These days, statistics are an incredibly valuable component to the way football is perceived, coached and played.
Coaches will look to stats to make sense of performances. In a loss, they will search for answers for where their team broke down in the same way that after a win, they will be sure to understand in what areas their side excelled.
Similarly, players will use statistics as a key element to their reviews. They might have set a goal for the game and want to check on whether they achieved it or they might be investigating how well they nullified their opponent.
In so many ways, statistics are a reality of the modern game.
The leader of the AFL statistics world is Champion Data, so we thought we'd have a look at what they had to say about our Hawks...
Hawthorn fans have been boosted by the promising returns of comeback pair Jarryd Roughead and Jaeger O'Meara, but just what does that mean to Hawks fortunes this year?
Well, according to Champion Data, this is exactly what it looks like:
Expected Hawthorn wins without either Roughead or O'Meara- 11.6 wins
Expected Hawthorn wins with Roughead- 13.0 (+1.4 wins)
Expected Hawthorn wins with O'Meara (considering O'Meara's 2014)- 12.3 (+0.7)
Expected Hawthorn wins with both Roughead and O'Meara- 13.9 (+2.3)
Of Shaun Burgoyne's 262 kicks in season 2016, he missed only nine kicks when unpressured. Any wonder his nickname is "Silk". Arguably even more impressive though, Burgoyne did not miss one unpressured handball for the entire season, a statistic that puts him in rare air across the league.
One of the most influential rule changes heading into the 2017 season will be the ruling of no "third man up" and limiting a ruck contest to exclusively the ruckmen. Last year, the Hawks were one of the more common exponents of the tactic, with Jordan Lewis being the player of choice. Lewis, now a Demon, finished 2016 with the fifth most stoppages attended as the third man up, as seen below, with no other Hawk in the top 20.
Third man up in 2016
M Blicavs (GEE) 154
O Wines (PA) 65
M Bontempelli (WB) 63
N Riewoldt (STK) 57
J Lewis (HAW) 54
Hawks fans always breathe a sigh of relief when the ball is in Cyril Rioli's hands, but did you know that he was officially the best set shot in the league last year? Champion Data considered distance and angle of shot as well as the goals to points ratio on their way to crowning the All Australian, who kicked 47 goals and 13 behinds last season.
Champion Data Set Shot Rankings
C Rioli (HAW) 3.34
A Miles (RICH) 3.08
T Liberatore (WB) 2.89
J Murdoch (GEE) 2.30
A Fasolo (COLL) 2.29
L Franklin (SYD) 2.10
S Sidebottom (COLL) 2.10
The 2016 season saw 24 home and away season records fall, with our Hawks players featuring prominently in the conversation as usual.
Shaun Burgoyne overtook Dayne Zorko's 23 smothers in season 2014 to set a new benchmark of 28 for the one-percenter. Known as one of the "silkier" players in the league, this stat shows Burgoyne doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty either.
On the flipside, Luke Breust and former Hawk Brian Lake had their impressive records beaten during the 2016 season.
Lake held the record for most contested marks from opposition kicks after he took 45 grabs in 2007. But Eagles young gun Jeremy McGovern unfortunately pipped Lake by taking 47 in last year's home and away season.
Luke Breust owned the record for most broken tackles (23) for two season before Tiger Dustin Martin obliterated the old record to set a new high of 45.