Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

29 Aug 2006

FO Chat at Baseball Prospectus

Here is the text of today's chat at BaseballProspectus.com, featuring the "top ten things we've learned at Football Outsiders." Of course, this actually goes to 11, which is one larger. I answered questions for about two hours, the longest and most active chat at BP.com yet.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 29 Aug 2006

51 comments, Last at 31 Aug 2006, 10:35pm by Will Allen

Comments

1
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 4:20pm

Crap. I forgot to submit the one question I've been meaning to ask Aaron for a while: how do penalties get incorporated into DVOA? Are those plays just ignored, or does the penalized player get hit somehow? Presumedly the results of the play itself would be ignored if the penalty is accepted. I should submit it as a Mailbag question.

2
by David (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 4:21pm

About the $100 auction league. If Sean could get Manning for $18 and Westbrook for $19, I'm willing to bet that's not Peyton...

3
by Ilanin (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 4:39pm

Aaron (or anybody else), what makes you think that Hines Ward's hamstring injury was psychological? Pittsburgh media have been enthusiastically talking about the results of MRI scans for weeks.

4
by Mikey (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 4:46pm

If anybody from BP is lurking here, why doesn't BP have message boards? Is there any plan to add them?

I'm getting tired of reading the SOSH, especially given the Sox recent play. FO-style message boards on BP would be a major gift.

"7) The most underrated aspect of an NFL team's performance is the field position gained or lost on kickoffs and punts."

Great, great point and I would love to see more written about this.

5
by Mikey (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 4:50pm

3 - I don't think it was suggested that Hines' injury is psychological per se. More like he doesn't have any incentive to rush back from the injury.

He knows the offense as well as it can be known and is the obvious #1 receiver, so why hurry anything?

I think I'm as big a Steeler fan as posts on these boards and if there's one thing I'm not worried about it's Hines Ward being ready to play on 9/7.

6
by GlennW (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 5:25pm

> I think I’m as big a Steeler fan as posts on these boards and if there’s one thing I’m not worried about it’s Hines Ward being ready to play on 9/7.

I'm not worried about Hines being ready and able to play on 9/7, but am somewhat concerned about a recurrence. This is a real injury, and fairly serious-- Ward has said it's worse than the hamstring injury that cost him one game last season.

7
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 5:47pm

Aaron, I know your team projections are statistically driven, and I'm still awaiting my PFP, so I haven't read the details of how you arrived at your conclusions, but I think you may be seriously underestimating how poorly coached the Vikings were last year (and that isn't meant to be directed primarily at Tice), and how even a new staff (which you apparently also think is among the league's worst), will be a vast improvement.

I think there is a better than 50% chance that defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin will be a head coach in the NFL within four years, at no older than age 37, given his talents, and how the Vikings have drafted defensive linemen over the last four years. The Vikings offense is going to be much better coached just by virtue of not asking their offensive line coach to take on offensive coordinator and qb coach duties as well. Also, it is almost 100% guaranteed that the Vikings offensive line will be much better talent-wise. Which leads to a question; how useful are season projections based upon previous year performances, when personnel has undergone massive changes?

Seriously, given Ted Cottrel's shortcomings as defensive coordinator, and how short-handed the offensive staff was at the beginning of the season, the Vikings last year were among the worst-coached teams I've ever seen in the NFL, not even considering Tice's weak points. How often have you seen a team bring in retired coordinators at mid-season to plug the holes, like the Vikings did last year with Foge Fazio and Jerry Rhome? Sure, if they have any more big hits with regards to injuries/suspensions, they will be in trouble, and given Brad Johnson's injury history, and how bad Mike McMahon is, that is a real reason they could fall off significantly from last year's 9 wins.

However, if they get a little lucky from now until after the first seven games, with regard to injuries, given how their schedule difficulty is front-loaded (much like last year), and given that Tavaris Jackson looks like he good do a decent job at qb for a half or game, maybe two games, against inferior teams, they've got a reasonable chance to match or improve on last year.

8
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 6:28pm

Heh. It's amazing how many ex-Detroit QBs are still in the league, and for once, they're mostly playing as poorly as or worse than they did in Detroit ...

9
by Richie (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 7:18pm

What's this:

Joe (Philly): Top 3 statistical comps for Randy Moss are...

Aaron Schatz: Over a three-year span, and I'll give five because the first two have years pro-rated for strikes and thus are a little more iffy.

