Data Visualization A new visualization shows where NFL quarterbacks pass most successfully.

Published on September 18th, 2013 | by Travis Korte


Where Quarterbacks Throw

Hail-Mary passes that end up dozens of yards downfield may get all the press, but a new data visualization from online sports magazine Grantland shows that these passes are in the extreme minority. The visualization, based on an extensive database of NFL passing data, shows how often quarterbacks pass to each region on the field, as well as how frequently passes to each area are actually caught. Variations also show which quarterbacks have the most completions in a given region, as well as the raw data of individual pass locations; as expected, many of the league’s superstar quarterbacks are represented, having staked out a particular territory for their throws.

Football data visualizations and analytics have become increasingly common following the adoption of “big data” technologies for large-scale data analysis; the sport’s quantification had long been delayed due to its relatively complex, multivariate nature.

Take a look.

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About the Author

Travis Korte is a research analyst at the Center for Data Innovation specializing in data science applications and open data. He has a background in journalism, computer science and statistics. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, he launched the Science vertical of The Huffington Post and served as its Associate Editor, covering a wide range of science and technology topics. He has worked on data science projects with HuffPost and other organizations. Before this, he graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, having studied critical theory and completed coursework in computer science and economics. His research interests are in computational social science and using data to engage with complex social systems. You can follow him on Twitter @traviskorte.

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