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The role and evolution of analytics with Sports Info Solutions

Fireside Chats #9!

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NFL: Super Bowl LIII Experience Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Every year I find myself changing how I view football. Part of that transformation comes with learning more about the game from a film watching perspective. The other part of the transformation is constantly happening with the evolution of analytics.

The Philadelphia Eagles invest heavily in analytics and understanding how to integrate them into my own process and analysis is crucial. That’s why on Fireside Chats #9 I brought in Matt Manocherian, the Director of Football and Research for Sports Info Solutions. Having seen the work his company puts out and after digging into the 2019 SIS Football Rookie Handbook, I have a lot of respect for what the folks there are accomplishing.

Manocherian has a background working in the league and brought his unique perspective to all sorts of topics. We talked about the purpose and pitfalls of analytics, common misconceptions, runaway narratives, integrating data into the evaluation process, and he put together small army to check the data and debunk some common Carson Wentz myths.

For instance, if I told you Nick Foles targeted Zach Ertz more per game than Wentz and Ertz’s market share of targets was essentially identical with both quarterbacks, would you believe it? It doesn’t fit the narrative surrounding the 2018 campaign, but that’s the problem with a lot of the talking points with Wentz. They simply don’t hold up under scrutiny.

What of Wentz’s perceived drop off from 2017 to 2018? Manocherian brought some interesting context to that discussion that was largely in agreement with the thoughts presented on The QB Scho Show #18.

Here’s a loosely transcribed version of what Manocherian had to say about Wentz’s past couple seasons.

“The key thing when we look through all these numbers is, not a really big difference from 2017 to 2018. In fact, in most of the field he was better in 2018. The red zone was a ridiculous outlier in a positive way in 2017 and he was probably much lower than we can expect it to be going forward in 2018 and we’ll see something in between there in the future.

In general one thing that might have been frustrating about watching him this past year is that he didn’t push the ball as much down the field as much as he did in 2017. And then also the ridiculous third down numbers that he had. To see something at that level and expect that to recreate itself, that’s tough.

I think in the future there’s nothing to be concerned of with in terms of Carson Wentz and what he’s done... Statistically when we look at it, all the things that we think are more sticky, the things that are more stable year-to-year, they seem to show Wentz is Wentz. All the things that really have a lot of noise and kinda go one way or another from one year to the next, those are the things we’re seeing the ‘frustration’ result from...

And then I mean we didn’t even get into it but if you look at the defense that these guys have had, we don’t even need to talk about those stats. It’s absolutely crazy the amount of ‘run support’ that these guys have had and that’s why quarterback wins and pitcher wins are not our favorite statistics.”

For more of that conversation, you can listen to Fireside Chats #9 on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts? Check out our guide on how to listen to BGN!

You can purchase the 2019 SIS Football Rookie Handbook by clicking here or here. It has hundreds of scouting reports and a bevy of advanced information that you can’t find anywhere else. I’m constantly referring to it as I work through the 2019 NFL Draft process and highly recommend it! FLY EAGLES FLY!