As some of you may know, I’m not a big numbers guy. I certainly understand the power of some statistics, and I do find many stats to be very revealing. The main problem I have with “numbers people” based on my experiences is that these individuals often put too much weight and emphasis on the numbers. The numbers really tell only a part of the story. Sometimes, they don’t tell a story at all.
I get especially perturbed when we get e-mails following a week of NFL action from people who are dismayed and confused as to why a certain player didn’t fulfill his expectations and didn’t meet his projections. It’s as if these people believe there is actually a mathematical formula that we can plug in that should result in a projection for the week that will be at least 90% accurate.
The problem is; it’s still football.
Certainly, crunching the numbers is necessary, and it can be effective and lead to accuracy when projecting stats. But analyzing the numbers is only one small aspect of projecting weekly stats. Analyzing the actual player matchups is another.
But ultimately, we’re all at the mercy of the football Gods.
That point was [...]
I know NFL people would scoff at that notion, but the same people scoffed when I suggested to them that Laurence Maroney might emerge as a serious force down the stretch, particularly in the playoffs. The Patriots, they said, are a passing team all-around now, and they will not change what they do in the post-season.
Well, they did change what they did in the playofffs. During the season, QB Tom Brady attempted 36 passes per game, yet in the playoffs he’s attempted only 33 and 28 passes. Maroney averaed only 14 rushes per game in his 13 games, yet in the playoffs he’s rushed 22 and 25 times. His stat lines in their two games have been almost identical: 22/122/1 and 25/122/1.
Meanwhile, Moss, who averaged a whopping 6/93/1.4 per game during the regular season, is averaging a miniscule 1/16 per game in their two preseason games.
If it was just like the Patriots to basically ignore Maroney during the season only to turn to him in the playoffs, then my theory on Moss makes some sense. I’m not saying they’ve ignored Moss the last two games, and the Jags and Chargers did do a good job covering him these last two [...]
This coming year doesn’t look like a great Free Agent class, but things could get interesting with a few key restricted guys, such as QB Derek Anderson, and we could see a pair of quality wideouts switching teams. And then, of course, we’ll likely see some surprise players emerge later this year as free agents.
For now, here’s my top-10 Unrestricted Free Agents for 2008, with a complete list of the UFAs and RFAs this year.
Randy Moss – The Patriots are fortunate in that they’re the Patriots; players like Moss are willing to play for them at a discount. That said I’m sure the Patriots will find a way to lock Moss up for another 2-3 years.
Michael Turner – He’s the #1 guy who will likely change teams. I like him, and I have long before everyone else started hyping him, but I’ve come to a realization this year that he’s probably not as good as he’s looked coming off the bench these last few years. I think he has good power and some speed to the corner, but I’m not sure he’s elusive and quick enough to be a top-end starter. Still, if he’s the lead back for [...]
You would think, since this week is basically the first week since at least early July that we haven’t had a ton of stuff going on with the site, that I would be relaxing with nothing going on. That is hardly the case, however. In some ways, this time of the year is more hectic and stressful than the season. At least during the season I have serious deadlines and really don’t have the time to do anything else but the site work. This time of the year, I’m a little overwhelmed with all the things I need to get done, and all the things I could get done or explore now that I have some time. We’re gearing up for the baseball stuff we’ll be doing, and I’m focusing on a lot of developmental stuff. For example, we’re beginning to explore a total site redesign this year. First the main homepage, and then the subscriber homepage. I want it to be slicker, cooler, more interactive, etc. This is also the time of the year when we explore what new technical tools we can add for the upcoming season (this time last year, we spent 4 months developing our new back end, which [...]
First of all, mad props to the San Diego Chargers for hanging tough with the Patriots on Sunday. If the Pats aren’t blowing a team out, they’re playing just well enough to win, and the latter was definitely the case on Sunday. I don’t know about you, but I feel the Patriots won that game because of their defense, not because of “Tom Terrific.” If anything, Brady was “Tom Lethargic” yesterday. If the Chargers had a healthy LT, Gates, and also Rivers, they might have won that game. But it matters little; the Pats dodged a bullet.
Take that notion and how the Giants gave the Pats all they could handle less than a month ago, and I believe the Giants have a puncher’s chance in the Super Bowl.
You really have to tip your cap to the G-Men and their coaching staff. They have played incredibly impressive football. Offense, defense, special teams, forcing turnovers, limiting mistakes; you name it, they’ve done it well. Football is the ultimate team sport, and the Giants have played very well as a team – and that’s why they’re still playing.
That’s an important point because, to beat the Pats, they’ll have to play a [...]