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The Carolina Panthers Fought The Stats — And Won

A Super Bowl statistics special from our sports podcast Hot Takedown. Listen above, or subscribe on iTunes. It may be a distant memory now, in the wake of a 17-1 record and an NFC championship, but at midseason the Carolina Panthers were a litmus test for the depth of a football fan’s sabermetric beliefs. Sure, the Panthers were undefeated, and they looked like a solid team. But there was nothing about their underlying numbers that made them seem like a steamroller hellbent for the Bay Area come early February. If anything, their impressive record seemed liable to regress toward the mean as the season went on.Instead of backsliding toward their “fundamentals,” like many fast-starting teams have over the years, the Panthers did something remarkable: They actually improved their core metrics to match their record, and kept right on winning. Since midseason, Carolina truly has played like the best team in football, culminating in some of the most impressive early blowout wins in playoff history.How rare was Carolina’s victory over the fundamentals? Since 1978 (the advent of the 16-game schedule), a shade under half of all NFL teams have improved their schedule-adjusted1Using our Elo ratings to measure the difficulty of each opponent at the time of the game. Pythagorean winning percentage between the first and second halves of the schedule. Of those teams, a little more than half again saw the improvement move in the direction of the team’s midseason winning percentage. In other words, their actual record was better than their Pythagorean percentage at mid-year, and their Pythagorean percentage over the rest of the season improved toward their record. According to rest-of-season Pythagorean percentage, the 2015 Panthers finished as the 11th-best team of that group, which also includes the 1985 Bears, 1984 49ers and 2014 Seahawks — pretty heady company.But what makes the Panthers’ improvement even more special is the degree to which their actual and Pythagorean records differed halfway through the season. At midyear, they were 8-0 but had the point differential of a 5.3-win team — the second-biggest disagreement of any team in our sample.2The 2005 Packers were 1-8 with the point differential of a 4.3-win team midway through the season. When a team’s actual and Pythagorean records disagree that much, the Pythagorean number is right more often than not,3Specifically, among the upper quartile of “disagreements,” Pythagorean record is the better predictor of rest-of-season form 52 percent of the time after properly regressing first-half winning percentage and Pythagorean percentage to the mean for predictive purposes. though to be fair it’s close to a coin flip. But in Carolina’s case, their winning percentage was right on the money — only five other teams since 1978 saw their second-half Pythagorean improvement predicted more accurately by their first-half winning percentage. And all of those other cases featured teams floating around .500 with subpar point differentials — Carolina is the only team in modern history to post a stellar first-half record with solid fundamentals, then turn into a Pythagorean behemoth down the stretch.Without a doubt, it was offensive improvement that drove Carolina’s overall uptick in performance, and practically all of that change has come in the passing game. According to expected points, the Panthers’ special teams only marginally improved in the second half, and their defense, while great, stayed pretty much the same all season.Back in November, when I infamously described the unbeaten Panthers as the worst team ever to start 11-0, I also wrote that Cam Newton was having a “decent, but not great” season, and that “quarterback play probably isn’t the main driving force behind the Panthers’ success.” That may have been true at the time, but it surely isn’t the case now. Since midseason, Newton has been the second-most valuable QB in football according to combined passing and rushing value over average,4Trailing only Seattle’s Russell Wilson. and his rate statistics have undergone a particularly remarkable metamorphosis.At midseason, Newton’s numbers looked much the same as in years past: His rates of completions, interceptions and sacks were subpar, and his yards and touchdowns per attempt were only average. He had one of the league’s highest rates of off-target throws5Pass attempts judged by ESPN’s Stats and Information group to have fallen incomplete only because Newton missed his intended target, whether because of an overthrow or underthrow., with the only mitigating factor being that he also ranked among the game’s most frequent deep passers. (Deep passes are more valuable but harder to complete; Newton was inaccurate even if we adjust for this.) The majority of his value added was with his legs, as the game’s most prolific running QB. It was pretty much the same Cam we’ve seen the last few years.But to say Newton has improved his passing since then is like saying he only slightly enjoys dancing in everyone’s mug. Since Week 10, he suddenly ranks among the league’s most accurate passers, with a drastically reduced rate of off-target throws. He hasn’t cut back on the deep tosses, either — his air yards per attempt have dipped only marginally in the second half of the season. He’s slinging the ball for significantly more yards and touchdowns per attempt, and he’s hardly ever giving it away; his TD-INT ratio is 21-1 over his last 8 games.The changes to Newton’s game have come with a few tradeoffs: His sack rate is up and his rushing output slightly down since his midseason transformation began. But his value added per game has increased by a factor of nearly six over the season’s back stretch. That gives him the sixth-biggest second-half improvement of any Super Bowl starting QB since 1978. Few QBs in history have gone into a Super Bowl on a better roll than Newton is on right now.Now, quarterback play is unquestionably the main driving force behind the Panthers’ success. The only remaining question is whether Newton can keep up his newfound passing production against one of the toughest defenses he’s ever faced. Given the remarkable way he and the Panthers overcame the odds and molded their fundamentals into those of a championship squad, I wouldn’t bet against them finishing the job on Sunday.Check out our live coverage of Super Bowl 50. read more