John Jefferson 1980-1982*
Mike Quick 1985-1987*
Antonio Freeman 1998-2000
Lynn Swann 1978-1980
Carl Pickens 1996-1998

Not a single one of Moss's top 8 three-year comps had 1,000 yards the following season, although Isaac Bruce 2000-2002 came close.

Is that comps to Moss's stats from 2003-2005 for players at a similar age?

10
by Richie (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 7:29pm

I’m getting tired of reading the SOSH, especially given the Sox recent play. FO-style message boards on BP would be a major gift.

Try this: www.baseballthinkfactory.org

11
by Peder (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 8:13pm

Will, how much do you trust the improvement in the Vikes D-line?

12
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 8:45pm

Well, Peder, it is of course all predicated on health, and that's what concerns me the most, given Udeze's, James', and especially Kevin Williams' injury histories. With that rather large caveat, I now have a reasonably high degree of confidence that their defensive line is going to be well above average. Udeze has dropped weight and it appears that tackles are going to have a tough time with him, and James already was coming on strong at the end of last year. Pat Williams will give them around twenty five very good, perhaps Pro Bowl quality, snaps a game, and it appears as if they have a lot more depth than I thought a month ago.

The Tampa Two system now installed really seems to fit their defensive line personnel, especially if Kevin Williams' knee holds up. I can't understate how horribly the entire defensive unit was coached under Cottrel; the guy isn't drawing his coach's pension because he wanted to retire.

In any case, with Washington, Chicago, Carolina, New England, and Seattle on the schedule in the first seven games, by the end of October we'll have a pretty accurate picture if the team as a whole is any good, although Washington and Chicago aren't likely to be a great test of a defense. Heck, with Washington, Carolina, and Chicago in the first three games, if they can go 2-1, they'll be off to a great start, and if they are even 3-4 after seven games they'll have a decent chance at the playoffs. Given their schedule for the last nine games, if they go 4-3 in the first seven they'll be very, very likely to make the playoffs.

In any case I'm looking forward more to watching this team than I have any Vikings team in years, because for about the first time three decades they are committed first and foremost to being an extremely physical bunch. Heck, I'll be happy with 8-8 again, or, heaven forbid, maybe even 7-9, if they really bust some heads in the process, since I haven't seen that from a Vikings team in ages, and it would bode well for the future.

13
by JasonK (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 9:25pm

6) Running on third and short is more likely to convert than passing on third and short. One of the reasons that, despite #2 above, teams need balance.

But how much of this is based on using the NFL's official measure of yardage? Specifically, there's a big difference between 3rd & inches and 3rd & 4 feet, both of which is called "3rd & 1" in the official game logs. Teams almost always run on 3rd & inches, and almost always make it. Teams are more likely to pass on 3rd & 4 feet, and less likely to convert, regardless of their run/pass decision. Does the game charting project try to overcome this difficulty?

14
by Joe Pisarcik Magnet (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 9:57pm

Josh (West Palm): Aaron, given that there's no minor league system in the NFL, do you believe there will ever be an accurate translation of college football player performance to their probable performance in the NFL? Is this something anyone is even working on?

Aaron Schatz: It's the Holy Grail of performance analysis for the NFL. It's also a long-term goal. We've already taken one step: read the article in PFP 2006 with David Lewin's astonishingly accurate projection system for young quarterbacks (first and second round only) based solely on college stats.

I'm trying to track this this year at http://theastigmaticeye.blogspot.com/

I chose 10 QBs and Sam Kellet winds up losing his job and transferring.

15
by Jere (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 10:05pm

Aaron, can I start an irrational Brady-McNabb argument??? You stated in your chat that McNabb a/k/a Philly's Sweet Baby Haysus (in full 'spect to ODB) is below the Manning-Palmer-Hasselback & Brady quadrumverate. BUT, Brady is running out of usual suspects, while Dono is poised with better WRs than normal (except 1) and is looking silky. I know you're looking at simple projections in your model, but subjectively you must see missing elements given FO/PFP overall expectations for Philly. Can you expand on this?

16
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 10:48pm

Hey, I went back and looked at Aaron's 2005 DVOA projections, and he had the Bears at 5.5 mean wins, and the Eagles at 11, which is the downside (how many people saw the Eagles trainwreck?), but on the upside he correctly foresaw the rise of the Bengals, Bucs, and Panthers.

