It’s no secret that, statistically speaking, National Football League head coaches should go for it on fourth down more often than they do. The odds have been calculated lots of times, and fans, sports radio hosts and columnists love to point to them when they think a coach made the wrong decision. But overly broad probabilities and Monday-morning quarterbacking are for amateurs thanks to a data-analysis tool from the New York Times.
The paper has created the Fourth Down Bot — a system that analyzes every fourth-down call from every NFL game against years of data involving the same down and distance, and then shares its verdict on each call online, in real time.
As of the most-recent Monday Night Football game on Dec. 2, the Fourth Down Bot (whose feed is presumably manned by one of its co-creators, Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Statistics or New York…
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