Sunday, November 4, 2007

Tom Brady

(Yes, it's not baseball, but we have to branch out in the offseason before this blog gets condemned.)

What are the odds Tom Brady breaks Peyton Manning's record by throwing for 50 touchdowns this year?

To do so, Brady needs 17 or more TDs in the Patriots' seven remaining games. Of course, it seems unlikely that Brady will play full games in Weeks 16 and 17, but stranger things have happened (like running up the score in a 38-0 game.)

The possible outcomes can be approximated by a Poisson distribution. If we assume Brady's true level of performance right now is 40 TD/year, and that he plays the equivalent of six full games from here on out, his expected number of touchdowns for the rest of the year is 15. The Poisson distribution tells us that 33.6% of the time, he will throw for 17 or more scores.

If you question those assumptions (and who wouldn't) here's the full chart:

True Rate Record %

12 10.1%
13 16.5%
14 24.4%
15 33.6%
16 43.4%
17 53.2%
18 62.5%
19 70.8%
20 77.9%
21 83.7%
22 88.3%

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