Friday, September 04, 2015

The Math of Expectations

The Raiders should be expected to notch eight wins this year at a minimum, given the time and tools available to Mark Davis and Reggie McKenzie in recent years. And here's the fuzzy math to prove it: 

For starters, this exercise aims to be conservative and reasonable in its analysis. On that note, let's give Mark/Reggie a complete pass for 2012. It was a year to clean house, or at least get it in order. That year, the Raiders went 4-12. 

So our win basis for today's exercise is four. That is our starting point.

Now, the whole point of free agency and the draft is to get better, not worse. In other words, with each draft and free agency period, there's an expectation of improvement with a positive impact on results.

Furthermore, the arrival of a better coach and coaching staff should also have a positive impact on results.

In other words, there are expectations that come with executing things like the draft, free agent signings and coach hirings. 

Which brings us to what I would call The Math of Expectations:

Let's begin by assigning values to minimal expectations of a job done well in running an NFL team, and specifically a rebuilding team that sorely lacks talent.

For a rebuilding team, a competent job in free agency should conservatively result in a gain of .75 of a win in the standings. Over the past two years (when we've truly had money to spend), that would add up to 1.5 wins.

I think you could also make a conservative estimate that the same holds for the draft (a gain of .75 wins per complete draft). Therefore, the past three complete drafts should add up to at least 2.25 expected wins.

Therefore, the cumulative conservative expectation is 2.25 wins + 1.5 wins since 2013.

Together, this adds up to an expected gain of 3.75 wins accumulated over the past three drafts and two free agency periods. 

Next up, the coaching factor. I will be conservative on this front as well. At a bare minimum, replacing Dennis Allen & Co. with a better staff should be worth at least one extra win. Improving results is the whole point of changing coaches, right?

Given that, we now have a minimum expectation of 4.75 wins gained.

Now, as explained at the top, our baseline starting point for Mark/Reggie was four wins. Add to that the 4.75 expected wins gained as outlined above, and you have a reasonable expectation of 8.75 wins by the conclusion of the 2015 season. And to be more conservative, let's round it down to eight wins, ie: a .500 record.

Some will say, hey wait a minute, we went 3-13 last year, so how can the baseline be four wins. My answer is that the expectations are not simply erased by missing the expectations. You're supposed to get better in the draft and free agency. That's the expectation. If you don't  get better, that doesn't mean the expectation was wrong or that it has been erased. It just means that the expectation was not met. 

So there you have it. The Raiders should reach .500 this year. Now it's time to see if they will. Aim high, go Raiders!


Blogger nyraider said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:40 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Very interesting and well thought out. Unfortunately, the cumulative approach never works for the Raiders, no matter how conservative our math.

By the new (crew) math, you have to write off the last three years (-3 x .75), which period was merely a stepping stone to hiring Del Rio, who was available to us then but we weren't ready for him; or he wasn't ready for us... (I forget how that bogus story line goes).

Also, we are in a transition year which, in Raiders speak, is a honeymoon of sorts that provides a free pass to all those entering (-.75)

These adjustments account for negative 3 wins (4 x 0.75). Based on same, and using RT's math as a basis, we're probably looking at 5 wins; which makes sense because it's one more than four, and two more than three. That's improvement! Right?

In all seriousness, it was scary watching how incompetent the Raiders looked last night. Starters were mostly on the sideline but the lack of depth on this team speaks volumes to what hasn't been taking place behind the scenes, despite all the resources the Raiders have worked so hard to secure.

[sorry, that was my delete above... wanted to clean up some typos]

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

Just a question.

Starting year four, is it finally safe to say, this is Reggie's roster ?

Just asking.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when is JDR the next coming of Bill Walsh he was average at best with Jacksonville. Way better than Allen but that does nto say much. Second rate coach, second rate team, second rate owner.

Let's face it the team was way better and way more exciting the season before Reggie showed up.

