FanPost

Moneyball Analysis of Why Vikings are Failing

Total Time of Possession Analysis - It's getting progressively worse but it's not very revealing as to what's going on.


31:32 Sun 10/14 Redskins --------- LOSS 26 - 38
24:55 Sun 10/21 Cardinals ---- WON 21 - 14
22:15 Thu 10/25 Buccaneers ------ LOSS 17 – 36
24:00 Sun 11/4 Seahawks --------- LOSS 20 – 30
34:34 Sun 11/11 Lions --------- WON 34 – 24
Bye
22:30 Sun 11/25 Bears ------------ LOSS 10 – 28
21:30 Sun 12/2 Packers ----------- LOSS 14 – 23


Breaking it down average time per drive (ranging from 1 play to 16 plays). Interesting, but not useful either.

2:52 Avg. Drive Time for MIN@WAS
2:16 Avg. Drive Time for ARI@MIN (WON)
1:41 Avg. Drive Time for TB@MIN
2:35 Avg. Drive Time for MIN@SEA
2:43 Avg. Drive Time for DET@MIN (WON)
1:53 Avg. Drive Time for MIN@CHI
2:05 Avg. Drive Time for MIN@GB

There have been a total of 78 drives (not counting 4 non-scoring end of half or game drives) for 175 minutes of Offensive playing time to cover 2354 yards.

38 drives have ended in only 3 plays or less, taking up just only 44 total minutes of playing time in 7 games (avg time per short drive of 3 plays or less = 1 minute 14 seconds ).

The short drive breakdown: 3 fumbles, 3 TD's, 4 Interceptions, and 26 punts. 2 of these drives ended with a successful Field Goal on the 4th play. It's unusual to score on the first series.

87% of starting drives fail to moving the chains only 10 yards. The other 13% ends up in a score of TD or FG.

Breaking this 87% down further:

21% of the time we turn the ball over on INT or FUMBLE, and 79% of the time we punt.

12 Field Goal attempt drives longer than 4 plays == Average length per drive = 50.4 yds (eg if starting at our own 20 yd line, it ends with 30 yards remaining to goal). 10 of these FG's were made and 2 were missed.

TOTAL PLAYING TIME for a FG attempt (success or miss): 45 minutes or 3 minutes 45 seconds per FG drive.

11 Touchdown drives were longer than 4 plays == Average length of these drives were 64.3 yards. Starting field position is a big deal here.

TOTAL PLAYING TIME for a TD attempt: 43 minutes or 3 minutes 57 seconds per TD drive.

The playing time for a FG requires just as much effort as a TD one.

A successful point scoring attempt drive usually takes around 4 minutes off the clock.

A failed drive takes only 1 minute 14 seconds off the clock.

We've accounted for 38 short drives, 12 long FG attempt drives, and 11 long TD drives (total 38+12+11= 61 drives). The remaining 17 ended as follows: 5 INTS, 3 FUMBLES, 6 PUNTS and 3 drives turned over on DOWNS.

7 AMAZING STATS from the PAST 7 games:

  • ALL 6 fumbles happened ONLY within the first 4 plays of a drive series.
  • ALL 32 punts happened EXACTLY within the first 6 plays of a drive (26 3-and-out's, and only 6 punts after moving the chains 10 yards.)
  • Get the drive lasting longer than 6 plays, means there's an opportunity to put points on the board 81% of the time!!
  • 93% of turnovers occur within the first 6 plays of the drive (14 out of 15 drives).
  • Move the ball at least 15 yards, and 74% chance to put points on the board (29 opportunities in 39 drives)
  • Total Time of Possessions 6 plays or less = 89 minutes 30 seconds ( 57 of 78 drives, or 73% of possible drives) This playing time accounts for 51% of our 175.5 playing minutes.
  • Total Time of Possession 7 plays or longer = 86 minutes ( 21 of 78 drives, or 27% of possible drives) This playing time accounts for 49% of our 175.5 playing minutes.

Translation:

We spend half of our playing time for an 81% chance of scoring points when the number of plays in a drive is 7 or more. The average time of possession for these drives is 4 minutes 5 seconds based on 21 drives.

The other half of our playing time happens within 0-6 plays of the drive. All 32 punts, 6 fumbles and 9 of 10 interceptions happen here. Only 19% of these short drives end up with points on the board. The average time of possession for these drives are barely over a minute and a half of playing time for 57 drives.

The time of possession formula for Vikings simply breaks down as follows:

Time of Possession = (# of drives 6 plays or less )*75 seconds + (# of drives of 7 plays or more)*245 seconds

How does this math hold up? Pretty well!

  • MIN@WAS: Prediction=33:35 vs. Actual=31:32
  • ARI@MIN: Prediction=16:35 vs. Actual=24:55 (WON)
  • TB@MIN: Prediction=21:55 vs. Actual=22:15
  • MIN@SEA: Prediction=16:55 vs. Actual=24:00
  • DET@MIN: Prediction=26:20 vs. Actual=34:34 (WON)
  • MIN@CHI: Prediction=23:30 vs. Actual=22:30
  • MIN@GB: Prediction=18:10 vs. Actual=21:30

It is possible to compute expected points scored? We know that the Vikings are expected to score on 19% of the short drives (1-6 plays) and 81% of the longer drives of 7 plays or more.

MIN@WAS: Prediction=31 vs. Actual=26
ARI@MIN: Prediction=13 vs. Actual=21 (WON) Smith's INT return for a TD was HUGE in securing the win.
TB@MIN: Prediction=18 vs. Actual=17
MIN@SEA: Prediction=14 vs. Actual=20 Peterson's near 200yd performance got us an extra TD.
DET@MIN: Prediction=23 vs. Actual=34 (WON) Solid passing & quick strikes gained us an additional 11 points
MIN@CHI: Prediction=20 vs. Actual=10 Simply too many blown opportunities and points left on the table.
MIN@GB: Prediction=15 vs. Actual=14

side note: GB had a killer drive of 11 minutes in 4th quarter all for a 3pt FG. If they normally used 4 minutes for a score, there would be 11 minutes to play instead (an extra 7 minutes!) in the 4th quarter ... good enough for 2 scoring drives and a defensive stop.

Lesson learned:

  • Maximize success by each drive lasting at least 7 plays or more.

To score 28 points in a game, we need a minimum of SIX drives containing 7 or more plays out of 11 in a typical game to achieve this outcome. We had 7 drives of 7+ plays in the Washington game. Our next best game was in Detroit, with only four 7+ plays happened.

The opportunity is there. The execution is not for 5 of 7 games. All 32 punts, 6 fumbles and 9 of 10 interceptions happen in the first 6 plays of a drive.

A failed drive takes only 1 minute 14 seconds off the clock. A successful 7 or more play drive takes 4 minutes off and we're almost turnover free.

HUGE DIFFERENCE. Pass the smelling salts to everyone for those first 6 plays. Wake up. No sloppiness. Keep those hands warm and crisp. Move the chains not just once, but twice!

Now win the remaining games this season. All you need to know is here. Hit the lucky 7 play count in any drive, it means points on the board 81% of the time. You can do it!

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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