Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Aug 2009

FOA 09 MEDIA: Aaron On B.S. Report

Making his return to The B.S. Report, Aaron has a lengthy segment on Bill Simmons' podcast today regarding FOA 09 and its wacky predictions.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 26 Aug 2009

36 comments, Last at 28 Aug 2009, 11:15pm by Abdul

Comments

1
by Theo :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 6:25pm

MNSFW
Direct quicktime mp3 in the link.

2
by Omroth-UK (not verified) :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 7:03pm

Aaron - I am a massive fan of FO and PFP/FAO, but you need to improve your radio persona.

7
by Ralph (not verified) :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 10:02pm

Omroth,

You weren't charmed by Aaron's unnecessary giggling at his own non-jokes? That is hard to believe.

9
by Richie :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:42am

Many times Aaron's voice trails off almost to a whisper at the end of sentences and I can't understand what he says. Otherwise, good stuff. I like when he has to flat out disagree with Simmons.

3
by Theo :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 7:56pm

They promised Mike Lombardi (known name alert!) later on in the show, with his blue players report or something.
This is literally Mikes reports on NFP... and I'm putting this up for humour's sake, because it is all so obvious any 12 year old who plays madden could do this, but this guy is serious... this guy is nuts.
Here we go:
================
OFFENSE

QB (11): Brady, Palmer, Roethlisberger, P. Manning, Rivers, Romo, McNabb, Cutler, Rodgers, Brees, Warner.
Off the blue list: E. Manning.
Switched E. Manning to the almost blue area to keep 10 quarterbacks on the list, but I also kept Warner for one more year (giving me 11). Palmer is on for his past performance.
==================

//Really?! I never knew that!
On... to what this genius has to say about the running backs.

=======================
RB (10): Slaton, Jones-Drew, Tomlinson, C. Johnson, Westbrook, Portis, Forte, Peterson, Turner, D. Williams.
Off the blue list: Jacobs, Gore.
Jacobs is a blue on first and 10, but I needed to get this list to 10, and he’s not a complete back. He’s good, but he and Gore are the 11th and 12th backs and had to be moved to almost blue.
=======================

//Soooooooooo you picked the 10 best running backs. Forte over Parker? Glad you're not in charge of the the Steelers.
But here comes the 'just for clicks' ESPN retarded clone humour. This is the offensive line department:

==============
OT (8): Long, Roos, Thomas, Clady, Peters, McKinnie, Gross, W. Jones.
OG (3): Mankins, Snee, Hutchinson.
OC (1): Mangold.
==================

//So fails to manage his QB and HB choises to 10 but he can only name 8 tackles, 3 guards and 1 center. That's what any guy on the street can name you.

I seriously think that 80% of the readers of this site could write the exact same stuff.
What a bullshit site.

4
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 8:23pm

The point of the exercise was to identify players who are game-changers, not just the top players at each position. Obviously there are more QBs who can make huge plays that lead to wins than guards who can do the same.

As to whether that means anything, I have no idea.

(Also, I agree with his choice of Forte over Parker.)

5
by tuluse :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 8:28pm

//Soooooooooo you picked the 10 best running backs. Forte over Parker? Glad you're not in charge of the the Steelers.

You know Parker's DVOA was only about 3% higher than Forte's when rushing. Their offensive lines come out as about equal according to FO's numbers. However, Forte was 2nd in receiving DYAR among RBs, and Parker had - 79% DVOA. That's almost unfathomably bad, did he fumble every pass he caught on 4th down in his own red zone? (and there's actually a few backs who did worse).

8
by Eddo :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 11:53pm

Yeah, I'd be much more shocked if he picked Parker over Forte. I haven't seen one writer or analyst do so.

6
by Tim Wilson :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 9:02pm

While this series of articles was ill-conceived and a response to a Simmons' request, Lombardi and the NFP's stuff is usually top notch. Nothing like ESPN-- very candid and doesn't shy away from knocking star players, coaches, etc.

22
by E :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:20am

Agreed. I really enjoy reading Lombardi - he should stop listening to Simmons for column ideas and keep to his strengths.

10
by Reality (not verified) :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:57am

Philip Rivers is better than Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron? Is that a joke? Do you watch football, or do you really think your DVOA stats are judge, jury, and executioner over what we see with our own eyes? You'll get no argument from me that Rivers is a better passer, but Roethlisberger is clearly the better QUARTERBACK. His leadership and other intangibles are far beyond anything that hot head, immature idiot has.

Here's a good question- say you're down 4 points with 2 minutes to play. Who would you rather have QBing your team, Roethlisberger, the leader in 4th quarter/OT wins since he entered the league, or Rivers, a guy who's next big game win will be his first? If you say Rivers, you know nothing about football. Roethlisberger wins games, and that's the only stat that really matters, not DVOA.

