Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

29 Dec 2008

Aaron Schatz on the B.S. Report: 12/29

Time to start my weekly playoff appearances on the Bill Simmons podcast, reviewing the 2008 season and then previewing the Wild Card games. Cousin Sal and Michael Lombardi also appear. Link goes to Bill Simmons page, then look for podcast link on the far right.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 29 Dec 2008

13 comments, Last at 05 Jan 2009, 9:23pm by MJK

Comments

1
by hector :: Mon, 12/29/2008 - 11:35pm

Look for Aaron around the 25:30 mark, though I do like listening to Bill and Cousin Sal, for some reason. Good show. Aaron misquoting a Alanis Morissette lyric is one of the highlighs ; ) (Then again, the most ironic moment of our time is Alanis misunderstanding what the word really means.)

2
by Omroth-UK (not verified) :: Tue, 12/30/2008 - 7:32am

I'm a massive BS Report fan - awesome work on being on there Aaron.

3
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 12/30/2008 - 11:02am

Aaron - I understand you favouring the Eagles - makes sense. I have to disagree with you when say the Viking pass defence really isn't that good. They rank 5th in DVOA in pass defence at - 19.1%. They also rank 1st in sack rate according to this site.

4
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 12/30/2008 - 11:49am

Yeah, that was me speaking without realizing the numbers. The Minnesota pass defense is, in fact, pretty good.

5
by JR (not verified) :: Tue, 12/30/2008 - 4:23pm

I have to take issue with your statement that MATT RYAN had "by far" the best rookie year for a quarterback.
RYAN took over a 4-12 team and went 11-5; BEN ROETHLISBERGER took over a 6-10 team and went 13-0. They both received the help of 2,400 rushing yards...but while RYAN led in many of the quantity categories (Comp, Att, Yards--after all, he did play 3 more games) BEN lead in every category that defined quality (Comp Pct., Yds/Att, 1stDown pct. and quarterback rating) They both threw 11 interceptions, but BEN threw one more touchdown, and only and only 2 less plays of 20+ and 2 less plays of 40+) And BEN played superbly against both of that year's Super Bowl teams (N.E., Phil) in huge consecutive-week butt-kickings (ending the N.E. consecutive win streak)--Ryan can make no such claim. If this doesn't convince you, then I insist you ammend your statement to:
"although the facts don't support it, I really do feel that Matt Ryan had the best year by a rookie quarterback."

6
by Mystyc :: Tue, 12/30/2008 - 6:32pm

You could make the case that Atlanta in the aftermath of Michael Vick was much, much worse than Pittsburgh, which really just had that one down year amid several playoff seasons. Ryan probably came in with more expectations, having started from Day 1 instead of being forced into the starter's role by injury. Pittsburgh's defense that year was also much better than Atlanta's this year. I think you can at least make the case that Ryan's performance was more impressive, although I would disagree, and I do think that "by far" is a pretty big stretch.

7
by hector :: Tue, 12/30/2008 - 7:23pm

Ryan probably came in with more expectations, having started from Day 1 instead of being forced into the starter's role by injury.

I've never bought the "more expectations" angle when it comes to inheriting a team that's horrendous. I think there's less pressure there, and a lot of room to improve the situation and be a hero. There's a reason Bill Parcells normally relocates to one of the worst situations in the league for his new gig - sure, he likes a challenge, but it also sets up best for him to be the conquering hero, and expectations, surprisingly, are usually tempered. Detroit's next coach will be under less pressure than the guy who eventually succeeds Wade Phillips, say.

8
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Wed, 12/31/2008 - 1:35am

I think it's easy to make the case that Atlanta was more dependent on Ryan than Pittsburgh was on Roethlisberger. Ryan attempted over 6 more passes per game than Big Ben, while Pittsburgh in 2004 had 3.6 more rushes per game than Atlanta in 2008. Put another way, Pitt passed only 35% of the time in 2004 while Atlanta passed 43% of the time this year.

(Formerly "The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly")

10
by JR (not verified) :: Wed, 12/31/2008 - 6:33am

Dependency has nothing to do with it. A quarterback can't control the run/pass ratio of his offense. BEN performed more efficiently, in almost every category--and he was undefeated as a rookie quarterback--against a brutally tough schedule. That's the bottom line.

13
by MJK :: Mon, 01/05/2009 - 9:23pm

A quarterback can't control the run/pass ratio of his offense

No, but by his quality of play and ability he affects it. The fact that the Atlanta coaches were comfortable calling a lot more passes relative to runs for Matt Ryan than the Pittsburg coaches were comfortable calling for Ben actually speaks to the point that Ryan was probably a better rookie. I.e. the more the coaches tilt the pass-run ratio they call, the more indicative it is that they are comfortable with their QB.

And you can't overstate the contribution of the defense. You bring up the fact that the Roethlisperger-led steelers ended the Patriots (former) record winning streak. It is worth noting that it was the Steeler's DEFENSE (to use your habit of SHOUTING a word here or there) that won that game. As I recall, the Steelers defense forced three NE fumbles and got two interceptions (returning one for a TD). Roethlisperger had a decent day that game, but nothing spectacular--only managing to lead the Steelers on three scoring drives (1 TD, 2 FG) of any length (the other Steelers scores came after defensive turnovers gave the Steelers very short fields), and only after he had been essentially spotted a 21 point lead.

Ryan did not have a defense anywhere near as good as the 2004 Steelers had.

9
by livingonapear :: Wed, 12/31/2008 - 2:13am

So does this mean that the football outsiders crew is pulling for an Eagles Super Bowl? It would prove you guys right. *shrugs*

11
by black president (not verified) :: Wed, 12/31/2008 - 10:44am

screw dependency, how about the fact that ryan's playing on a MUCH WORSE team with a miserable defense? nevermind that ryan handily surpasses roethlisberger in DYAR/YAR and is comparable in DVOA/VOA.

12
by Lou :: Fri, 01/02/2009 - 4:52pm

i want to know what aaron was about to say about the chicago special teams.