Finding the Most Important Factor to Winning

I started this series during last year's off season, and wanted to pick it back up again this year, armed and dangerous.  I have compiled data since 1996 (thanks to an awesome site with old box scores), and want to find what stats lead to wins.

Football Outsiders has obviously done a fantastic job at thinking "outside the box" at different, non-standard stats, and it has some pretty good predictive power.  I'm definitely going to look at some of these stats (mainly the ones that they've published their formula).  These include:

I'm also going to look at some others:

  • Adjusted Net Passing Yards / Attempt (via PFR)
  • QB Rating
  • Yards / Carry
  • 3rd/4th Down Percentage
  • Yards / Play
  • Yards / Drive

I think this is a good start, but I want more.  So I'm asking for your help.  What else should I look at?  There really is no right or wrong answer, because I honestly don't know what causes teams to win.  If you have some crazy equation and want to check out its effectiveness, let me know.  I'll try it out and see how it looks.  You may be sitting on a gold mine of information.

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