2:43 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Report says Raiders are set to go with 2 QBs, Carr and McGloin. Cutting Ponder will cost the Raiders a $1.5M signing bonus. Davis has to be wondering why he's spending millions on players that won't play a single snap.

On the other hand, Ponder isn't exactly a fringe player. Don't most teams go with 3 QBs?

5:28 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

PS Add Sio Moore to the growing number of drafted and signed players that have been jettison off. It's frightening to consider how few truly core players the Raiders have acquired over the past four years.

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was a little upset about Moore he seemed to have good speed and make impact plays. I thought he was the second best player on D last year. From what I understand the back story was bad attitude but you are right, the turn over is crazy.

Hey we always have college football
Have a good weekend

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

DJR was more than average in Jacksonville. He has a HC record of 68 wins, 71 losses from 2003-2011. He had an extremely talented defense and only had 4 losing records in his tenure as coach (2003, 2008, 2009, and 2011). But the other 4 years he led them, and the Jags were constantly in the hunt for the playoffs. 2008 and 09 were David Gerrard's first 2 years at QB.
He was a young coach with Jacksonville, and has some time to further develop as Denver's DC under John Fox. I think he is a high caliber HC, and I think the Raiders already have shown that they have flourished under him. I can't wait to see what they do in the Regular Season, and the years to come.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Jason Babin has been cut by the Jets. Even though he is past his starting days, he would be a solid backup DE. The same with Fili Moala, who was cut by the Texans. Quinton Groves (DE) was cut by Buffalo.
Asa Jackson (CB), who had a phenomenal pre-season with the Ravens has been cut, and I think he would challenge Hayden and McGill for their starting spot. Tony Carter (CB) had been cut by Denver and would add immediate value. Jonas Gray has been cut by the Patriots. ESPN is reporting that Michael Dyer has been cut by the Raiders, which leaves our RB situation even more thin.
Tebow has been cut, if he agrees to be a RB, the Raiders could sign him, or as third string QB. Not very many notables being cut. I immediately go after Asa Jackson and Tony Carter.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

69-73, 1-2 in the playoffs, no division titles

sounds mediocre

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Montee Ball is available as a free agent. Raiders need to be ringing his phone.

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Agreed that Montee Ball should be on the Raiders Radar.

Kinda dissapointed a 6th round pick is all the Raiders got for Sio Moore. I guess he didn't want to get with the program, but he sure played at a high level last year and I think he hasn't yet reached his ceiling. oh well...

Let's Go Raiders! Spring the upset on the Bengals!


10:20 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

IMO, the Raiders reached too high for Moore when they drafted him in the 3rd round. Obviously, other teams don't value him that high, even after putting up decent numbers on a weak Raiders team. He will probably be a good value for the Colts (6th rd pick).

11:00 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Regarding the Bengals game, I hope it doesn't come down to a shootout between Hue Jackson-led Bengals offense vs. Bill Musgrave Raiders offense.

I understand you're supposed to stay vanilla in preseason but, man, Raiders play calling in preseason looked as unimaginative as ever. Let's hope all the talk about Raiders calling more hurry-up and spread offenses that Musgrave saw last year with Chip Kelly and that Carr played in college find its way to the field.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about this for math. As of today the Raiders are not favored in any of their games this year.

Sad Sad Sandy

2:28 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

So I guess the super bowl is out of the question.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL nice one NY. I will go with RT 8 wins by the end of 2016. RT was that a typo did you mean to say 2015 or does your mathematical theory not compute for the Raiders this year?


3:15 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Whoops, good catch, corrected. This season, 2015. That has to be the minimum expectation. The math is conservative.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the reply. I hope you are correct and I can be shocked and we get 8 wins this year. But unfortunately I feel your typo may be a more accurate prediction.

Enjoy the first weekend

6:13 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Every year I root for 16 regular season wins, but the realist in me doesn't believe we will hit .500 this year. The Raiders made some nice moves this off-season, hiring Del Rio (who hired Ken Norton, Jr.) and bringing in some decent FA talent, like Rodney Hudson. Also, we probably added another rookie gem in Cooper.

