The Securities Litigation Expert Blog

Payton Manning - Over-Sharpening the Saw?

Posted by Jack Duval

Feb 4, 2015 4:25:00 PM

Much has been written about Peyton Manning’s playoff record (11-13), which most of it focusing on the number of “one-and-done” playoff losses (nine).  David Fleming, writing for summarizes it this way:[1]

Yes, Peyton has the best brain in the game, the best work ethic, best study skills, best field vision, best preparation and best execution but, according to one expert who has studied Manning since his college days, the one thing he lacks is the ability to throw caution to the wind, let the ball fly and make something out of nothing.

So we are to believe that one of the all time greatest quarterback’s fatal flaw is his failure to create “something out of nothing”?  I find this inherently unsatisfactory.  Indeed, I think it is ridiculous.

However, I think the answer is in Fleming’s quote, but in the first half.  Manning is the undisputed king of preparation. I believe this works against him in the playoffs because he over-prepares. 

This can be seen in the statistics.  The probability of Peyton Manning losing in the playoffs given an extra week off is 70 percent. The probability of a loss given no extra week off is 43 percent.[2][3] This equates to a 63 percent higher chance of loss for a Manning team if he has an extra week to prepare.


Simply put, it appears that Manning is “over-sharpening the saw”.

Chart 1.  Playoff Games with Two Weeks Off



Interestingly, during the regular season the extra week off appears to help.   The probability of a loss given an extra regular season week off is 18 percent compared to a 32 percent probability of a loss given no extra week off.  This translates to a 44 percent lower chance of a loss for Manning given an extra week to prepare.


Chart 2.  Regular Season Games with Two Weeks Off


It would appear that the added pressure of the playoffs plus the extra week to prepare is a bad combination for Manning. 

Chart 3.  All Games with Two Weeks Off – Sorted by Season Week


If he plays again for Denver and they make the playoffs with a bye week, Manning should utilize his legendary discipline to practice one of the most difficult tasks of all: non-doing.

If they make it to the Super Bowl (where there is another week off) Manning should go full on Zen.



[1] David Fleming; Peyton Manning’s playoff blemish;; January 9, 2014; Available at:; Accessed February 3, 2015.

[2] A “week off” is here defined as 13 or 14 days between games. This has the effect of including the 13 day breaks that occur when a playoff game occurs on a Saturday following a Sunday game two weeks before, but excluding the 10 day breaks that have occurred after the introduction of the Thursday night game.

For the regular season statistics the first game of each season is excluded.  Manning has played 256 regular season games.  Excluding the first game reduces the sample set to 240 games.

[3] Data obtained from The Football Database, available at; Accessed February 1, 2015.


For information about Jack Duval, click here.

Read More

Topics: Statistics, Peyton Manning, Football

Accelerant Arbitration Market Indicator Flashes Highest Sell Signal Since 2000

Posted by Jack Duval

Nov 13, 2013 8:38:39 AM

The Accelerant Arbitration Market Indicator printed at 1.42, the highest since 2000.  

Two quick take-aways:

  1. For securities litigators: the lull in filings is probably in the ninth inning;

  2. For investors:  Caveat emptor.

You can also link to the visualization (which also has a comparison of the FINRA arbitration filings and the S&P 500) here.


Read More

Topics: FINRA, Statistics, Data Analysis, litigation, investments, analytics, Accelerant Arbitration Market Indicator, FINRA Arbitration, Law Firm Analytics, Predictive Analytics

How Big Data is Changing the Legal Services Landscape

Posted by Jack Duval

May 13, 2013 4:07:41 AM

Big law firms and their corporate clients are engaging in a kind of data warfare, where each is analyzing massive databases of legal billing data and using them in negotiations.  (ABA)  Some highlights include:

Lexis Advance MedMal Navigator:  This product allows you... to determine in 20 minutes - versus 20 days - if a case is worth taking on... and it gives them analysis on available expert witnesses, including insight into the kinds of cases those witnesses have participated in and the type of testimony they offered.

TyMetrix LegalView:  The service aggregates the invoices of tens of billions of dollars of legal spending on an ongoing basis ... Many have used our LegalView data warehouse to compare their rates and understand the best way to position themselves with clients - low-cost provider or high-end value player.

