08 Oct 2015, 02:03pm by Aaron Schatz
The Packers are automatic Super Bowl contenders because of their offense. But they only become leading Super Bowl contenders if the defense can be better than average. And so far this season, the Packers defense is on an upswing, despite weaknesses against scrambling quarterbacks and third-and-long situations.
07 Oct 2015, 12:22pm by Scott Kacsmar
Which quarterbacks push the envelope on third down, and which are comfortable playing it safe? Our new ALEX metric (Air Less EXpected) tells you who is always throwing short of the sticks, starting with the patron saint of Alex, Mr. Smith.
01 Oct 2015, 04:04pm by Vincent Verhei
This piece by Aaron Schatz for ESPN Insider explains that the Broncos have been even better than we forecast them to be. One reason? New defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' attack-heavy 3-4 scheme, which tends to use one-gap principles more associated with a 4-3 alignment. It's an excellent fit for the specific talents of Denver's top two pass-rushers, Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. This isn't Phillips' first time getting quick results from a defense.
25 Sep 2015, 10:56am by Scott Kacsmar
The Super Bowl Loser's Curse doesn't really exist, so Seattle shouldn't worry about it. The "Teams That Start 0-2 With Fourth-Quarter Blown Leads" Curse is a little more real, but Seattle is the kind of team that can overcome it.
2 comments, Last at 26 Sep 2015, 12:12pm by Scott Kacsmar
24 Sep 2015, 10:10am by Aaron Schatz
For ESPN Insider, looking at the nine 2-0 teams and their current playoff odds. Which ones are "for real" and which ones just feasted on early competition? (And which ones won their early games close but have ridiculously easy schedules so it doesn't matter if they are "for real" or not? We're looking at you, Atlanta and Carolina.)
2 comments, Last at 27 Nov 2015, 4:57pm by AyoubTab
17 Sep 2015, 12:20pm by Aaron Schatz
Don't jump to conclusions over just one week, but Peyton Manning's Week 1 struggles echoed some of the negative trends from his second-half decline in 2014. And if Peyton isn't the Peyton of old, then that Denver offensive line is a bigger problem than we thought.
2 comments, Last at 17 Sep 2015, 4:44pm by cjfarls
08 Sep 2015, 05:47pm by Andrew Healy
Yes, DeMarco Murray was overworked last year, but there are reasons to believe that the Curse of 370 may not destroy his 2015 season quite as much as expected.
02 Sep 2015, 12:23pm by Aaron Schatz
Each year that ESPN has done its #NFLRANK list of the top 100 players in the NFL, Football Outsiders has provided an audit that lists players we think are overrated and underrated on that list. Here's our audit for 2015, starting with the high probability that Adrian Peterson is no longer the top running back in the game. Also overrated: Joe Haden and Joe Staley. Underrated: Andrew Whitworth, Josh Sitton, and Connor Barwin.
27 Aug 2015, 09:28am by Scott Kacsmar
Our annual rankings for NFL teams' under-25 talent has the Cowboys on top thanks to a well-executed plan for the offensive line. The Seahawks again rank 32nd, as their last few young stars just turned 25.
1 comment, Last at 27 Aug 2015, 3:56pm by Karl Cuba
26 Aug 2015, 01:00pm by Aaron Schatz
Here's the ESPN Insider version of our Top 25 Prospects list from Football Outsiders Almanac 2015. Once again, this is our annual list of the top prospects among later-drafted and undrafted players who aren't rookies anymore, but are still young with potential to blossom and become important pieces on their teams. Pittsburgh's Martavis Bryant is this year's No. 1.
1 comment, Last at 27 Aug 2015, 4:37pm by Jerry