He had the Vikings at 7 wins, which undershot by two, and correctly forecast the collapse of the Vikings offense. My prediction for the Vikings last year at the beginning was a best case scenario of ten wins, and a likely outcome of eight or nine, but at mid-season I adopted the disgruntled fan stance and predicted a 5-11 finish. Ah, the weakness of subjective judgements; those pesky emotions get in the way.

In any case, based on last year's comments, I think Aaron is likely marking the Vikings chances downward due in part to a new coaching staff, which, like I said, I think is a mistake in this instance, given how horrid the Vikings' staff was last year. My prediction for this year is a best case scenario of eleven wins, with the likeliest outcome of nine once again. Can the brain of a mere man best Aaron's computer? I breathlessly await an answer!

17
by Peder (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 11:01pm

Thanks Will, I'm beginning to share that optimism. Aaron, have you done any studies on the effect of incoming coaching staffs? It seems that plenty of coaches come in and turn things around pretty quickly. Staying with the Viking theme, Dennis Green did just that in '92.

18
by admin :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 11:03pm

The answer to 9 is "yes." I'll see if I can't answer some of this other stuff in a mailbag.

19
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 11:37pm

But how much of this is based on using the NFL’s official measure of yardage?

If there's an NFL team that passes on 3rd and 4 feet, they're retarded.

You can check for this by looking at the conversion rates for 3rd and 1, and comparing them to 3rd and 2, 3rd and 3, etc. to get an idea of the slope of the percentages.

20
by thad (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 11:58pm

Pat, where would I find that info?

21
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 12:39am

Pat, where would I find that info?

Got me. Aaron would have it, though.

22
by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 1:19am

I would forgive anything for a Johnny Dangerously reference.

23
by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 1:27am

(And that includes the implication that Hines Ward is dogging it. Consider yourself lucky, you bastage.)

24
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 10:43am

Damn you, centrifuge -- I was just coming to cheer that reference!

25
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 11:31am

Will Allen #16:

which is the downside (how many people saw the Eagles trainwreck?)

There were a number of people concerned as the preseason went on, first with the Owens saga, then DE McDougle being shot and being forced to use Kalu as his replacement, then RB Buckhalter getting hurt again, then WR Pinkston going down. Then you had RB Westbrook and DT Simon holding out of training camp, and Simon eventually released. Talk Radio around here was going nuts by the time all this had happened, saying none of it boded well for the season. By the time the first game of the season rolled around and Trotter was ejected and McNabb speared and injured by Lavalais, the results were a pretty foregone conclusion. Most of us still clinging vainly to some sliver of hope wrote off the season for good just after the drubbing of the first Dallas game.

The trainwreck was a small concern when Owens started squawking in the Spring, and had come into sharp enough focus by the time mid August had come that it was there if you wanted to look for it.

26
by GlennW (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 12:31pm

CBS Sportsline has posted this report on Deion Branch:

News: According to an unconfirmed source, CBS SportsLine.com has learned that WR Deion Branch, holding out of Patriots camp, is planning a return to the team within a week. The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity but does have knowledge of the situation, says Branch wants to "pull a T.O." and do whatever it takes to force the team to trade him, release him or not franchise tag him. Branch is in the final year of his contract, which pays him a little over $1 million -- a bargain considering the salaries of players around the league with a profile as high as Branch. The Patriots recently gave Branch time to seek a trade with another club, but as of now no trade is expected to happen.

I don't know what "unconfirmed source" means here (that CBS won't reveal the name, or doesn't know who the source is because the information is third-hand?), but the information appears to be contradictory. If Branch reports, does that mean at this late date it forces the Patriots' hand into a trade? I don't think so-- if Branch reports and works hard at getting into game shape, I think the Patriots gladly welcome him back and gradually work him back into the mix.

27
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 12:44pm

Still, the main thing for Philly was easily the loss of McNabb, and that you couldn't see before the season.

2005 literally was like someone said "Let's figure out how we can completely neutralize one of the best teams in the NFL with a minimum number of surgical strikes."

Step 1: Eliminate the QB with the lowest interception percentage in the NFL (1 per 44 attempts), thus forcing him to be replaced with a QB who has over a factor of two higher interception percentage (1 per 24 attempts).

Step 2: Neutralize pass rush by eliminating starting DE very late in the offseason after the previous starting DE left in free agency.

