“Less Than Zero”: Bill Belichick, Ernie Adams, and Analytics

When asked how much analytics informs the New England Patriots‘ decision-making in key situations, Bill Belichick answered simply, “less than zero.” This prompted several snide responses from the Twitter machine, such as: Obviously “less than zero” is a mathematical impossibility, and it’s hard to imagine that the famously thorough Belichick is utterly unfamiliar with the…

ew England Patriots Bend but Don't Break Defense

The New England Patriots Bend but Don’t Break Defense: Myth or Reality?

This millennium, the New England Patriots’ defense has consistently ranked better by points allowed than it has by yards allowed. For many of those seasons, the difference in its rankings has been notably large. Such disparities have led announcers, fans, and analysts alike to conclude that the Patriots employ a “bend but don’t break”-style defense…