Continuing with the newly available football data (new link) and inspired by a question from Drew Conway I decided to look at play selection based on down by the Giants for the past 10 years.
Visually, we see that until 2011 the Giants preferred to run on first and second down. Third down is usually a do-or-die down so passes will dominate on third-and-long. The grey vertical lines mark Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.
Code for the graph after the break.
Jared Lander is the Chief Data Scientist of Lander Analytics a New York data science firm, Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, Organizer of the New York Open Statistical Programming meetup and the New York and Washington DC R Conferences and author of R for Everyone.