Step 3: Collapse the most consistent special teams unit in the NFL by sidelining the two specialists right after one of the key coverage guys had left in free agency, thus forcing the entire special teams unit to be rebuilt from scratch during the season.

#1 is literally the worst thing you can do to a West Coast offense.

#2 is literally the worst thing you can do to Jim Johnson's defense.

#3 is the worst thing you could do to Harbaugh's special teams.

Owens made the season suck for the players, but had just McNabb stayed healthy, that was a 9-10 win team (Dallas #2, Giants #2, one of the Washington games, Arizona). Had the other 2 things not happened, I'd bet easily that still would've been a 12 win team.

People who criticize Philly's WRs without Owens don't realize how careful a passer McNabb is. He's got a better interception percentage than Brady (1 in 38 attempts), than Manning (1 in 33 attempts), than Palmer (1 in 31 attempts), than Culpepper (1 in 30 attempts).

That is why Philly doesn't need star WRs. Not because they spread the ball around. That's why Philly can survive a pass-heavy offense. Because McNabb is the safest passer in the league.

28
by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 1:01pm

I've recently begun wondering why teams don't resign some of their free agents for cheaper by subsuming their final contract years. Like, say Branch wants a $36 mil, 4 years deal ($9m/year), and let's assume he's likely to get that once he's in free agency. This year, he's only getting $1m, so if the Pats were to put down an offer of $37m for 5 years ($7.2/year), he's looking at the same money -- he just starts getting it sooner. The Pats save on their cap and Branch gets paid without risking reduced value from injury/holdout. I don't know if "signing over" the last year like that would cause some form of cap madness, but this seems like an equitable solution to this layperson.

29
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 1:18pm

The Pats save on their cap and Branch gets paid without risking reduced value from injury/holdout.

Why would the Patriots save on their cap? It would jump Branch's cap value from ~$1M to $7M. The Patriots only have around $12M in cap space currently. That'd halve that, and put them dangerously close to the limit when considering other factors (additional 2 players, IR).

Saves them long term, but I imagine this year's status is what's holding things up.

30
by GlennW (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 1:27pm

Correct; the Patriots are only willing to "forgive" this year's $1m salary to a point, which is understandable. One of the offers that the Patriots put on the table averages out to something like $4.5m/year over the next four years including this season, or $6m/year if you just look at 2007-2009. That still doesn't come close to Branch's demands.

31
by GlennW (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 1:38pm

> Why would the Patriots save on their cap? It would jump Branch’s cap value from ~$1M to $7M.

Actually by keeping this year's salary at $1m and pro-rating the (sizable) bonus money (say $15m, over 5 years at $3m/year) this arrangement could still be made cap-favorable for this season, especially as the Patriots currently have plenty of space to accomodate $4-5m. It's not that the Patriots aren't trying to leverage Branch's remaining inexpensive season in the manner cetrifuge described; it's really that the sides are far apart on Branch's market value even into the future.

32
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 1:49pm

especially as the Patriots currently have plenty of space to accomodate $4-5m.

I dunno - at $12M under the cap right now, that seems a little tight. Strike about $2M or so for the last two players and practice squad, and $5M for Branch leaves only $5M or so available. That's a little dicey.

33
by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 1:52pm

What I meant was that the cap hits would not as great in the later years because some of it would be brought forward into the current year. It seems like one of the main reasons team let players go is because they don't want to commit so much cap money to them, and this reduces the per-year hit for the remainder of the contract. Obviously, you wouldn't do this if you didnt' have space for it this year.

I don't know enough about the Branch scenario or the cap to say whether this is plausible in this scenario (#30 says it basically isn't, and I'll believe it), but I don't think I've seen any team do something like this. Is there a catch that makes it unworkable across the board?

34
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 1:59pm

No... most teams usually do do that. It's just a question of whether or not they have the space for it.

Philly almost always does that. They signed Shawn Andrews to a long term contract with very manageable future cap hits because they had the space this year.

35
by GlennW (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 2:57pm

> Strike about $2M or so for the last two players and practice squad, and $5M for Branch leaves only $5M or so available. That’s a little dicey.

I don't think I agree with this. Historically $5m in cap space going into the season has been a pretty healthy number (the Eagles indeed have been one of the teams that have left above-average cap space available entering a season). There's more cap space in general league-wide this season, which maybe makes $5m about the average number this year, but in the past many teams have been right up to the cap when the season starts, necessitating cuts that we're just not seeing this year due to the sizable increase with the new CBA.

