While speculation exists that “Deflate Gate” was a one time occurrence, data I introduced last week indicated that the phenomena MAY have been an ongoing, long standing issue for the New England Patriots. Today, that possibility looks as clear as day.
Initially, looking at weather data, I noticed the Patriots performed extremely well in the rain, much more so than they were projected. I followed that up by looking at the fumble data, which showed regardless of weather or site, the Patriots prevention of fumbles was nearly impossible. Ironically, both studies saw the same exact starting point: 2007 was the first season where things really changed for the Patriots. Something started in 2007 which is still on-going today.
I wanted to compare the New England Patriots fumble rate from 2000, when HC Bill Belichick first arrived in New England, to the rest of the NFL. Clearly, one thing I found in my prior research was that dome teams fumble substantially less frequently, given they play at least 8+ games out of the elements each year. To keep every team on a more level playing field, I eliminated dome teams from the analysis, grabbed only regular season games, and defined plays as pass attempts+rushes+times sacked. The below results also look only at total fumbles, not just fumbles which are lost. This brought us to the ability to capture touches per fumble.