Matt Waldman’s RSP Cast Ep. 8: Charles McDonald on Stats and Breaking Down Film

Charles McDonald of Football Outsiders and SB Nation joins Matt Waldman’s RSP podcast to discuss his presentation on stats and film at MIT’s Sloan Analytics Conference.

If you don’t know McDonald (Twitter @FourVerts), he’s a frequent guest of the RSP Film Room and writes the Four Downs and Futures columns at Football Outsiders and he recently accepted a full-time role at SBNation.

This week, McDonald and I discuss his presentation on stats and film that he gave at the Sloan Analytics Conference:

  • A closer look at how writers should analyze defenders in the box pre-snap.
  • How the Jaguars, Saints, and Chiefs’ ground games thrived and faltered due to the manipulations of box counts and movement.
  • The Chiefs’ debt to Urban Meyer and debunking the analysis that the option game wouldn’t work in the NFL.
  • Why the Bills’ offense explosive ground game in 2016 plummeted in 2017 and Tyrod Taylor had little to do with it.
  • DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) explained.
  • The Cleveland Browns offensive line and why sack rates can be misleading.
  • A short tangent on DeShone Kizer and quarterback development.
  • Matt Ryan’s statistical decline is a misleading way to judge the quarterback.
  • The effect of sack distribution of the Steelers and Jaguars defenses — the top two units in sack rate — and why one unit should have more sustainable success than the other.

This is an excellent conversation that reveals the importance of context for analysis of any kind.

For analysis of skill players, get the 2018  Rookie Scouting Portfolio. If you’re a fantasy owner the Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2018 RSPs at no additional charge. Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is donated to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse. You can purchase past editions of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio for just $9.95 each.

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