Anticipation brewing as Hotel Tourism Aviation and Business leaders prepare to pitch

first_img Recommended for you Luxury events for Chicago’s leading travel and media professionals hosted by #TeamTCI Related Items:atlanta, city club of buckhead, ministry of tourism, premier’s sales blitz, TCHTA, tci tourist board Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 18 May 2015 – Hotel and Tourism Association members were beaming this afternoon after viewing the Turks and Caicos promotional video produced for use in the six city road trip which begins tonight at the City Club of Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia. Members of the delegation last night attended the Global leadership Awards of the Andrew Young Foundation held in Atlanta which included Premier Rufus Ewing and his wife, Dr. Dawn Perry-Ewing. Trinkets show the TCHTA and its partners including the TCI Tourist Board and the Ministry of Tourism are playing up the fact that the Turks and Caicos is home to the World’s #1 Island, Providenciales. Over 600 executives across the six cities are invited to the luncheons and evening meetings… tomorrow the Premier’s Sales Blitz moves to Texas; where there will be presentations made in both Dallas and Houston. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Turks and Caicos invited to the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore TCI: Hard work happens each day, says new President of TC Hotel and Tourism Association; Strategic Action Plan unveiledlast_img read more

Police investigating suspicious death of man found in Tijuana River

first_imgPolice investigating suspicious death of man found in Tijuana River March 15, 2019 Posted: March 15, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Categories: KUSI, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter SAN DIEGO (KUSI) –  Police Friday were investigating the death of a man whose body washed up behind an outlet mall near the U.S.-Mexico border.The unidentified man was found sometime Thursday in the Tijuana River covered in mud and debris behind the Las Americas Premium Outlets, less than mile from the San Ysidro Port of Entry.According to police, the man “appeared to have been there for some time” and initially exhibited no obvious injuries, due to the body’s condition.However, a Friday autopsy revealed unspecified “traumatic injuries,” prompting a police investigation. Police have not alluded to where they believe the man suffered those injuries, but said it was “possible the man’s body was carried by the Tijuana River across the border into the United States.”Investigators have not been able to identify the man, but hope that his “distinctive tattoos” will aid them in his identification.Anyone with information regarding the death was asked to call the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. last_img read more

