Sunday’s NFL Conference Championship games could be among the most-watched football games in the history of the galaxy. Some of the most defining and important plays of the game, though, will come at points in the telecast when many of us will be fetching a fresh beer: first and 10 at the beginning of a new drive.
You won’t see many of these plays in the highlights. More often than not it’s a handoff that, on average, goes for just over four yards. But according to an exhaustive study of NFL play data conducted by Yale professor Cade Massey, what happens on first and 10 in an NFL game is a powerful indicator of who will win.
According to Dr. Massey, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Management, the ability of an NFL team to meet certain benchmarks on each down is one of the best predictors of…
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