With the Super Bowl right around the corner, a Saint Mary’s student, alumnus, and staff member provide their insights into how they think the game will be played out.
Aidan Adamek, a current student majoring in sports management and business intelligence and data analytics, will be graduating from Saint Mary’s in December 2023.
Champion: Philadelphia Eagles
1. I created an overall offensive and defensive team score for both teams using Z-scores (a statistical measurement that describes a value’s relationship to the mean of a group of values). These scores were created by combining a variety of team statistics to create a score for a variety of offensive and defensive overarching statistical categories. Then combining the scores of each overarching statistical category to create an overall offensive and defensive score. The Eagles scored better defensively, but the Chiefs scored better offensively. According to my scoring, the Eagles ranked second offensively and third defensively among all 32 NFL teams this season. The Chiefs ranked first offensively and 17th defensively. Important to note: All statistics used were Per Game Statistics. Also, these rankings did not vary too much compared to other power rankings online or rankings by NFL analysts. Thus, the Eagles are the better overall team offensively and defensively.
2. I used correlation analysis to determine the top categories (scores) which correlated the most to the team’s overall offensive and defensive scores. I then used the categories that correlated the most to compare the two teams for each category. The Eagles outperformed the Chiefs for each defensive category, while the Chiefs outperformed the Eagles for all except one offensive category.
3. Of the last 10 Super Bowls, on average, the winning team’s Points For Per Game from the regular season is lower than the losing team. However, on average the winning team’s Points Against Per Game from the regular season is lower than the losing team. This statistic favors the Eagles.
- Eagles – Points For Per Game: 28.1, Points Against Per Game: 20.2
- Chiefs – Points For Per Game: 29.2, Points Against Per Game: 21.7
The saying “Defense Win Championships” may very well be true for this Super Bowl.
Player: Miles Sanders
1. Using Player Per Game Rushing Statistics for 366 players from this past regular season (every player that rushed during this past regular season), I used multiple linear regression (a statistical technique used for observing the relationship between variables or prediction) to observe which rushing statistics impacted the response variable the most. The response variable was Yards Rushed Per Game throughout the regular season. The variables (rushing statistics) that were most statistically significant compared to the response variable (Yards Rushed Per Game) were Rushing Attempts Per Game (regular season), Rushing First Downs Per Game (regular season), the player’s longest rushing attempt (regular season), Rushing Yards Per Attempt (regular season), and Fumbles Per Game (regular season).
2. Using the previously listed variables, I compared each player for the Chiefs and Eagles that rushed the ball at some point throughout the regular season. Miles Sanders was dominant amongst all Chiefs and Eagles players for each category:
- Rushing Attempts Per Game: 15.2 (first)
- Rushing 1st Downs Per Game: 3.65 (second)
- Player’s longest rushing attempt: 40 (third)
- Rushing Yards Per Attempt: 4.9 (Tied second for players who played more games than league avg. of players who rushed – minimum 12 games played)
- Fumbles Per Game: 0.12 (Third amongst players that rushed more than league avg. of Yards Per Game – minimum 14 Yards Per Game Rushed)
Team: Philadelphia Eagles
1. Using the scoring that I described earlier, I compared my Rushing Score for both teams to determine which team would rush the ball more. The Eagles outscored the Chiefs overall for rushing, and outscored the Chiefs for each of the following rushing statistics:
- Attempts Rushing Per Game
- Total Rushing Yards Per Game
- Rushing Touchdowns Per Game
- First Downs By Rushing Per Game
Total Score: 43 points
1. To determine the total score for the super bowl, I analyzed the scores from the last 10 Super Bowls and compared the teams from each of those super bowls to the Eagles and the Chiefs.
- The average score of the last 10 Super Bowls was 48.8 points.
- The Standard Deviation (average amount of variability of data from the mean; how far on average each value is from the average of the dataset) was 15.804 points.
2. Comparing the teams from the last 10 Super Bowls to the Chiefs and Eagles, only three games were played by two teams where one team was ranked top 10 for both Points For Per Game (regular season) and Points Against Per Game (regular season) and the other team was ranked top 10 for Points For Per Game (regular season) but not for Points Against Per Game (regular season). The Eagles are ranked top 10 for both, while the Chiefs are ranked top 10 for Points For Per Game but not for Points Against Per Game.
That being said, the score from each of those three games from the last 10 Super Bowls was averaged. The Z-score (how many standard deviations away an observation is from the population mean) for each game was averaged as well. Then the average Z-score for the three games was multiplied by the Standard Deviation for points of the last 10 Super Bowls. By doing so, this calculated how many points the average score of the three Super Bowls as described above deviated from the average score of the last 10 Super Bowls. The three games deviated about -5.8 points from the average. Thus, 5.8 points was subtracted from the mean (48.8), which was 43 points.
Some Important Notes:
- This project focused on Per Game Statistics, as this is a much more accurate way of observing team behavior for sports.
- All data used for this project was from https://www.pro-football-reference.com/. This is a reputable free source for sports statistics and data.
Preston Black B’15 graduated from the BINA program and now works for Vikings Football as the CRM and Insights Manager. (Preston was driving back from Florida and said he would share his work when he had a chance.)
Overall Champion: Philadelphia Eagles
Player with the Most Rushing Yards: Miles Sanders with 66 yards for the game.
Total Score: 45 points (Eagles 23, Chiefs 22)
The staff member
Ellen Heydon, Digital Engagement Officer at Saint Mary’s University did not use a method to decide her answers, she just went with her intuition.
Overall Champion: Kansas City Chiefs (as an avid Chiefs fan, she couldn’t pick anyone else)
Player with the Most Rushing Yards: Miles Sanders with 62 rushing yards (The Chiefs are much more likely to throw the ball and I love a good Kelce Mahomes moment.)
Total Score: 51 points (Chiefs 27, Eagles 24) –51 came to me when I threw a couple of dice and 1 and 5 were the numbers showing. Obviously, a game with a score of 15 would be way too boring, and Mahomes doesn’t do low-scoring games. Turning the numbers to 51 and knowing that the Chiefs will throw the ball, I have hope that this is correct.
As for the halftime show, my bet is that Rihanna opens with “Don’t Stop the Music”.