POLITICO Acquires Capital New York

first_imgStill, the company will be going head-to-head with some major players. But VandeHei doesn’t seem worried.”If you’re The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal you’re kind of a generalist, you’re writing for a general audience,” VandeHei says. “Our aim is to write for a sophisticated audience. A lot of people ask us: ‘Who are your competitors?’ And truth is, I just don’t get that worked up about that question. I really think if we execute our plan and our strategy, if we deliver our end of the bargain on the journalism, I believe people will pay for the content and I believe advertisers will really want to advertise next to that content,” he says. VandeHei hints that the company will be looking to make more investments in the future, but nothing specific is in the pipeline just yet. For the time being, the company will continue to leverage its three-prong revenue model of subscription, advertising and events. However, VandeHei says the company is open to anything on the horizon.”Robert has been very upfront about the fact that he sold his TV stations and he’s going to make a nice profit and he wants to invest in digital media. So were looking at a lot of opportunities, but right now were focused on POLITICO and Capital,” he says. Washington D.C. political reporting publication, POLITICO, announced its acquisition of Capital New York. This is the first major transaction since publisher Robert Allbritton sold his television holdings in July.POLITICO co-founder and executive editor, Jim VandeHei will now also serve as president of the Capital New York division, and he tells Folio: this move was a play “to test our journalistic and business theories in another market.” He adds that, “Everything we’ve done so far has been in Washington, but there is a certain way we do journalism, a certain velocity, a certain voice, and we’ve always wanted to try it outside of Washington. And to us, New York is the next logical place.” POLITICO declined to share details of the transaction, however VandHei says an important piece of the deal was retaining founding editors Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran. “They have the POLITICO mentality. We just believe in these guys and their approach,” he says.Benson and McGeveran should have ample resources to carry out POLITICO’s objectives, considering they will be hiring two-dozen additional staff members to add to its existing eight-person team. Not only that, but Capital New York will also be launching a new website soon. last_img read more

Is Sunil Grover finally returning to The Kapil Sharma Show Comedian regrets

first_imgKapil Sharma and Sunil GroverTwitterDespite making several attempts to bring Sunil Grover back on The Kapil Sharma Show, the comedian didn’t appear on the show to promote Bharat with Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. And once again speculations are started making the rounds of social media that Sunil Grover will soon return to The Kapil Sharma Show.The infamous war of words between Kapil and Sunil has been one of the most talked about controversies in the industry. The two comedians fell apart in 2017 and Sunil decided to leave the show without having second thoughts.During his recent interaction with Rajeev Masand, Sunil admitted that he did have insecurities while leaving the show mid-way. He had become household with his characters of Dr Mashoor Gulati, Gutthi and Rinku bhabhi during his stint in The Kapil Sharma Show.”For that moment yes, I got so much love from the platform, everybody loved me. I had this thought, sometimes it still comes to my mind, is it good that I am not a part of the show, there is just something that stops me. Mujhe lagta jo Ishwar ne wo diya hai, wo kuch aur bhi dega (The god who gave me this chance, will give me more) I can’t fight internally too much,” Sunil said.Sunil also opened up about the infamous brawl between him and Kapil and regretted that it shouldn’t have happened. “We were a good team, we brought so much laughter and smiles to people’s face. But whatever, I remember the good part. We did a good show, we made so many people smile. I am thankful to the platform that gave me so much, so much recognition. So I am very happy. I have happy memories of the show,” Sunil added.Now whether Sunil will join hands with Kapil or not, only time will tell. But if it ever happens, it would surely be a sight to behold when both Sunil and Kapil would once again perform together and tickle the funny bone of the audience.last_img read more

India to help construction of 3 school buildings in CHT

first_imgThe Indian high commission signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for three new development projects under Indian grant assistance on Monday. Photo: CollectedThe Indian government is going to provide assistance for construction of school buildings in remote areas of three districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).The Indian high commission signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for three new development projects under Indian grant assistance, a news release said on Monday.Under the three projects, a four-storey ‘India-Bangladesh Friendship Building’ will be constructed each in Matamuhuri Junior High School in Ali Kadam of Bandarban; Thega Khubbang High School in Barkal of Rangamati and Gachban Junior High School in Khagrachhari.The total cost of projects is Tk 58.5 million.Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla, president of the Governing Body of the Matamuhuri Junior High School U Ui Chara Bhikkhu, headmaster of the Thega Khubbang High School Jitendra Chakma, and headmaster of the Gachban Junior High School Bhupati Chakma were present at the signing ceremony.last_img read more