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Posts under tag: nfl

September 16, 2015

The Complete History of the NFL visualized

The San Francisco 49ers team ratings from 1980-2000 using an Elo-based rating system developed by

The San Francisco 49ers team ratings from 1980-2000 using an Elo-based rating system developed by, a subsidiary website of ESPN known for political and sports-related statistics and visualization, released a scoring schema ranking all the teams ever to play in the National Football League based upon the Elo Ratings system developed for ranking the world’s top chess players. This ranking system marries short-term and long-term success to calculate a score to determine how good a team throughout a season and over the team’s history.

There are other contrasting systems that aim to determine a ranking seen in college football (like the now-defunct Bowl Championship Series rankings which sought to aggregate several different polling systems into one system) and NFL teams (like ESPN’s brand-new Football Power Index which factors in team rest periods, travel distance, weather, and altitude in conjunction with on-field performances calculated by whether the starting quarterback is available and by other granular statistics like expected points per play.)

To see how your favorite team ranks historically (including defunct teams like the Frankford Yellow Jackets!) are available at this link.

August 12, 2015

How microchips could transform football into an intricate dance of data.



(By AJ Dellinger – The Daily Dot)

Football is a game of giants, but this season a microchip no bigger than the star of a coin toss will decide the fates of those mountain-sized men.

After a limited run last season, the NFL is equipping every player in the league with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip. The tiny piece of technology provided by tracking technology manufacturer Zebra Technologies will track the speed, distance, and direction traveled by each player in real-time. The data set, branded as Next Gen Stats, will reveal new insights into the sport, both for fans and front offices.

Much of the broadcast side of football focuses on the quarterback. The cameras stay focused on the field general until the ball leaves his hand, only then darting downfield to follow the ball as it lands in the hands of one of his teammates. That pass only becomes possible when a receiver beats his defender—one of ten individual battles that is happening simultaneously on the field. The RFID chip will provide new insight into those matchups that make the play possible.

For more on this article, check out the post by the Daily Dot.

To find out more about Zebra Technologies and the NFL, check out