11
by Benjamin Light (not verified) :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 1:30am

Roethlisberger "won" his two rings thanks to hilariously slanted officiating and luck in ducking the patriots in the playoffs. Rivers is a much better QB. Just be glad for your good fortune and friends in the league office, steelers fans. Don't push it.

27
by Phil (not verified) :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 3:15pm

Did the Steelers duck the Pats considering the Pats didn't even make the playoffs last season? I guess they also "ducked" 28 other teams, considering they only had to win three playoff games. Well, I guess the Steelers got lucky! It's all luck, I tells ya!

29
by chemical burn :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 3:50pm

Yeah, good thing the Steelers got to "duck" the Pats last year - their regular season game truly showed that they were over-matched by Belichick and Co.

12
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 3:40am

"Here's a good question- say you're down 4 points with 2 minutes to play. Who would you rather have QBing your team, Roethlisberger, the leader in 4th quarter/OT wins since he entered the league, or Rivers, a guy who's next big game win will be his first?"

any colts fans want to verify this statement? And even though the chargers lost to the steelers in the playoffs didn't rivers dominate them through the air?

This is atleast the third steeler fan on this website that keeps a straight face when saying he thinks ben is better than phillip.

btw has anyone else noticed that Rivers gets as much respect as Aretha Franklin (sarcasm). He is one player that regardless of what he does or how good he plays he will always be considered replacement level by casual fans. Casual fans like tony "Reality"

13
by Israel P. - Jer... :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 6:58am

This is atleast the third steeler fan on this website that keeps a straight face when saying he thinks ben is better than phillip.

I'm four.

Do I hear five?

16
by Temo :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 9:46am

I hardly think that makes a point, considering the impetus behind that statement is that only Steeler fans have said that Rothlisberger is better than Rivers at this point.

20
by Theo :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:04am

Five.

Steelers fans remember in what shape the team was before Ben.

18
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 10:47am

Rivers v. Steelers (1/11/09): 21-35, 308 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, sacked 4 times for 33 yards. Not really dominating but certainly good.

Overall in the post-season, Rivers averages 7.13 AY/A, has a 79.7 QB rating, and his teams have gone 3-3. In the regular season that he throws for 7.49 AY/A and a 92.9 rating while his teams have gone 33-15. Perhaps that means something. More likely it's small sample size (and that horrid game he played while injured against the Colts a couple of years ago does not help those numbers, either).

For comparison's sake, Roethlisberger in the post-season: 7.19 AY/A, 87.2 rating, 8-2 record.
Regular season: 7.29 AY/A, 89.4 rating, 51-22.
I would point out that his numbers, having played 4 more games than Rivers, are almost identical to his regular season numbers. He's also being helped out compared to Rivers by my using AY/A. Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt (ANY/A) would be better, but PFR doesn't have that in the "splits" page and I really don't feel like figuring it out myself.

I agree about the public perception of Rivers and how far off it is. I would rank him as the third best QB in the league, really, but I don't think he's ever going to get credit like that.

23
by E :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:23am

I love Rivers, but 3rd best? Not sure how you can put anyone ahead of Manning, Brady and Brees (not necessarily in that order). Rivers may prove to be in that compnay - I think he will - but those 3 are clearly the top tier right now.

32
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 6:43pm

I won't discuss the matter so as not to touch of a flame war, but suffice to say that I think one of those three is nowhere near the other 2--contrary to popular opinion.

33
by Jerry :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:04pm

Let's try this question: If the 2004 draft goes exactly like it did, except that the Chargers end up with Roethlisberger and the Steelers with Rivers, what happens? Maybe the Steelers win 4 Super Bowls. Maybe the Chargers win a few more games late. Maybe Dennis Kucinich becomes President. Who knows?

I do know that in the last five years, there's been no point where I thought I'd rather see Rivers in a Steeler uniform than Ben. You apparently feel the same way about Rivers in a Charger uniform, and that's cool. (If you felt differently before Philip got into the lineup, we'll ignore that.)

Both teams think enough of their quarterbacks to have signed them to full-price extensions. And in the end, that's the best indication that both have been successful where they are.

15
by Scott de B (not verified) :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 9:28am

You forgot to mention "swagger".

17
by Tom Gower :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 10:28am

I thought Rivers was the league MVP through 8 weeks last year, and he would've finished second behind Peyton on the full year. SD in retrospect now feels more like an overwhelming juggernaut last year than they looked on the field, and the passing game was what kept them going.

For the record, (i) I haven't yet listened to the podcast, (ii) I'm a TEN fan, and (iii) I'd have taken BenR #1 overall in the 2004 draft.

19
by rdy4thefiesta :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 10:53am

I just looked at the last three years, since that's when Rivers became the starter.

Rivers: 873-1398, 62.4% completion, 77TDs, 35 INTs, 10459 yards, 7.5 y/a, 74 sacks.

Roethlisberger: 824-1342, 61.4%, 67TDs, 49INTs, 9968 yards, 7.4 y/a, 139 sacks.

Roethlisberger fumbled a lot less surprislingly given how often he is hit.

