Analytics in American Football: A New Frontier

Can American football team coaches use statistical analysis to optimize their coaching strategies?

C. Daniel Guetta, Raghav Singal, John Wolfe  | Fall 2020
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Constrained by both the complexities inherent in the sport and league regulations, the National Football League (NFL) in America has been slow to use analytics capabilities to enhance team performance. This case provides students with a brief introduction to the rules and regulations of American football as well as a history of analytics at the NFL. The case further explores what opportunities exist to derive real value using analytics to create a decision support system for NFL coaches. Students are presented with raw data (provided by an actual NFL team in support of the case) and asked to determine how a coach might predict the likelihood of a “blitz”—i.e., an opponent’s defensive tactic that often prevents the coach’s team from scoring.

Case ID: 210207
Supplemental Materials: Teaching Note

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