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So you want to work in sports analytics...
Preparing for a Career in Sports Analytics
Looking at Last Year's Rookie QB Class
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Analytics and Sports

Super Bowl

Looking at Last Year's Rookie QB Class

There have been 46 QBs to start at least 8 games during their rookie season in the NFL since 1990. Five of those 46 were rookies last season: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, and Brandon Weeden. Add four more from the previous season (Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, and Blaine Gabbert) and nine of the 46 rookie seasons were in the last two NFL seasons. That is quite an influx of youth at the most pivotal position on the field, so I thought it would be worth analyzing this group QBs to see if there are any insights to be found about the future of this youth movement.

The Super Bowl and the Long Ball

I have written this season about the importance of the long ball in theNFL. I've even written aboutFlacco's skill and propensity to throw the long ball. So now it is time to turn that analysis on the Super Bowl and see why the 49ers should win this Sunday.

First, the long ball (passes longer than 15 yards in the air) helps explain why the 49ers made the switch from Smith to Kaepernick, even though Smith was completing 70% of his passes. Turns out that even though Smith and Kaep both complete long passes at about the same rate (54%) and well above league average (41%), Kaep throws deep nearly twice as often as Smith did.