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Cool Math: 15% Chance Adrian Peterson Actually Broke Eric Dickerson’s Record

It's easy to forget how informal yardage measurements are in the National Football League. After all, there's no such thing as gaining half a yard. It's either an eight-yard run or a nine-yard run. 

With that in mind, a very clever gentleman named Jeremy Scheff calculated the margin for error under those circumstances in order to determine the odds that Adrian Peterson actually outgained Eric Dickerson in 2012. Peterson, of course, fell nine yards short of Dickerson's single-season mark. That's almost an entire first down, but considering how high their respective totals were, that gap was actually quite small, and thus the margin for error was actually decent. 

After all, Peterson ran for 99.6 percent of the yards Dickerson picked up in his record-breaking season. 

From these simulations, it was straightforward to assign probabilities to these possibilities by testing which player had more simulated years as the overall rushing champ. I found that 85% of the time, Dickerson came out on top. This means that… There is approximately a 15% chance that Adrian Peterson actually broke Dickerson’s record, but it was not noticed due errors accumulated by rounding the lengths of rushes to integer values.

How 'bout that?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=v3rhQc666Sg?rel=0

(Via Jeremy Scheff)

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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