You also have factor in other things, such as supporting cast/weather/opponents. Roeth has a worse supporting cast, although Ward/Holmes/Miller are pretty solid. Ben also plays in worse conditions for throwing. One of the arguments against Rivers is that he plays in the terrible AFC West, but in fairness, Ben gets to play Cleveland and Cincinatti twice a year. So overall, Rivers has better numbers but under better conditions.

I know numbers don't mean everything, but it's really difficult to say who has better intangibles. That kind of stuff is subject to way too much homerism. I think Eli has better intagibles than both of them, but that's cause I'm a Giants fan and I have to. I hate the idea of saying, Player X is better than Player Y and anyone who doesn't think so doesn't watch football. Does that just end the argument? If I said, Eli Manning is better than Tony Romo and anyone who doesn't think so is an idiot, does that make it true? Also, implying that QB wins are all that matters is akin to saying CC Sabathia has been better than Zack Grienke this year because he has more wins. It's all about context.

Sorry for the rant. Aaron, I thought you were great on the podcast. Everytime I hear you on the radio or some podcast, the host says something kinda dumb, and you always get your point across without making them look bad. Good job.

30
by Karma Coma :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 4:18pm

At least with Brady vs. Manning, we were arguing over who was the BEST qb in the league. Now we're going to have to start an irrational thread for like 4th place? Yawn.

"Profit is limit ONLY by your ability to BANG SPORK"

28
by MP (not verified) :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 3:50pm

[BEN ROETHLISBERGER] is clearly ranked [TOO LOW] because [I SAY SO]. [MY UNSUPPORTED OPINION] is way better than this. [U KNOE NOTHING ABOT FOOTBALL!!11!!1!]

31
by Todd S. :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 4:24pm

I'll take Rivers every time in that situation. (And if you're giving me the choice, I'll take Tomlin over Norv.)

14
by Black Squirrels :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 9:06am

Good interview, Aaron. I find it worthwhile to listen to these FO writer interviews even though I already read FOA. First, they allow FO writers to explain how preseason events affect their projections. The interviews also shed additional light on FO's methodology.

That said, there were a few statements in this podcast that made me laugh. The highlight was Simmons stating that changing coaches from Herm Edwards to someone competent could be worth five additional wins. I guess that means the 2001 and 2004 Jets were legitimate 15-win teams.

21
by Joseph :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:06am

Aaron, love the podcasts with Bill Simmons. I wish that you could do about 5-7 minutes on EACH TEAM.
With regard to the Chargers extremely high rating, my SAINTS-related question is this: Shouldn't their offenses be about equal this coming year? I mean, Shockey & Colston should be healthier, and maybe Reggie Bush also. Plus, their average opponent looks to be a lot worse than last year. Now understand: I am NOT saying that the Saints' D will be as good as SD--they get Merriman & Cromartie healthy, and the Saints have no one that good on their D. However, their D should be improved. Thus, WHY IS THEIR WIN PROJECTION still 8-8?

25
by rdy4thefiesta :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:46am

I think the Saints will win the NFC South, so I agree with you. I also see an elite offense, a slightly better defense with Ellis coming back and Jenkins, and a weaker division.

If I had to guess, I'd say their projection system sees the defense being about as bad and the offense regressing a bit. Yes, if Bush, Shockey, and Colston are healthy that's a huge plus, but Shockey has shown no ability to stay healthy his entire career, and Colston and Bush are both coming off micro-fracture surgeries. That's probably why thier projections are lower than yours or my expectations of them.

26
by chemical burn :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 1:20pm

I would think the major difference in their projections comes from the fact that DVOA thinks the other teams in the AFC West are going to be uniformly awful, while every team in the NFC South stands a chance at being pretty darn good (even the Bucs).

I myself watch a lot of Saints games and can't figure out why they always end up with mediocre records: their offense always looks amazing and their defense always looks bad, but not Lions or Rams-level terrible... I guess DVOA is telling me my eyes are lying a little: their offense isn't other-worldly and there defense is really bad.

24
by David :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:31am

So, Aaron's a sports bigamist? With the revelation about supporting the Rams in his youth, can Simmons possibly invite him back?

(Actually, yes, because I think there was a clause in the sports bigamy column about if the team leaves town)

34
by Aaron Schatz :: Fri, 08/28/2009 - 10:35am

Also, I left town eight years before the Rams did. Isn't there a clause where you are allowed to change teams prior to your bar mitzvah?

35
by anonymiss (not verified) :: Fri, 08/28/2009 - 10:11pm

I know that he does, but as recently as last year he didn't have DirectTV - kind of silly for someone who *covers the friggin' NFL for a living.* But hey, when the spreadsheet is interesting, who needs more to watch, I guess.

36
by Abdul (not verified) :: Fri, 08/28/2009 - 11:15pm

Not a surprise to learn Aaron was a Rams fan... considering the Patriots didn't have any fans prior to the Parcells era.