Are NFL teams who use sports analytics more successful?

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Sep 29, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey poses for a photo during media day at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last night in my Sports Business class at USC, my professor said “the GM of the Houston Rockets is randomly stopping by class for an in class interview” (perks of going to USC). Although we covered a lot of topics, the main discussion was on the use of sports analytics.

Daryl Morey, the GM of the Rockets, is well known for his use of sports analytics. He was publicly criticized by Charles Barkley while he was on set of the TNT Halftime Show. The video is completely absurd, but very entertaining mainly due to its irony. Charles Barkley is a better basketball player under the microscope of advanced sports analytics compared to the eye test.

Daryl Morey, a graduate from Northwestern with an MBA from MIT, made it very clear that teams who use analytics have an edge, but the edge is decreasing everyday. Teams who were naive to it are now trying to catch up and invest money and hours into their own sports analytics departments. New companies like SportVu, a camera above the court that tracks player movement and speed, are revolutionizing data tracking and is the next wave of sports analytics in the NBA.

Anyways, the discussion made me wonder where the Houston Texans stand compared to other NFL teams. ESPN published this article ranking the entire NFL. Each NFL team falls into one of five categories: “All-in”, “Believers”, “One Foot In”, “Skeptics”, and “Nonbelievers”. We will see which category has won the most frequently over the last five years in the next slides.

But before we look at the records and rankings, what do you think teams should do?