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Showing posts from February, 2018

The Eagles Embrace their Inner Geek, Racing? We're Still Waiting for the Impossible

It was 4th and goal with little time left in the first half at yesterday's Super Bowl. A field goal would put the team from Philly up 18-12, and the safe, conventional call would not have surprised anyone.

We all know that's not what happened. The Eagles went for it.

Coach Doug Pederson and staff didn't much care that if the play failed, and they lost the game, the media would've had a conniption fit. They went for it because the numbers said they should.

As Ben Shpigel noted in the New York Times (written before the victory), the Eagles have been doing this all season long.

As we noted in a similar post last year with play calling, there are two main biases at play.

There's a flight to safety, or what we may call the bird in the hand decision making tree. This is the 'we're here so we have to get points' phenomenon the media and some fans love. And what we read about in school when we studied prospect theory.

From the NYT article: "Humans put an un…