Deflated: the Statistically Impossible Patriots Fumble Record

Patriots partisans are deflating the deflation controversy by arguing that their impermissible deflation of the footballs wasn't what allowed them to beat an overmatched Colts team.  Perhaps. But a new statistical analysis reveals that if it weren't for deflation of the footballs, the Patriots might not have even been playing a series of home playoff games as the top seed.  Careful analytics reveal that suddenly in 2007, a strange and statistically impossible phenomena began to occur at Patriots games. (fumbles, fumbles lost, and more).

Sharp Football Analysis has a statistical analysis that backs up the conclusions of football legends Fran Tarkenton and Jerome Bettis: the Patriots' success over the last decade is due in some (or large) part to cheating.  This is bad news for the NFL and for fans of every team that has been on the losing end of Patriot schemes, particularly the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were denied multiple trips to the Super Bowl by the Patriots in AFC Championship games during the height of the first Patriot videotape cheating scandal.

Sharp Football Analysis analysis looked at the rate of fumbles by the Patriots offense over the last decade.  The analysis had a number of shocking conclusions.  First, the Patriots fumble only at a rate of once every 187 offensive snaps.  As Sharp's puts it, this is literally off the charts.  It is a statistical outlier right from a statistics textbook.


Sharp Football Analysis:

One can CLEARLY SEE the Patriots, visually, are off the chart. There is no other team even close to being near to their rate of 187 offensive plays (passes+rushes+sacks) per fumble. The league average is 105 plays/fumble. Most teams are within 21 plays of that number.

The odds of such a statistical distribution were calculated at one in 16,233.  That's a comma, not a decimal.  Sixteen thousand two hundred and thirty three to one.

Patriots partisans might crow -- well, what good does deflating a football do?  Simple.  It creates angles on a football that didn't exist when playing by the rules and allows a runner, passer, center, and, most importantly, a quarterback to better grip the ball.  With the avoidance of turnovers being so central to winning football, a deflated football helps you win.