Rather than posting one huge Andy Reid retrospective, I’ll be doing it in pieces while attempting to highlight things that most writers are not paying attention to.
First up: Turnover Margin
As we’ve seen very clearly this year, turnovers are bad (shocking, I know.) However, I was surprised to see just how strong of a correlation there appeared to be between wins and turnover differential. Here is the chart for Andy Reid’s tenure (wins are the x-axis, T/O margin is the y-axis):
This is too small of a sample to make any conclusions about the NFL in general, but over the next few days I’ll compile a lot more data and see what it looks like. Regardless, it’s pretty clear that for Andy Reid, turnovers were highly correlated to success (for what it’s worth, the correlation coefficient for the above data is .69, really strong.) This also further supports the notion that Reid’s downfall was tied closely to his decision to go with Vick as QB. McNabb had his faults, but he was among the all-time best when it came to taking care of the football. Vick, sadly, was not as careful, and that may have cost Andy Reid his job (along with the ridiculously bad fumble recovery luck this year.)
I think we can all agree that last year was the tipping point for Andy Reid. He finished 8-8 and everyone’s expectations were higher, putting pressure on him for this year. Although the 8-8 record isn’t great, the Eagles ranked in the top ten in both Points Scored (8th) and Points Against (10). As you probably guessed, that performance was undone by the team’s turnover differential, which ranked 30th in the league.
I’ll be comparing correlations between wins a various statistics over the next couple weeks, but I’d be surprised to find one more determinate than turnover differential (other than point differential, for obvious reasons.)