In any case, all along the media have been reporting that the Patriots have a favorable cap number which should allow them to extend one or more contracts, including Branch's. I don't believe this is the sticking point with Branch, rather the total contract value including potential future cap hits.

36
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 3:10pm

I don’t think I agree with this. Historically $5m in cap space going into the season has been a pretty healthy number

Well, it depends. New England's still got to deal with Seymour's option bonus before next March. Part of the reason I said it was a little dicey is I figured they'd want to take a part of that hit this year.

But it's not like the Patriots had the option, like Philly had with Andrews, of giving Branch a sizable bonus up front to compensate for lower future salaries. They do have cap space, but not a huge amount.

37
by GlennW (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 3:32pm

> But it’s not like the Patriots had the option, like Philly had with Andrews, of giving Branch a sizable bonus up front to compensate for lower future salaries. They do have cap space, but not a huge amount.

Pat, seriously, I think you're underestimating New England's cap space. Last report I saw a couple weeks ago, NE had the most cap space in the entire NFL (maybe someone could update us with a link to such data). Now granted, they're probably going to shift some of Seymour's bonus onto this season which will cut into that. But they have a lot of flexibility around this season, and this has always been reported as a benefit in the Branch negotiations. NE just isn't going to be frivolous with such a luxury, that's all.

38
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 4:45pm

Pat, seriously, I think you’re underestimating New England’s cap space. Last report I saw a couple weeks ago, NE had the most cap space in the entire NFL

Yeah. That's because it's close to the season, and most of the teams are done dealing with contract renegotiations. Hence part of the reason why I'm sure the Patriots let Branch seek a trade this late - no one really has the cap room to practically do this except for the teams that keep a boatload of cap space for resigning vets, and therefore wouldn't likely sign Branch.

It really depends on how much Branch is asking for and how long a contract he's willing to sign, though. I really don't think any team in the NFL really is capable right now of absorbing a $5M additional cap hit for this year without it making things a little dicey. Hell, the Patriots are probably the only ones who could absorb it at all.

But I really bet that most of that cap space is being held to pay Seymour his bonus this year - and if that's true, then no, the Pats wouldn't have the cap space for an additional $4-5M hit.

39
by thad (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 9:51pm

Pat,
thru the first 8 games the Eagles were throwing on over 70 percent of their snaps.
There is just no way you can win that way.
Now over the rest of the season they toned it down a bit and only threw the ball 65% of the time.
But they still threw 283 incompletion. That is horrible.
28% of their plays went for 0 yards, this does not count sacks, turnovers, or runners tackled for a loss.
there is no way they were winning 9, 10 or 12 games with that sort of playcalling.

40
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 11:57pm

Who says you can't win by throwing the ball 70% of the time?

41
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 1:05am

There is just no way you can win that way.

I might be wrong - you never know - but last time I checked, Philly went 4-4 their first 8 games. So apparently, you can win, at least 50% of the time. Had Akers been healthy the first week, Philly would've won the Atlanta game. Had they had a pass rush, they would've won at least one of the Dallas games: to quote, from the Any Given Sunday on the first Dallas/Philly:

As Philadelphia learned, all the Pro Bowl members of the secondary in the world do not mean much if Bledsoe has time to throw. Not only did the Cowboys prevent any sacks, but Bledsoe was almost never pressured.

In fact, that feat kindof made Ned Macey go "huh?" as he pointed out that Philly was one of the top sack teams the previous year, and Dallas was 20th in adjusted sack rate. Philly fans should've (and did) see that as an omen.

Estimated Wins put Philly as a 7+ win team. Add in a healthy McNabb, and yes, they would've been a 9 or 10 win team.

Normal teams can't win throwing 70% of the time. Interceptions kill you. But McNabb isn't normal. He doesn't make those mistakes.

For comparison, assuming a 300-attempt season, McNabb would have to throw around 20 interceptions next year to get as low as Peyton Manning, who's the second best. The last time McNabb had a 300 attempt season, he threw 8.

42
by thad (not verified) :: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 5:02am

You are twisting the arguement.
I am not saying normal teams, I am saying all teams.
And I know Mcnabb does not throw a lot of interceptions, Its the plays for zero yards thar kill you.
And you may think that they would have won the second Dallas game, but considering they got crushed in the first one that is hightly unlikely.
And 8 games is a small sample.
Jeez Pat are you ever wrong about anything?

