By day, I'm a data scientist at Capital One, using my PhD in astronomy to help make banking better (weird, I know, but it works). But I'm interested in much broader problems than just those in the financial industry, and I spend a lot of my (increasingly rare) free time doing various hobby projects. One such project I keep returning to is that of NFL analytics.
Why? Well I've been a football fan for as long as I can remember, and for reasons I won't get into here my two favorite teams are the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns. Rooting for such generally terrible teams is rough: I've been in the stands for games the year the Jets went 1-15, and I've learned from native Clevelanders to expect to see a flag any time the Browns make a big play.
When the teams that you like are bad year after year, it's hard not to look at the successful teams and wonder what the difference is. Are they better at retaining talented players? Do they hire successful coaches? Is drafting that franchise quarterback the result of thorough pre-draft analysis or blind luck? These are the kinds of questions that I want to answer.