above what the average does. This just proved how above average he is.

  21. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Yep, that’s why I don’t gamble, because I’m always wrong.

  22. Brandon Says:

    Stat nerds can appreciate this classic sci-fi quote, “Never tell me the odds!”

  23. unbelievable Says:

    Joe we know how much you hate stats and analytics, but this one has nothing to do with on field decisions. It’s just saying what the chances were of the Bucs winning after turning the ball over. There are plenty of other garbage stats you can hate on lol.

  24. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future…. Yogi Berra

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    I’m not sure why you’d be triggered by stats, it’s literally just takes available data from that same down, distance, timeouts, etc – and then spits out a generic number. But all that 5% chance number shows is how special Brady is. Seems like a positive. I’m literally baffled how anyone can read that stat and get angry, instead of being impressed Brady overcame overwhelming odds.

  26. Redeemer Says:

    Joe, you know where I stand. The nerds are trying to ruin the game. Analytics looks at the future, Data analysis looks at the past. That 5% number doesn’t take into account what defense the Rams would deploy. That’s what we call a known unknown. It’s makes assumptions, with a myriad of variables. There is a place for analytics in society, not so much sports. Football in particular. NERDS!!!!!!!

  27. Bucanero Says:

    Oh so this is about bullying nerds? As simple as I was cool in Skool and now I got a “job” but I have an eye for the game which “numbers” (those things nerds communicate with that include some greek symbols I dunno how to pronounce) can’t tell you about. “Nerds are trying to ruin the game…” LOL Make Football Bully Again