But there were several positions that went unattended, e.g., CB, RB, and right side of the OL. Also, I see this as another transition year for the Raiders, with all new coaching staff, etc.

My biggest fear is that Bill Musgrave will not speed up the offense to Derek Carr's comfort zone, i.e., a pace that led Carr to so much success in college. Not sure one year with Chip Kelly was enough to teach Musgrave a new approach.

As a whole, I believe the Raiders should be improved on both sides of the ball, but I doubt they can consistently keep up with established teams. IMO, that's what it takes to be a .500 or better team.

Needless to say, this week will be particularly interesting, with Hue Jackson re-entering the building. Jackson is a capable OC, and will probably have a few tricks up his sleeve.

NFL regular season starts tonight.


7:59 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raiders broke (or at least lost) their moral compass to sign Aldon Smith. DUI hit and run has to rank up there with domestic violence. Smith has been suspended more games than he's played last couple years, and again faces a long suspension with a pending charge.

If this is now the standard, why isn't Ray Rice on the radar?

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I usually agree with you on most everything but this time I am happy about this. Finally Reggie is acting desperate which is what the Raiders should be. The difference between Smith and Rice, is simple Smith is an elite pass rusher in his prime and Ray Rice is way past his prime at RB a marginally important position.

Furthermore in today's NFL pass rusher is one of the top 4 or 5 positions (QB, CB, DE/pass rusher, OT, and WR).

The main reason I like this move is that for the first time in years I went to and there was news on the Raiders that made me excited.

Have a good weekend

12:09 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy -

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to have a real threat besides Mack. I just think the Raiders lifted their veil too late. For example, I wish the they had aggressively pursued rookie OL La'el Collins after he went undrafted. First round talent that the Cowboys... who signed the likes of Greg Hardy... swooped up.

Let's hope Smith gets a chance. Smith's facing possible long-term suspension.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

In a situation where we need RBs and CBs, Reggie signs another LB?

8:04 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raiders are desperate to find pass rush. Remember, they used their 2nd round pick to draft a guy with 8 career sacks in college, who the scouts said was ineffective as a pass rusher.

Another guy who the Raiders overreached for in the draft and who might not develop.

High second round pick... shouldn't the guy should be a Day 1 starter on the Raiders?!

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I live in FL so I have watched Edwards for awhile. I two was a little worried about the pick. He was overweight for most of his time as Seminole and always struck me as a bit of a tweener between DT and DE. I could see him turning into a good player at DE against the run. However picturing him as a guy coming off the edge and rushing the QB is hard to imagine he only had like 9 sacks his entire college career.

That said apparently he lost weight and is playing well so far. Perhaps he can slide inside at DT on passing down if not we might have a two down player.

He does have some athleticism check this out


5:07 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Maybe Edwards will pan out in some way but a high second round pick for him was another reach by the Raiders.

Meanwhile, Smith's contract was revealed. Raiders are paying him $8 mil including $1.375 mil for two sacks, if Smith bridges the gap from 8 sacks to 10 sacks. That's an insane amount of money ($687,500 per sack) but it's probably safe to assume Smith will be suspended for the entire year once the NFL decides to act on the his 3-count DUI and hit-and-run.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm impressed with Hue Jackson's take on Mack: "He's fast, he's sudden, he's strong, he's got spin moves, he's got karate moves. The guy is a "Rolling Ball of Butcher Knives" He can play." -
Khalil Mack: "Mack the Knife"

1:29 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...


Time to exact some revenge on the Bengals and Hue Jackson who, together, strapped us with Carson Palmer, contributed to a death spiral of dead money on the Raiders books and voided the Raiders of critical high round draft picks during rebuilding.

On a per sack pay scale, let's hope Aldon Smith makes his entire annual salary today! Because it might be the last game he plays in a Raiders uniform, courtesy of the Roger Goodell factor.

Enjoy the game. And....


7:33 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Thanks, NY, and now the gameday thread is up.

9:09 AM  

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