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How the Eagles Followed the Numbers to the Super Bowl

In fairness, Frigo said, he has never seen a franchise behave quite like the Eagles, one of several teams that subscribes to EdjSports’s predictive tools. The Eagles’ shrewd application of analytics to everything from roster management to in-game strategy helped propel them to a 13-3 record and a berth in Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Analyzing every team’s risk-management style, EdjSports determined that Philadelphia optimizes decisions — on fourth down, especially — better than its peers by a substantial margin.

“The Eagles capture value at every turn,” said Tony DeFeo, the president of EdjSportss, “because they understand where the value lies.”

That understanding saturates an organization that not only accepts counterintuitive thinking but encourages it. The approach pervades every layer, from ownership to the football operations department, and from its analytics team to a coaching staff comfortable with mining statistical analysis for advantages. Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, who earned an economics degree at Georgetown, has long been one of the league’s leading devotees of statistical analysis…

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