The word “analytics” gets a lot of heat from fans of the Cleveland Browns and for good reason. First, Sashi Brown’s attempt to tear down the roster and rebuild it over time was cut short when John Dorsey came in and reverted to a more traditional model. Second, Paul DePodesta, the poster child for analytics, came from a baseball background and had a movie made about him (“Moneyball”) leading to little respect.
Finally, general analytics (which is why a line graph was used as the photo) are often remembered for what they get glaringly wrong and not what they get right.
As we take a look at what ESPN’s “Football Power Index” predicts for the Browns in 2023, it is important to note that ESPN’s analytics have taken big hits recently:
The Miami Heat have a 3% chance of reaching the NBA Finals, according to ESPN Analytics pic.twitter.com/CbeoYzZQOx— ESPN (@espn) May 15, 2023
If you don’t follow the NBA, the Miami Heat are up 3-0 in a seven-game series over the highly favored Boston Celtics.
In the world of football, a similar graphic drew a lot of attention for how wrong it ended up being:
Will Levis had almost zero chance to *not* be picked in the first round, according to ESPN Analytics.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 28, 2023
Where could he land tomorrow? pic.twitter.com/LVEsZZjmh7
The data is obviously not foolproof but does provide some idea of what should be expected in 2023.
According to FPI, the Browns are not likely to make the playoffs with a 9-8 record:
ESPN's Football Power Index projects the Browns to go 9-8 and gives them a 38.5% chance to make the playoffs. https://t.co/Nm3BdisbQW— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) May 22, 2023
Both of those numbers are higher than a lot of doubting Cleveland fans while others believe that Deshaun Watson will return to form, the upgraded defense and the additions of Jim Schwartz and Bubba Ventrone will make the Browns a Super Bowl contender.
ESPN’s analytics gives Cleveland a 1.2% chance of winning the whole thing this year and just a 2.5% chance of making it to the Super Bowl.
Do these types of projections/predictions interest you? Tell you anything?