Sky Analytics:  (advises) users on whether to approve, reject or reduce increases in hourly rates requested by outside law firms.  The primary variables the tool analyzes are an attorney's years of experience, his or her position in the firm, the law firm size and the cost of living where the attorney is based.

In five years, I think the entire legal services ecosystem will look different than it does today.  Those law firms that can run themselves like a business will succeed and those that hold on to the billable hour will suffer.
Read More

Topics: big data, Statistics, Data Analysis, litigation, legal services, analytics, Law Firm Analytics

Tableau Files for IPO

Posted by Jack Duval

Apr 10, 2013 5:38:14 AM

VentureBeat has coverage of the Tableau IPO filing.  (VB)  The S-1 can be found on EDGAR here.  Goldman Sachs will be the lead underwriter.

Revenues have ramped 10X in the past five years.  The company is only marginally profitable, but that is often true of young companies focused on growing revenue and market share.

Read More

Topics: Statistics, analytics, Goldman Sachs, IPO, Tableau, Complexity, Predictive Analytics, Analytic Talent

Big Data for Big Cities

Posted by Jack Duval

Feb 25, 2013 4:37:43 AM

The internet of things is coming to a city near you.  The New York Times had an interesting article on how real-time data of a cities traffic, water, and energy use can be used to reduce its resource consumption by up to 50 percent. (NYT)

NYU has started a program called the Center for Urban Science and Progress to study the "science of cities".  This is just one more example of how New York is becoming of of the dominate technology hubs on the planet.

The initiative at N.Y.U. is part of a broader trend: the global drive to apply modern sensor, computing and data-sifting technologies to urban environments, in what has become known as “smart city” technology. The goals are big gains in efficiency and quality of life by using digital technology to better manage traffic and curb the consumption of water and electricity, for example. By some estimates, water and electricity use can be cut by 30 to 50 percent over the course of a decade.

Read More

Topics: big data, Statistics, NYU, Complexity, Predictive Analytics, NYT, education

SEC Using Algos to Detect Fraud

Posted by Jack Duval

Feb 19, 2013 2:51:31 AM

The SEC is using algorithmic methods to analyze financial statements from public companies to detect fraud.  (WaPo)

 (the) software package... will stream real-time trade data from the exchanges into the agency’s headquarters. Rather than build the technology from scratch at great expense, the agency purchased it from a New Jersey firm called Tradeworx. The project, called Market Information Data Analytics, or MIDAS, is in the final testing phases.

The SEC has used similar programs to analyze hedge fund returns.  See our previous coverage of SEC uses of big data techniques here.
Read More

Topics: big data, Statistics, Data Analysis, fraud, litigation, analytics, SEC, Compliance, regulation., Predictive Analytics, Analytic Talent

New Predictive Analytics Book

Posted by Jack Duval

Jan 7, 2013 3:10:48 AM

Eric Siegel has a new book out called Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die.  You can read the preface here.

Read More

Topics: Eric Siegel, Statistics, Data Analysis, book, Predictive Analytics

Talent Analytics for Salesforce

Posted by Jack Duval

Dec 9, 2012 2:19:47 AM

Talent Analytics is a data driven HR/Recruiting company that offers an app that integrates with Salesforce. (TA)  Very interesting stuff for my recruiting friends.  The videos offer a quick introduction to their offerings.

Read More

Topics: Statistics, HR, recruiting, Talent Analytics, Predictive Analytics, Analytic Talent

Predictive Analytics for Banking Conference

Posted by Jack Duval

Dec 6, 2012 8:45:22 AM

I'm a little late on this, but IE is sponsoring a predictive analytics conference for the banking industry, it runs two days and starts today.  (IE)  Many heavy hitters from the big banks.  I can't go, but it looks very interesting.

You can also get their on-demand content here.

Read More

Topics: IE, Statistics, Data Analysis, finance, banking, risk, Compliance, Predictive Analytics, education

Nate Silver on Sports and Politics

Posted by Jack Duval

Dec 5, 2012 4:24:19 AM

ESPN The Magazine has an interview with Nate Silver on his predictive success with sports and political races.  (ESPN) Money quote:

Compared to politics, sports is much more civil and reasonable.
Read More

Topics: Statistics, Data Analysis, politics, Nate Silver, ESPN, sports, Predictive Analytics

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all