5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Pro Football Prospectus: 2003 EDITION (Paperback)
I bought this book last year, and was very excited to see that someone was doing serious football analysis again. When this year's edition arrived, my jaw dropped. It's about 100 pages longer full of fascinating stuff.
First, the player comments section is greatly expanded. Not sure if they included more players, but the writeups are significantly longer. They've added sections for coaches (not just head coaches but the whole coaching staff) and special teams.
Second, the team essays are just fascinating. Sure, they cover the important points about each team... looking at why this team collapsed last year or what that team has done during the offseason. For each team they ask a general question, and while it certainly relates to the team in question, it tends to be a full-fledged statistical study that has broader applications. For the Titans, they observe that running backs tend to have a sharp decline after the age of thirty. With the Browns, they look at the connection between the offensive line play and a team's overall success. For Seattle, they examine the criteria for coaches to get into the Hall of Fame.
Finally, I have to say that the authors knocked my socks off with the hard-core analysis that begins the book. They introduce a number of statistical tools, some of which we've seen before but most of which are brand new. My guess is that most readers will skip past the number crunching to find out about their favorite team or to scout players for their fantasy league. For stat-geeks like me, it's the sabrmetric-type studies that are most interesting. I haven't had time to fully digest all of the work here, and I intend to so my own studies to weigh the merits of what Lahman and Greanier have done. But it's exciting to see that this sort of analytical approach is being undertaken for football, that there is a football book worthy of the "Prospectus" name. As someone who loves football as much as I do, I'm thrilled to see this book done so well.