1. Statistics are based on "large" sets of numbers. Large is relative depending on what you are measuring but having a set of 10 or 20 numbers is not enough (if you're going to use statistics) to have confidence to predict anything. This means that in general they aren't as useful for prediction as we would like. At work we joke about Financial people using statistics to drive the business by looking through the rear-view mirror.
2. Use the right measure for the right job. I've seen some horrible examples of using the wrong kind of analysis to prove a point. If you want to show a trend for improvement then you have to plot the trend versus time and there are several actual rules that statisticians use to say that something has changed. Rules like 8 consecutive points above the previous average, etc. Some try to act like the accountants at work and connect two points, draw the line, and call it a trend. I see a lot of statistics quoted and misinterpreted because the user doesn't really understand basic statistical concepts. Again, there is nothing wrong with statistics and tendencies - the best coaches use them, too.
3. "Correlation" does not equal "causation". It's easy to jump to conclusions.
Because there are some posts where the use of statistics is bad and those who haven't had the training to see what's wrong with the analysis there is a natural tendency is to just say "statistics are crap - what I see is important". That is how statistical analysis gets a bad name. Someone presents a statistic but it doesn't pass the "common sense" or "observation" test that we all do naturally and of course we reject the argument.
Our minds are amazing. We can be capable of doing some very complex analysis without even knowing it. On the other hand, if we have a strong opinion, it can take a lot of "reality" before we change our opinion. Stats, properly used, can help as a "sanity check". Until math changes and we have "ESP technology" there will always be a need for our "gut" analysis, too.
I think part of the issue for some folks is that they believe the "gold standard" of measurement for the kinds of things we discuss here is expert opinion and/or a consensus opinion. However, both of those sources of information are prone to confirmation bias, especially when we're talking about something we're heavily emotionally invested in (the Dolphins), which can "steer" or opinions in one direction or another based on our prior beliefs.
For example, if we believe Ryan Tannehill is going to improve this year, we -- "experts" and other people alike -- are susceptible to noticing and amplifying in our minds instances in which we "see" improvement, and ignoring and discounting instances in which we "see" lack of improvement. Consequently, we're susceptible to forming a conclusion about his level of improvement that's completely biased and therefore completely inaccurate.
This is why statistics are needed IMO. We can sure believe whatever we want based on our "eyes" alone -- there's no harm in that. But if we really want to know the truth of what's going on, then we need to investigate the issue with objective information that's free of bias, hence the analysis of numbers.
Now, in the instances in which the numbers confirm what we believe we're seeing, then we have the best of both worlds, and probably the greatest degree of certainty about the matter possible. But when the numbers disagree with what we believe we're seeing, we should yield to the numbers IMO, because we're incapable of measuring our own bias, and therefore incapable of knowing just how wrong we might be.
"You win with people."-Woody Hayes
I have nothing against stats. But some people use stats and maths however the hell they want to make their case, that's a problem. There are do's and dont's when it comes to using stats which some seem to be completely unaware of unfortunately... Then you can try and make your own stats and system and try to be ahead of the curve, and that's great. But people who go down this path are usually very open to discussion and criticism in order to perfect their system as best they can. Some just close their eyes spew their non-sense around like its gospel... it is what it is...
If the fins lose a close game monday night, this will be me :