43
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 1:10pm

Um ... Pat's not twisting the argument. He's suggesting that you're wrong.

Do you have examples of teams that had less than or equal to a 3/7 run/pass ratio and didn't win games? I'd like to see specifics if you don't mind, and unfortunately I don't have many examples at my disposal.

44
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 2:40pm

And you may think that they would have won the second Dallas game, but considering they got crushed in the first one that is hightly unlikely.

With a pass rush, they wouldn't've gotten crushed. Read the Any Given Sunday regarding that game. The biggest failure was the complete lack of pressure that Bledsoe had.

What changed in the second game? ND Kalu wasn't the starting DE - Trent Cole was. What happens? 2 sacks, 1 QB pressure resulting in an interception, and Bledsoe's passing goes through the floor compared to the first time.

Jeez Pat are you ever wrong about anything?

Sure. Plenty of times. But not this.

And I know Mcnabb does not throw a lot of interceptions, Its the plays for zero yards thar kill you.

It really is the interceptions that kill you. The plays for zero yards mean you need a decent defense and very good special teams because you could easily end up in a 3-and-out fairly often.

And 8 games is a small sample.

Half a season, in fact!

45
by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 2:51pm

For comparison, assuming a 300-attempt season, McNabb would have to throw around 20 interceptions next year to get as low as Peyton Manning, who’s the second best.

If he still counts, Chad Pennington has a better interceptions-to-attempts ratio than Manning (1 per 39 vs. 1 per 33).

46
by Disco Stu (not verified) :: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 2:54pm

I think it's possible to win with any style, but I question the wisdom of throwing 70% of the time w a backup qb like Mike McMahon.

"Add in a healthy McNabb, and yes, they would’ve been a 9 or 10 win team."

That's flawed logic- McNabb wasn't healthy because they threw 70% of the time. Reid's offense really needs two quality QBs to run it bacause of the low likelihood that the starter will stay healthy.

Outside of that, though, I don't see any reason the offense wouldn't work- there's not only one way to win football games. And as a Giants fan- Strahan, Osi, Kiwanuka, and Tuck- I hope they try the same thing this year!

47
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 3:47pm

If he still counts, Chad Pennington has a better interceptions-to-attempts ratio than Manning (1 per 39 vs. 1 per 33).

Oops, I mixed up Manning and Brady. Brady's 1 per 39, Manning's 1 per 33. But Pennington's is ever-so-much slightly higher than Brady's.

At least until this year's over, of course. :)

That’s flawed logic- McNabb wasn’t healthy because they threw 70% of the time.

Bull. McNabb wasn't healthy because he overworked his abdomen in the offseason and got speared the first game. The throwing percentage had nothing to do with it.

If anything, the 70% throwing percentage was because McNabb was injured and couldn't run. But even if he was healthy, it wasn't going to be sub-60%, because they weren't winning.

Reid’s offense really needs two quality QBs to run it bacause of the low likelihood that the starter will stay healthy.

Where low likelihood means 66% of the time? McNabb's missed significant time in only 2 seasons out of 6.

48
by Zac (not verified) :: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 4:15pm

Re: GlennW #26. I'm a Packer fan, so I remember the trouble they had with Mike McKenzie in the 2004 season. He sat out at the start of the year, saying he wanted to be traded. He skipped the first game of the season, a surprise win over Carolina. It looked like the Packers had gotten over the distraction, and suddenly he showed up. The circus started all over again. They lost their next 4 games (3 of which he did not play in), and he was traded to New Orleans for I believe QB J.T. O'Sullivan, who was cut the following year without ever playing.

The point is that yes, a player can show up with the intention of forcing a trade.

49
by Zac (not verified) :: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 4:16pm

Apparently it was O'Sullivan plus a 2nd round pick for McKenzie.

50
by thad@ (not verified) :: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 7:40pm

Sorry Pat, my last comment was kind of snarky, you make many good posts

51
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 10:35pm

Has anybody ever done an analysis of the ratio of interceptions thrown while trailing by 20, plus interceptions in the fourth quarter while trailing by between 13 qnd nineteen/total interceptions? I don't think it would make much difference in regards to McNabb and Manning, but such a number might suggest how the quality of a qb's defense affects his interception total.